General Information you need to know about your California Bicycle Injury Accident Cases
- If you have already been in a bicycle accident in the State of California, we highly recommend that you stop reading right now, and call our law firm for a free telephone consultation at (800) 816-1529, Ext. 1. We will tell you over the telephone if we think that you have a case and whether we can help you.
- If we believe we can help you, and you decide to retain us, we can then send our investigator to you with all of the legal forms necessary for you to retain our law firm.
- If you do not have medical insurance or a medical provider, we can immediately refer you to an appropriate doctor near you for medical treatment. (Yes, even if you do not have medical insurance)
- Yes, this can all be accomplished with one phone call to our law firm. We try to make the process as simple as possible for you.
Special problems and issues related to bicycle accidents
Most bicycle accidents occur for two reasons; people driving in cars, trucks, SUV’s and other motor vehicles either fail to see the bicyclist before the accident, or demonstrate a reckless indifference towards the right of a bicyclist to share the same road as their car for whatever reason.
Most bicycle accidents occur on streets as a bike rider rides on the far right of a lane going with traffic or against traffic. Bike accidents also happen at intersections on city streets. It’s usually the same old scenario, a car or other vehicle hits the bike rider because they did not see the bike rider, or they tried to squeeze past the bike rider but failed.
We have also seen bicycle riders crash when someone who has parked their car, opens their driver’s side door when a bicycle rider is just about to approach causing the bike rider to hit the door and be thrown.
There are many other bicycle accident scenarios which will not be discussed here, but with which we all as riders intimately familiar.
The person in the motor vehicle usually uses the same old excuse; I did not see the bicycle rider. In some instances it has been reported to us that motor vehicle riders seemed to have purposefully swerved into or ran a bicycle off the road because of road rage, or for whatever reason. In the instance of this type of conduct, we would consider the case to be an intentional act and seek punitive damages from the motor vehicle driver.
In California, bikes are allowed to ride on the far right hand of the street. It is suggested that you ride with the flow of traffic. Bike riders should stay off sidewalks and it is suggested that you walk your bike across streets.
Pursuant to California Law, Bicyclist have the same rights to use public roads, as other motor vehicles, but just not in traffic lanes.
Since we are familiar with these scenarios, and we will aggressively fight for you in your Bicycle case.
TIME LIMIT TO FILE A LAWSUIT IN California Bicycle Accident (California STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS)
The present Statute of Limitations for filing a lawsuit for personal injuries related to your bicycle accident in the State of California is two (2) years from the date of the accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within two (2) years, you lose your right to sue!
If any of the parties to the accident is a governmental entity such as county vans and vehicles, a claim must be filed with the entity within 6 months from the date of the accident. If the entity rejects the claim, they must then be sued within 6 months from the date of the rejection.
The only time that you should ever wait two years to file a lawsuit in a bicycle accident, is if you are presently treating with a medical provider for injuries sustained in the accident. In such cases you damages are not fully known (ripe).
What do you do if you are in a bicycle Accident?
Being in a bicycle accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences of your life, especially if you are seriously injured. Many people die each year in bicycle accidents in the United States. Further, there is a 75% higher risk of you suffering an injury in a bicycle accident as opposed to being in a car, and the injuries are usually greater because you have no protection other than what you are wearing.
The worst part about bicycle accidents is that many victims are kids.
If you are in any type of bicycle accident, make sure you get a police report, especially if you are injured.
Many police agencies in California will not respond to what they consider to be minor bicycle accidents. If you are in an accident and you are injured, make sure you inform the police of this fact, and insist that someone come out to investigate the accident and take a police report. This is very important for your case.
If you are able too, try to get the names and addresses of any and all witnesses.
Do not make any statements at the scene of the accident to anybody but the police.
If you are truly injured in the bicycle accident, call the paramedics or request that someone else call the paramedics for you. It’s better to error on the side of caution, than to find out later that you are seriously injured.
If the paramedics give you the option of not being transported to a hospital, tell them that you want to be transported to a hospital. By law the paramedics must transport injured persons to a hospital upon request. Again, it is better to error on the side of caution. We have seen all types of bicycle accident victims, and many types of bicycle accident injuries could result in internal bleeding or hidden damage that you might be aware of at the time of the accident. After an accident, the chemical adrenaline is produced by the body which increases your heart rate. During this process the pain you are experiencing might not seem too severe.
We cannot tell you how many of our clients have been involved in bicycle accidents and went home thinking that the pain they were feeling would go away, only to end up not being able to move a few hours later. GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM TO GET CHECKED OUT!
NEVER LEAVE THE SCENE OF ACCIDENT, THE REQUIREMENT OF THE EXCHANGE INFORMATION
California Law requires that all persons involved in a motor vehicle exchange driver’s license, Vehicle Registration, and insurance information with each other at the scene of an accident.
A bicycle rider may not have a driver’s license and is not required to keep registration. We still recommend that you provide your contact information to the driver of the car, and make sure you get their information.
Never leave the scene of a bicycle accident without exchanging information. If you fail to get the drivers information, you may not be able to get a recovery.
Do not ride down the street and then stop. We highly recommend that you leave your bicycle where it is until the police arrive so that they can observe the position of the bicycle and do their report. Only if you have too, do we recommend moving your bicycle out of traffic to the side of the road or medium of a freeway. ONLY MOVE YOUR BICYCLE IF YOU HAVE TOO FOR SAFETY REASONS!
When getting the drivers information as discussed above, write everything down in detail, i.e., Full Name, Address, Driver’s License Number, Date of Expiration, Date of Birth, Hair Color, Height, Weight, Restrictions, Insurance Company name, address, and telephone number, Insurance policy number, date of expiration of insurance, Year, Make, Model, License Plate, Vehicle Identification Number, and Color of all vehicles involved in the accident, Registered owner of vehicle, address, etc.
In other words, write down every piece of information from each of the items given to you by the other driver. It will only help us to prosecute your case!
Here are some things that you might try to write down aside from the required information mentioned above:
Were any of the parties involved in the accident driving a commercial vehicle, truck, van, and/or working at the time of the accident?
Any statements made by any of the persons involved in the accident.
A full description (race, height, age, weight, hair color and style, clothes, etc.) of each driver involved in the accident.
Whether any persons in the accident were wearing eye glasses or sun glasses.
Whether any persons involved in the accident appeared to be intoxicated.
Passenger information for all vehicles.
Whether the windows of any of the vehicles tinted.
Whether any persons involved in the accident talking on the cell phone at the time of the accident. (their cell phone records can be obtained by us through subpoena if we are forced to litigate)
The facts of the accident as you understand them.
All witness names, addresses, telephone numbers, vehicle types, license plate numbers, etc. (sometimes witnesses will offer to help at the scene of the accident, but then become unavailable or refuse to return phone calls or mailings after the fact. Getting detailed information from them including their vehicle information may help us to locate them if necessary or they become non-cooperative.)
If you are can, call our office at (800) 816-1529, Ext. 1, from the scene of the accident, and we will try to immediately dispatch an investigator to the accident scene, depending upon where you are and the facts of the accident. If you cannot call us, try to contact level headed relatives or friends to come to the scene of the accident. They can not only help you to obtain information, but they can also act as witnesses to statements made by persons involved in the accident, property damage, and your injuries. Witnesses are always a good thing, especially if they are helpful to your case! They can also assist you in removing belongings from your vehicle if necessary, and give you a ride if you bicycle needs to be towed.
Following our advice will in the end help us to prosecute your case.
What do you do with your bicycle After an Accident?
We highly recommend that you keep the damaged bicycle in a garage or somewhere at your home as evidence in the case. An insurance adjuster will probably come out to view the bike to assess property damage.
The Necessity of a competent California Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The above information is just a small part what you need to know when dealing with accidents.
As a California Bicycle accident law firm that handles all types of bicycle accidents all over the State of California, we must above all, highly recommend that you retain an attorney like us to represent you in your bicycle accident case. Preferably within the first 24-48 hours of the time the bicycle accident occurred.
We have dealt with many people who thought they could do it on their own without a lawyer, who in the end either by their own words or conduct unintentionally sabotaged their own bicycle accident case, or settled their bicycle accident case for a small fraction of what their case was actually worth.
More than anything, we dislike having to tell someone who attempted to handle this complex area of the law on their own, that there is nothing we can do for them because they already settled their bicycle accident case, or they waited too long to file suit, etc.
Our purpose as a law firm is to provide you with aggressive, competent legal representation on your bicycle accident case. The word competency is not just some marketing term. Competency means that you have the someone has the expertise and knowledge to handle something.
The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez has the level of competency of expert status with an Avvo rating of 10, which is the highest possible attorney rating, to get you maximum results in your case.
We have what it takes to prosecute your California bicycle accident case. Don’t be a fool, and try to represent yourself. Lawyers are here for a reason; because we know the system and how to navigate through it. We know what you are entitled too and how to get it either through settlement or litigation.
You may call us now for a free consultation on your bicycle accident case at (800) 816-1529, Ext. 1. You have nothing to lose except the money you may be entitled to in your case!