Riding a bicycle for work or across the picturesque landscape of San Diego can be relaxing and good for your health. However, with others sharing the road, there is an increased risk of bicycle accidents.
Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys have more than 15 years of experience handling bicycle accident cases and protecting the rights of injured cyclists across California. Contact us now to learn more about your rights as an injured cyclist following your San Diego bike accident.
San Diego Bicycle Crash Statistics
Collision data compiled by the Circulate San Diego reveals five bicycle accident fatalities yearly in San Diego. There are over 500 bicycle accidents resulting in 25 bicyclists suffering severe injuries, 300 visible injuries, and about 150 minor injuries and chronic pain.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in San Diego
Let’s go over some of the most common causes of San Diego bicycle accidents.
The number one cause of cycling accidents in the United States is negligence, whether on behalf of the drivers or the cyclists.
Distracted driving, speeding, or driving under the influence are all examples of driver negligence that can result in serious traffic accidents. Another major factor is visibility, as cyclists are difficult to see, especially if riding in the car’s blind spot.
Motor vehicle drivers have the duty to check their surroundings, including their vehicle’s blind spot, before making turns or switching lanes to prevent accidents.
Although many bicycle accidents occur due to driver negligence, San Diego bicyclists could also be negligent by not following traffic laws, resulting in casualties.
In San Diego, the same laws that apply to motor vehicles also apply to bicycles, such as yielding the right of way, following road signs, and stopping at traffic signals.
There are several ways a bicyclist could be negligent besides not following traffic rules, and these include the following:
- Talking on the phone
- Distracted riding
- Drunk riding.
Complicated intersections and roads with massive traffic flow are a serious concern for riders, and here is where most bicycle accidents happen.
Roads with parked cars, no bicycle infrastructure, ongoing construction, and downhill inclines pose a threat to bicyclists.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, roads with dedicated bike lanes reduce injury risk by 50%, and protected bike lanes help reduce the risk of accidents by 90%.
The People Powered Movement reveals that Garnet Avenue, 4th, 5th, and 6th Avenue are places of high risk for bicyclists, as many accidents occur here.
Other Causes of Bike Accidents
There are many other causes of bicycle accidents, including the following:
- Road conditions: Since bicycles are light vehicles, they can lose balance on poorly maintained roads, especially after hitting small cracks and potholes.
- Faulty bicycle: A defective bicycle sold by a bicycle manufacturer can put a bicyclist at risk, especially those inexperienced bicyclists who do not realize what is wrong with their bicycle until the cycling accident happens.
- Bad weather: It can be challenging for bicyclists to ride in rough weather conditions such as rain and snow, increasing the risk of bicycle accidents.
Common San Diego Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycles, similar to motorcycles, do not offer their riders the safety provided by cars, such as enclosed space, airbags, seatbelts, and other technological safety features.
A minor bicycle collision can lead to severe or fatal injuries, especially if the bicycle rider lacks protective gear.
Some of the most common bicycle accident injuries in San Diego include:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe head injury
- Lacerations, abrasions, and bruises
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Loss of limbs.
More San Diego, CA Practice Areas
Depending on the nature and severity of injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, it can lead to severe consequences for riders. These may include lifelong medical bills, reduced quality of life, rehabilitation and therapy, loss of income, and more.
Fortunately, California bicycle laws allow injured bicyclists to recover compensation for the damages suffered due to another’s negligence by filing a bicycle accident claim.
Injured accident victims need to speak to experienced bicycle accident attorneys to learn more about their rights following a bicycle accident.
Who Is At-fault for a San Diego Bicycle Accident?
Under California law, the negligent party is at-fault for a bicycle accident, but often negligent parties and their insurance companies are quick to blame the innocent party to avoid liability or reduce payouts.
It is crucial for a bicycle accident victim to reach out to an experienced San Diego bicycle accident attorney to discuss their case and learn about their legal options.
When pursuing a San Diego bicycle accident claim, injured cyclists must prove the following elements of a negligence claim to obtain compensatory damages:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty
- The defendant was negligent and breached their legal duty towards the plaintiff
- The plaintiff suffered injuries
- The plaintiff’s injuries occurred due to the negligence of the defendant.
One of the significant parts of an accident claim is establishing causation, the relationship between your injuries and the other party’s negligence. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help gather the evidence required to prove the elements of a negligence case and increase your chances of securing maximum compensation.
Another thing to remember is that the accident could occur due to the fault of both parties. You may also be responsible for the injuries sustained in an accident, but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a personal injury claim against the negligent party.
California follows pure comparative negligence rules, meaning if the plaintiff is also responsible for the injuries, they will still receive compensation, but it will decrease according to the degree of fault.
An experienced legal team can investigate the accident to prove your innocence and build a strong case by gathering evidence, including witness statements, police reports, medical records, accident scene photos, expert testimonies, and other relevant evidence.
What Should You Do Following a Bicycle Accident in San Diego?
What you do following your bicycle accident will help determine the outcome of your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Here are some steps that you should follow after your accident to increase your chances of obtaining compensation:
- Contact 911 for help. Whether or not you’re suffering serious injuries, it is crucial to have a law enforcement officer come to the accident scene and file a police report.
- Take pictures and videos of the accident scene, vehicles involved, traffic signs, and surroundings. You must also document your injuries immediately by taking photographs.
- Ask the other party to give you their contact details and insurance information. Note down their vehicle number, color, and model.
- If there are any witnesses, make sure you reach out to them and take their contact information. Witness statements add a lot of credibility to a personal injury case.
- Seek medical treatment immediately. You don’t want to wait too long, as it can cause medical complications and put a dent in your injury claim. Keep all medical records and bills with you, as you need them when filing a personal injury claim.
- Reach out to our experienced San Diego bicycle lawyers to discuss your case. The longer you wait, the higher the risk of jeopardizing your chance to recover compensation.
Remember not to admit fault or share too much information about the accident with the at-fault party’s insurance companies and let the attorney handle the process on your behalf.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law
If you suffered injuries in a San Diego bicycle accident, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation, as you may be eligible for compensation.