Approximately one-third of all bicycle accidents involve a collision between a cyclist and a motor vehicle. These types of accidents, however, are the most likely to result in serious injury or death, due to the limited protection a cyclist has against a car. Accidents can occur when a driver forces a cyclist off the road or turns in front of the bicyclist's path. Driver distraction and inattention can cause fatal accidents when a cyclist is knocked down and run over by a moving vehicle. Victims of auto vs. bicycle collisions may be entitled to compensation for their injuries from the driver that caused the accident.
Product Liability and Bicycles: Accidents Involving Defective Bicycle Parts
Bicycles, just like any other product, can have defects due to poor design, malfunctioning components, or improper assembly. If a bicycle falls apart while a cyclist is riding it, the manufacturer, retailer and possibly other parties may be liable for the cyclist's injuries or death. Examples of bicycle parts that may fail and contribute to an accident include the aluminum frame welding, the brakes, tires and air tubes, and the chain. If you suspect bicycle failure, it is especially important not to discard of any parts or have the bicycle repaired.
Bicycle Accidents Caused by Roadway Defects
When an accident occurs due to a pothole, cracking in the road, or any other open and obvious hazard, the county or city government responsible for maintaining the road may be liable for your injuries or a loved one's wrongful death. Note: when filing a claim against a municipality or government entity, you must file your claim within 6 months of the accident.
Head Injuries & Helmets
Head injuries are the leading cause of death in bicycle accidents. While it is important to note that a helmet will never prevent an accident, a helmet can reduce the risk of a traumatic brain injury in any accident. In California, children under 18 years of age are required by law to wear a helmet.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
It goes without saying that your number one priority after a bicycle accident is to seek immediate medical treatment. Even if you think you are okay, if you hit your head at all, you should visit a doctor. Secondly, preserve evidence. Do not get rid of the bike, your helmet or any other equipment that was damaged in the accident. If possible, take pictures and gather the contact information of any witnesses. Insist on a police report and report all injuries, no matter how minor. Finally, contact a qualified and experienced bicycle accident attorney for a complete review of your legal rights.
Bicycle Accident Attorney Case Review
Sometimes accidents occur and even the cyclist is not sure why. If you or someone close to you has been seriously injured or killed in a bicycle accident, contact an attorney. A lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine if another driver's negligence, a defective bicycle part or a defect in the roadway caused your accident. If another party was responsible for your injuries, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages (past and future) and pain and suffering.