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Orange County Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you want results, call us. If you want peace of mind, call us. If you want representation who understands the hardship that has been thrust upon you, call us.

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California is the leader of the nation when it comes to green initiatives with some of the strictest rules in the country regarding recycling and emissions. Because of our state’s interest in protecting the environment and our future, more of us are turning to alternate modes of transportation to get around.

Bicycles are an excellent way to get around town and conserve energy while getting some exercise. Unfortunately, bike accidents have increased in recent years. According to a study conducted by the California Governor’s Highway Safety Administration, bicyclists are more likely to be injured or killed in our state than any other area of the country. As you well know, Orange County is infamous for its congested roadways, car accidents, and creating dangerous scenarios for bikers.

If you or a loved one have been injured while riding a bike, speak with an Orange County bicycle accident attorney at our law firm today. Call us today at (714) 783-2205 to schedule a free consultation to review your case and legal options. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we win your case.

A bike laying on a crosswalk with the text "Orange County Bicycle Accident Lawyer" superimposed

What to Do If You’ve Been in a Bike Accident

Injuries sustained in a bike accident can be catastrophic. Broken limbs, injured muscles, spinal cord damage, and brain injuries are all possible outcomes when a motorist collides with a bicycle. The injuries you incur from a bike accident can result in weeks or months of recovery. As a result, investigating bike accidents can be complicated. The very first thing you should do following a serious injury is seek medical treatment. After being admitted for treatment, call your local law enforcement.

The police are required to report to the scene of an accident whenever someone’s been injured. A police report is a very important document of evidence in personal injury claims. Often times however, you’ll likely be on your way to the hospital by the time the police get there, meaning that they will hear the driver’s statement of events first.

By the time law enforcement comes to obtain your statement, your details of the event may be fuzzy. Whether you are on pain medications that make it hard for you to recall events or everything happened so quickly that you aren’t sure, you may be under pressure and not be able to to form an accurate picture of the event. As a result, your accident may not get the careful attention it requires.

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicyclists are among the most vulnerable groups of people in or around the roadways. They usually have very little protection from the force of a vehicle slamming into them. Even at slower speeds, a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds can cause significant catastrophic injuries to a bicyclist. Helmets are not required for cyclists over the age of 18, and it is not uncommon for our Orange County bicycle accident lawyers to help clients who have sustained the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries (possible paralysis)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Broken bones or dislocated bones
  • Crush injuries
  • Loss of or damage to a bodily organ
  • Dismemberment or amputation
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Road rash
  • Other injuries that inhibit a person’s daily activities

During the latest year of reporting from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), there were 11,379 total bicyclist injuries and 124 bicyclist fatalities. These numbers lead every other state in the nation. In California, a high percentage of bicycle accidents result in serious injuries or fatalities.

Important California Bike Laws to Know

When you or a child ride a bike in California, you need to follow all laws pertaining to bicycle operation. Those under 18 must wear a helmet when riding on a bicycle. Those over 18 do not have to wear a helmet in California.

Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road. Cyclists are typically treated like any other vehicle on the roadway. Not only does this mean that vehicles have to respect cyclists, but it also means that cyclists have to follow all traffic laws.

  • Bicyclists have to use their hands to signal when they turn.
  • Bicyclists should ride as close to the side of the road as possible at all times, except with passing a vehicle going the same direction, preparing to make a left turn, or when they are prevented from doing to by an obstacle.
  • Bicyclists cannot operate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yes, cyclists can still get DUIs.
  • If there is a bicycle lane available, bicyclists should use it.
  • Every bicycle must be in good working order and meet certain requirements:
    • Each bike must have a brake that allows a cyclist to stop.
    • A bike’s handlebar must rest below the user’s shoulder.
    • The bike must be able to operate safely in an upright position.
    • A bicycle operating at dark must have a lamp emitting a white light, a red reflector on the rear of the bicycle, and white or yellow pedal reflectors.

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by someone else’s careless or negligent actions, you could be entitled to various types of compensation. While the total amount of compensation will vary depending on the fact of the case, our Orange County bike accident attorneys regularly help clients secure the following:

  • Coverage of all bicycle crash-related medical expenses
  • Lost income if they cannot work while they recover
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Loss of consortium and loss of services
  • Compensation for disfigurement
  • Possible punitive damages against a negligent driver

Find out what other damages you may be eligible for during a free initial consultation.

Bike Accidents at Intersections in Orange County

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while colliding with a car only makes up 11% of all bike crashes, nearly half of these take place at an intersection. As a cyclist, you’re required to follow the rules of the road, but many drivers don’t always check their surroundings before going. One of the most common ways to be injured on your bike is to be struck when a driver is making a right on a red light.

In the state of California, a bike is considered a vehicle, and it must follow the same rules as motor vehicles. If you’re crossing at a crosswalk, you have the “right of way,” but if you were crossing in the middle of the street, a police officer may find you liable for the accident, even if the driver wasn’t paying attention.

As you can see, bike accident cases become complicated quickly. The right bicycle accident attorneys can help make sure you accurately report your version of events, establish fault, and attain a fair settlement for your injuries.

Other Common Bike Accident Causes

  • A car turning directly in front of a cyclist
  • A car that does not yield at an intersection
  • A driver that runs into a bike that is going through a crosswalk
  • A driver’s failure to look both ways, especially while crossing a sidewalk or bike lane
  • A passenger or driver that opens their door into an oncoming bicyclist
  • A drunk driver
  • Being pushed or forced off of a road, embankment or cliff by another driver or rider
  • Distracted driving

How Is Liability Determined in a Bicycle Accident?

Determining liability in the aftermath of an Orange County bicycle accident is the most crucial element of securing compensation. Bicycle crash injury victims can take several steps in the aftermath of the incident in order to help ensure they receive the compensation they are entitled to. Determining liability revolves around evidence. Gathering evidence can begin as soon as a crash happens. However, a bicycle crash victim should only attempt to recover evidence at the scene of the crash if it is safe to do so and if they do not need to seek immediate medical care.

  • Using a smartphone or another type of camera, a crash injury victim or somebody else can take photos of damages to vehicles and the bike, injuries, debris, possible causes of the crash, traffic and weather conditions, and more.
  • The names and contact information of any eyewitnesses need to be gathered. Eyewitness testimony could be valuable for an insurance carrier or during a personal injury trial period
  • The name, driver’s license number, and insurance information of the other driver should be obtained.

The police need to come to the scene of a bicycle crash so they can conduct a preliminary investigation into the incident. Often, the police will notate who they think caused the crash, and insurance carriers will rely heavily on this determination. However, a skilled bicycle accident attorney in Orange County will be able to use their resources to gather even more evidence to determine liability. This can include obtaining any video surveillance footage from nearby homes or businesses, vehicle “black box” data, cell phone records of the at-fault party, and more.

The Importance of Medical Records For Your Case

It is crucial that bicycle crash injury victims seek medical care as soon as possible. There should not be any gap between the accident and medical treatment because insurance carriers will seek to exploit any gap in treatment as a reason to deny her claim. Additionally, bicycle crash victims should complete all treatment ordered by their doctor until they have reached maximum medical improvement. Medical records are the key to proving injuries in these cases, and a large amount of the economic and non-economic compensation awarded in these cases revolves around having medical records to show insurance carriers or a jury.

Can I Win a Case Without an Attorney?

It is possible to handle an Orange County bicycle accident case without an attorney, but it is not recommended. A bicyclist needs to have an advocate by their side when going up against the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver or any legal teams involved. An attorney will be able to handle the case from beginning to end, from the initial insurance claim and gathering evidence to negotiating with aggressive insurance carriers and taking your case to trial if necessary. When you do not have an attorney, you will be stuck using your personal resources to go up against insurance carriers and other parties who have no interest in helping you at all.

At the very least, schedule a free consultation with a skilled Orange County personal injury lawyer so that you can gain an understanding of what direction your case should take, how much compensation you can expect, and how an attorney may be able to help you get through this.

Finding a Bike Accident Lawyer in Orange County

Bike injuries sometimes have consequences that last a lifetime. Spinal cord injuries and orthopedic afflictions can cause pain and damage for months, years, or even decades after an accident. If you’re suffering short-term or long-term injuries as the direct result of a bike accident, our team can help. We are committed to the needs of our clients at the law offices of DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo.

We have a reputation for settling personal injury cases outside of court, acquiring fair settlements for our clients without going to trial. However, we are not afraid to take a case to court if it means obtaining the best outcome for you. We will not let insurance companies low-ball you on a settlement offer. Contact our office at (714) 783-2205 for a free case evaluation and we will review your unique case and let you know how to proceed.

We represent bicycle accident victims throughout Orange County, Irvine, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Newport Beach, and Riverside. 

Covid 19 Update: We are accepting new cases and we handle everything electronically and remotely, so our clients never have to leave their homes.