California dramatically outranks the Nationwide average of fatal bike accidents per year. Of course, any of these accidents happen and areas like San Francisco or Los Angeles. However, Orange County residents know how frequently those in our area bike rather than drive. Orange County bicycle accident lawyers frequently assist victims of bike accidents and we know all too well these are extremely common.
We can put some blame for the high-rise and bicycle accidents on the easy e-bike sharing and fitness cycling. However, the apparent issue is in the numbers. Between 2016 and 2018, more bicyclists died in California traffic accidents than any other three-year time frame over the course of the last 25 years. The trouble isn’t bicyclists, and the rise in bicycle accidents shouldn’t go up this much in such a short time span. The issue is that drivers are more complacent and more negligent than ever before.
Bicycle Accidents in OC
The California helpline study which evaluated cyclist fatalities in traffic accidents, Orange County has the third highest fatality rates. Between 2016 and 2018, 32 bicyclists were killed in Orange County. The only good news from this report for Orange County is that of the top three counties, Orange is the only one that reduced bike accidents after the 2006 to 2008 spike.
Many in California suspect that it’s not just bike sharing problems, and the rise in bike riding that’s contributing to these accidents. There’s the creeping suspicion that those using ride-sharing services as a side job are frequently cruising and looking for possible pick ups or jobs. That means these drivers are driving, usually at low speeds, but in population dense areas while constantly monitoring their phone.
How Does California Protect Bicyclists?
California has some programs in place to help protect a bicyclist as well as passenger vehicle drivers. However, that responsibility falls on the County’s. For example, San Diego is applauded as one of the best cities to bike in because of their extensive network of bike lanes and bike trails. The result is that bicyclists are less likely to be on the road or in dangerous situations where a driver may strike them.
Orange County does have the Orange County Bicycle Coalition, which is a group that advocates for cyclists and their safety. they help spread the word about what bicyclists must do when using the road, and how to share the road safely. One of the most common issues that is present in bicycle accident is that drivers and bicyclists don’t know what to expect from each other.
Orange County bicycle accident lawyers often find themselves explaining how bicyclists could be at-fault for crashes. Bicyclists have rules of the road too, however these are mostly common sense. Things like yielding to others, and signaling when turning lanes are basic elements of using the road.
When information and prevention through Transportation networks Aren’t Enough, there’s the fallback of legal action. Ideally, bicyclists and drivers would accommodate each other, adhere to the rules of the road, and drive or ride safely. Collisions happen and when they do happen the victims have the opportunity to take action. It is possible for a bicyclist to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
Orange County Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Typically people turn to the option of using Orange County bicycle accident lawyers when they need compensation to cover medical debt, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In California, the victim has up to two years to file their injury claim an attorney is going to help you stay on track with that claim and that timetable.
Bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries because a bicyclist simply does not have the protection that a standard vehicle driver does. It is common for bicyclists to have broken bones, and a myriad of other injuries so they may not want to move forward with a clean immediately. This is a decision that you have to make in regard to how you want to handle your claim.
Injuries and Damages from Bicycle Accidents in Orange County
In an effort to reduce injuries and damages, most counties including Orange County expect bicyclists to behave similarly to drivers. For example, requiring bicyclists to move in the same direction as traffic has dramatically reduced the likelihood of head-on collisions between vehicles and bicyclists.
Common injuries from bicycle accidents include broken bones, abrasion Burns including road rash, internal injury, and brain trauma. California does not require that adult bicyclists wear helmets. These injuries are not always fatal, but anyone can be sure that these injuries are going to impact this person’s life. Victims of bicycle accidents don’t walk away unscathed very often.
One of the most common reasons for bicycle accidents can shed light on the type of injuries involved. For example, one of the most frequent causes of bicycle accidents is low visibility or writing at night. There is nothing wrong with riding your bicycle at night, but when doing without you should try to increase your visibility as much as possible. Wear a reflective vest, or adhere reflective tape to your writing clothing. Ensure that the reflectors on your bike are clean.
Certainly isn’t putting bicyclists as the responsible party, but serves to help bicyclists reduce their likelihood of getting into an accident. When a vehicle driver reports of poor visibility as the reason for the crash, that doesn’t absolve them of fault. They still carry responsibility for the crash.
How Can Orange County Bicycle Accident Lawyers Help Local Victims?
Initially, after the crash, an attorney can help file a demand letter through the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Unlike and standard vehicle accidents, the victim calling their car insurance provider isn’t going to do much. However, bicycle accident victims do often find themselves in a battle with an auto insurance provider.
After the demand letter, Orange County bicycle accident lawyers should ensure that they keep an open line of communication with that insurance company. They may need to work with you to explain the options of accepting a settlement, or moving forward to court. But whatever bike accident attorney should deliver to their client is a wealth of resources and a guiding hand while leaving you in control of your claim. At TorkLaw our goal is to represent victims with transparency and work in their best interest.