Orange County bicycle accident attorneys at Jimmie Kang Law Firm knows the dangers bicyclists face while riding on city streets and bike paths. Our bike crash lawyers are committed to holding negligent drivers fully accountable for the injuries they cause to cyclists.
Choose the Top Bicycle Injury Lawyers in Southern California
California law allows an injured bicyclist to recover compensation for medical expenses, time lost from work, pain, and disability. In a recent Orange County bicycle accident lawsuit, in which a turning car struck our client, an Orange County bicycle accident lawyer was able to convince the driver’s auto insurance carrier that our client’s damages were significant enough for them to pay the limits of the policy.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident in Orange County or another part of California, contact an Orange County bike accident lawyer from Jimmie Kang Law Firm for a free case evaluation. We never charge a fee unless we are able to resolve your bicycle accident case for you.
How an Orange County Bicycle Accident Lawyer Establishes Driver Negligence
Bike accident attorneys from our firm is familiar with the underlying causes behind many bike crashes, including:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield
- Alcohol or intoxicating drugs
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Improper turn
- Failure to keep a proper lookout
These acts of driver negligence may result in crashes including:
- Rear-end impacts
- Head-on crashes
- Left-hand-turn impacts
In order to recover compensation in a bike accident injury or fatality case, you must first establish that the driver’s negligent conduct resulted in the crash.
In some cases, more than one person may have contributed to the accident, making determining who is financially responsible tricky. Obviously, when cars or other types of vehicles hit bicyclists, there is little room for forgiveness, and most bicyclists hit by motor vehicles sustain serious or even fatal injuries.
Bicycle accident cases can be complicated by the fact that when the police are called to the scene of a crash, they may be unable to speak with a cyclist who was injured. Consequently, our Orange County accident attorneys work hard to aggressively investigate each case and secure evidence that may be helpful to your case.
While investigating bike accident injury cases, our lawyers regularly:
- Take recorded statements from witnesses
- Order police reports
- Take photos of the scene of the accident and damage to vehicles
- Order driving records from parties involved
- Consult with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction and engineering
- Review medical records and bills
Injuries Encountered by California Cyclists
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, In 2016, there were 840 pedalcyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States, an increase from 829 in 2015. Pedalcyclist deaths accounted for 2.2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities (Table 1). The number of pedalcyclists killed in 2016 is 1.3 percent higher than the 829 pedalcyclists killed in 2015. California has been the state which had the highest number of cyclists killed in the united states.
Bicycle-motor vehicle accidents can be especially dangerous for the cyclist due to the obvious difference in size and protection. Many serious injuries can occur, such as bone fractures, lacerations, back and neck trauma, joint injuries, concussions, and even death. While the majority of these incidents involve adults, children still account for 11% of injuries related to bike crashes.
The most serious type of injury cyclists face is a head injury. Brain injuries are the number one cause of death in bicycle accidents and can leave survivors with lifelong disabilities. Due to the significance of these injuries and the fact that many of these people sustain these injuries at a young age, it is vital that cyclists have legal representation to secure compensation for their future medical needs. Jimmie Kang Law Firm has experience representing people who have sustained brain injuries in personal injury accidents and knows how to secure the full compensation that the law allows. In cases where it may be difficult to quantify the extent of an injury, an Orange County bike accident lawyer may retain an expert in the field of neurophysiology to help explain the significance of the injury to a jury. It is important to remember that not all injuries to the brain are immediately apparent. Therefore, it is crucial for any cyclist with head trauma to consult with a team of medical specialists.
Fatal Injuries by County
For each county with more than 25 bicycle fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, Table 8 represents the total traffic fatalities, bicyclist fatalities, bicyclist fatality rate per 100,000 population, and rank based on fatality rate. 8 As indicated by the ranking, the highest bicyclist fatality rates were in San Joaquin (0.6) and Sacramento counties (0.6). Five counties have rates higher than the state average of 0.3. The bicyclist fatality percentages of total traffic fatalities by county ranged from a low of 1.2% (El Dorado) to a high of 7.1% (Sacramento) compared to the state average of 4.2% (percentages not shown). Fourteen counties reported zero bicyclist fatalities during the 2007-2013 study period.
Non-Fatal Injuries by County
Table 9 represents the total traffic non-fatal injuries, bicyclist non-fatal injuries, non-fatal bicyclist injury rates per 100,000 residents, and non-fatal bicyclist injury rank based on non-fatal injury rates for each county with at least 25 bicyclist injuries. The highest county bicyclist injury rate was in Inyo county (255.7 per 100,000), followed by Santa Cruz (222.7) and Yolo (221.4) counties. Nineteen counties have non-fatal injury rates higher than the state average of 135.9. The non-fatal bicyclist percentages of total traffic injuries by county ranged from a low of 1.1% (Calaveras), to a high of 11.8% (Santa Cruz) compared to the state average of 5.3% (percentages not shown).
California Laws Applicable to all Bicyclists
California has one of the most progressive attitudes toward bicycle use in the nation. The state is full of bicyclists who commute, run errands or simply enjoy some recreational activity. The construction and use of bike lanes are becoming more common in the state, helping to promote biker safety. Unfortunately, people still incur bike injuries in California each year. In fact, 189 people lost their lives in bicycle accidents throughout the state in 2016, according to the California Department of Public Health.
All bicyclists can reduce their risks of injury-causing accidents by understanding their rights and responsibilities when it comes to using the state’s roadways and bike paths. If you or a loved one recently suffered harm in a bike accident and believe someone else could be responsible, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Contact the bicycle accident attorneys at Jimmie Kang Law Firm today to schedule a free review of your legal options. We offer our services on a contingency-fee basis, so you won’t pay unless we win a settlement or court judgment on your behalf. In the meantime, consider some important state and Bay Area laws that might come into play for your case.
The following are some of the most important bicycle laws in the California Vehicle Code. People who often ride their bicycles in California should know about these important laws to avoid any problems while cycling.
The Same Vehicle Code Applies to Bicyclists
Bicyclists fall under the same obligations of the vehicle code that applies to other motorists. Thus, they have to follow all the traffic rules like any other vehicle.
Bicyclist Must Ride in the Direction of Traffic
A bicyclist must ride in the same direction as traffic and, if needed, they can walk their bicycle on the sidewalk.
Ride on the Right Side of the Road
In normal circumstances where bicyclists ride comparatively slower than the other vehicles, they must take the right side of the road and ride as close to the right edge of the road as possible.
However, there are several instances in which bicyclists can ride in the traffic lane. These instances are:
- They are riding as fast as other vehicles
- To pass and overtake another bicyclist
- When they have to make a left turn
- When it is necessary to avoid any condition that can endanger the safety of the bicyclist and pedestrians
Always Use Bike Lanes
Bicyclists should always take bike lanes if it is present on the roadway they are traveling, and when leaving the bike lane, it is necessary to give the appropriate signal to other bikes in the bike lane and vehicles on the road to avoid any accident.
Give Way to Pedestrians
Though pedestrians should only cross the roads through marked crosswalks, even if they are not crossing the road from designated points, bicyclists must take care of the safety of any pedestrians on the road.
Wear a Helmet if You are Under 18
People who are under 18 are required to wear an approved helmet during cycling. Individuals 18 or older are not under the obligation to wear a helmet.
Don’t Cover both Ears
Bicyclists are not allowed to cover both of their ears with headset or to wear ear plugs in both of their ears which can prevent them from hearing traffic or police and ambulance sirens.
Bicycles Should be of the Appropriate Size
Bicycles should be of the size that can be easily handled by bicyclists. Bicyclists must support the bike with an upright position and with one foot on the ground.
Always Stop at Crosswalks
Remember that a bicycle is also considered a vehicle and crosswalks are not for any type of vehicles, but only pedestrians.
At Night, Bicycles Must Have Light and Reflectors
- A bike must have white light on front that can be seen from a distance of 300 meters for riding at nights.
- The bicycle should have a red solid reflector or a flashing red light on the rear that can be seen from a distance of 500 meters.
- If a bicycle doesn’t have front and rear reflective tires, then there must be white or yellow reflector placed on each side, at the front of the center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle.
Bicyclists deserve to have their rights protected when they are struck by a vehicle. Medical costs can be exorbitant in such cases, given that bicyclists have very little protection other than a helmet. If you or a loved one have been recently injured, call the trusted Orange County & Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers from the Law Offices of Jimmie Kang to begin work on recovering the compensation you need.
Using Toll Roads
Unless specified otherwise, or except for a special permit from the California Department of Transportation, bicyclists should not use toll roads, unless the department indicates through a specific exception that they can.
Using Headsets or Earplugs
It might be nice to listen to a podcast or music on a morning commute, but California law strictly prohibits the use of headsets or earplugs in both ears while operating a bicycle on a public roadway. Exceptions exist for authorized emergency vehicle operators and those who wear earplugs to prevent injury from loud noises. However, those who meet these exceptions must use earplugs that allow them to hear a siren from an emergency vehicle or a horn from another motorist.
Licensing Requirements for Bicycles
The state does not have any comprehensive licensing requirements for owning or operating with a license. However, state law does allow local authorities the option of requiring licenses for bicycles, especially regarding use on public roadways.
If a municipality does enact a local ordinance regarding licensing, it is unlawful for any person to tamper with or otherwise alter any licensing markings visible on a bike.
Hire a Skilled Orange County Bike Accident Lawyer to Help You get Compensation
the Injury Law Office of Jimmie Kang has successfully resolved lots of bicycle accident cases for cyclists injured in and around Orange County area and throughout Southern California. California law allows an injured bicyclist to recover compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical Expenses: This may include past and future care and bills related to ambulance, emergency room, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, and medication costs and even care at a long-term care facility if you require it.
- Pain and Suffering: This can include compensation that covers the time of the incident through the time the injury is resolved.
- Lost Wages: When a cyclist cannot work due to their injuries, they may recover lost wages. This extends to situations where a bicyclist cannot return to their pre-injury profession.
- Property Damages: A cyclist may recover compensation for damage to their bicycle and gear damaged in an incident caused by a negligent driver.
- Wrongful Death: The family of a bicyclist killed in an accident can pursue compensation for their losses under the California Wrongful Death Act. This includes loss of financial and emotional support the decedent provided.
According to Orange County’s bicycle crash analysis, 20% of fatal and non-fatal bike accidents in the city involve a driver who flees the scene. Our law firm can provide legal help for those who are victims of a hit-and-run bicycle accident or for those hit by a driver without insurance. Even though bicyclists may have sustained injuries when they were not in a car, they may be entitled to pursue an under- or uninsured motorist claim with their automobile insurance company. Our California accident lawyers can help decide the best course of action to take in your case.
While no one can anticipate being injured in a bicycle crash, the steps you take following an incident can have a direct effect on your ability to recover damages from the party responsible for your accident. As a law firm committed to protecting the legal rights of cyclists injured in Orange County, our focus is to get you the maximum compensation for your case. Contact us today to arrange for a free consultation.
The Injury Law Office of Jimmie Kang is committed to educating injured bicyclists regarding their legal rights under California law. Please review the resources we’ve assembled below for further information:
- Free Bicycle Accident Guidebook
- Bicycle Accident FAQs
- Valuation of Bicycle Accident Cases in California
Types of Accidents
- Dooring Accidents
- Rear-End Crash
- Stoplight Accidents
- Left-Turn Accidents
- Negligent Drivers
- Road Rage
- Drunk Driving
- Distracted Drivers
- Bicycle Accident FAQ’s
- Orange County Bike Laws
- Wrongful Death Lawsuits
- Valuing Bike Accidents
Other Motor Vehicle Cases
- Car Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Injuries