Drivers and cyclists have a right to the road, but when a cyclist is involved in an accident, the injuries are typically much more severe. Yet while the risk is greater, Steven P. Roberts Personal Injury Attorney understands that you have just as much right to compensation if you were obeying traffic laws.
Typical injuries and symptoms following a bike accident
When there is a collision between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, the bicycle gets the worst of it. A bicycle rider often sustains serious injuries to the head, back and limbs. The damage occurs because of the collision itself and by being thrown from your bike. Researchers are now questioning how well a bike helmet will protect you, and you should be aware of all the risks you face.
- Head injuries — Concussions and contusions are two common brain injuries that can occur when your brain moves around inside your skull during a collision. Skull fractures can also be a concern.
- Broken bones — Even with padding, your limbs, ribs or back can sustain simple or compound fractures from the force of a vehicle collision.
- Spinal cord injuries — If a crash affects your spinal cord because you land on your back or break your neck, you can be paralyzed and need lifetime care.
If you suffered any of these injuries, a qualified lawyer can help you get compensation for the care you need.
Risk factors for bicycle accidents in Central California
Good weather and dry conditions might make you think that the Santa Maria area is perfect for a bike ride. But dangers abound if you aren’t careful:
- Impaired visibility — Riding at night always makes it more difficult for drivers to spot a cyclist, and sharp curves and intersections create blind spots.
- Poor road or path conditions — While infrequent, rainstorms do happen, reducing friction on the road and increasing braking distances for cars. Rain actually causes oil to rise up onto asphalt, making roads even more treacherous.
- Negligent motorists — Aggressive drivers, speeding cars and distracted driving all put cyclists at risk of being run into or run off the road.
- Neighborhood hazards — Even quiet neighborhoods harbor hazards for cyclists, including frequently stopping garbage trucks and delivery vehicles and dogs that chase and attack bike riders.
Common bicycle accident scenarios
According to the California Vehicle Code, bicyclists are permitted in bike lanes and on roadways, as long as they keep up with the speed and direction of traffic. However, even under these circumstances, accidents happen. If a driver fails to yield to you or merges into your path, you can be hit or run off the road. Similarly, if a motorist turns without signaling, it can force you to swerve to avoid a collision or not give you enough time to react.
Work with an attorney to secure financial damages after a bicycle collision in Fresno or San Luis Obispo
Talk to Steven P. Roberts Personal Injury Lawyers about your accident, who was at fault and the medical care you need. We’ll speak with medical advocates, determine the compensation you require and fight the insurance companies for compensation. The office is in downtown San Luis Obispo, just outside of the historical district. Parking is available. Contact us online or give us a call at 805.250.1511 today.