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Santa Rosa Bicycle Accidents

Santa Rosa Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicycles are an environmentally responsible option for both leisure and regular personal travel. Riding a bicycle improves personal health and fitness, saves money on fuel costs, and offers a convenient alternative to typical transportation options in the Santa Rosa, CA area. Some people use bicycles for fun and exercise while others depend on them for transportation to and from work or school. Whatever your reason for bicycling in Santa Rosa, it is crucial to acknowledge the dangers present when you ride your bike near motor vehicles.

Bicycle Accident Attorney Santa Rosa, CA

Despite many recent initiatives designed to reduce bicycle accidents, unfortunately, these incidents can and do happen in the Santa Rosa, CA area regularly. When a motor vehicle driver hits a bicyclist, the bicyclist is highly susceptible to catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Thus, it is crucial for bicyclists to know how they can limit their risk of experiencing these incidents, as well as options for legal recourse after drivers cause bicycle accidents.

The attorneys at Rush Injury Law have years of experience representing clients in the Santa Rosa, CA area in a wide variety of civil claims. The team at our Santa Rosa office can help you determine your best legal options for recovering your damages from a bicycle accident.

Why Should I Hire a Santa Rosa Bicycle Accident Lawyer?

If you or a loved one recently experienced a bicycle accident, you might think that fault is obvious, and you’ll have minimal difficulty in holding the responsible driver accountable for your losses. The reality is that navigating any kind of personal injury claim is likely to be far more difficult than you expect—especially if you plan to represent yourself. Attempting to handle your case without legal counsel entails significant risks. You could overlook crucial details that reduce your recovery or even make procedural errors that risk your ability to secure compensation at all.

Even if you are successful with your claim on your own, you risk settling for much less than a Santa Rosa bicycle accident lawyer could have obtained on your behalf. An experienced attorney will know every available avenue of compensation available to you after a bicycle accident. They may potentially reveal compensation you would have overlooked on your own. Ultimately, you are more likely to succeed with your claim when you have an attorney representing you and more likely to maximize your total recovery.

Can You Sue Someone for Hitting You on a Bike?

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers in the Santa Rosa, CA area. While bicyclists may not ride on some roads, such as highways and freeways, most other roads allow bicyclists to navigate the streets the same as motor vehicle drivers. Unfortunately, not all drivers yield to bicyclists when appropriate, and many do not recognize the fact that bicyclists have many of the same rights as drivers. Some of the most reported causes of bicycle accidents leading to civil claims include:

  • Distracted driving. All drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles attentively. Distracted driving is the top-cited cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the US.
  • Drunk driving. It is illegal and extremely dangerous for drivers to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Anyone who causes an accident because of intoxication faces civil liability for victim’s damages and criminal prosecution under California’s laws against driving under the influence (DUI).
  • Speeding. All drivers must follow posted speed limits. When a driver speeds, they have less time and distance to react to changing traffic patterns and can easily cause a serious accident.
  • Moving violations. Running red lights and stop signs, illegal turns, and other moving violations make it difficult for other drivers to anticipate the driver’s actions, potentially causing an accident.
  • Poor visibility. Bicyclists should make themselves as visible as possible when riding near traffic. Drivers should also use extra caution when driving at night or in any period of poor visibility.

When a bicycle accident occurs due to the actions of a negligent driver, the injured bicyclist has the right to file a civil claim to secure compensation for their losses. The first step toward recovery after a bicycle accident is determining how the accident occurred and who is responsible for the victim’s damages.

Determining Fault for a Bicycle Accident

If a driver hit you while you were riding your bike in Santa Rosa, your attorney can help you gather the evidence you will need to identify them and hold them accountable for your damages. A bicycle accident claim will unfold under California’s personal injury statutes. The central legal concept of every California personal injury claim is negligence.

The term “negligence” refers to a party’s failure to exercise reasonable care and caution in a given situation. There are four main components to establishing negligence for a personal injury:

  1. The plaintiff must prove the defendant owed a duty of care in the situation in question. This could pertain to a driver’s duty of care to operate their vehicle attentively and responsibly or the duty of care to refrain from driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  2. The plaintiff must show how the defendant breached or violated this duty of care. This means proving the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care while driving.
  3. The plaintiff and their attorney must provide a complete list of all the damages resulting from the defendant’s breached duty of care. The plaintiff may only file a civil claim if they suffered actual harm.
  4. The plaintiff and their attorney must then prove causation, meaning the claimed damages are solely the results of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.

A plaintiff who can successfully establish these four elements of negligence is likely to succeed with their personal injury claim. However, it is vital for all plaintiffs in California civil cases to remember the state’s pure comparative negligence law. If an investigation determines a plaintiff is partially at fault for causing their claimed damages, the reward changes. The plaintiff loses a percentage of their case award equal to their percentage of fault for causing the accident. For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 10% at fault in an accident causing $100,000 in damages, they lose 10% or $10,000 from their case award to reflect their comparative negligence.

Potential Compensation You Could Claim for a Bicycle Accident

An experienced Santa Rosa bicycle accident lawyer can help a client maximize their compensation under California state law. California allows personal injury plaintiffs to claim compensation for any and all damages caused by a defendant. Your bicycle accident likely resulted in property damage, bicycle accident injuries that demand extensive medical attention, and significant pain and suffering. Fatal bicycle accidents may enable family members to file a Santa Rosa wrongful death claim.

Your attorney can help you secure compensation for economic damages, including the cost of replacing your bicycle, the cost of all the medical treatment you require, and any lost income incurred during your recovery period. Additionally, if you are unable to return to work due to a permanent disability from your accident, your attorney can help you claim your lost earning potential and even secure compensation for long-term medical expenses.

When it comes to pain and suffering compensation, you can rely on your Santa Rosa bicycle accident lawyer to help you make these calculations. Your attorney will consider the severity of your injuries, the long-term medical complications you are likely to experience, and the time your doctor anticipates you will require before reaching maximum medical improvement. Together, these elements determine a fair amount of pain and suffering compensation to include with your claim.

What to Expect from Your Santa Rosa Bicycle Accident Attorney

Any bicycle accident claim has the potential to escalate into a complex legal battle. Your claim may pose various challenges, from obtaining the evidence you need to prove liability for your damages to clearly establishing the full scope of those damages. Working with an experienced Santa Rosa bicycle accident lawyer is the best way to approach this challenging situation.

Santa Rosa Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Your attorney should begin handling your claim by carefully reviewing all available evidence, the police report from the incident, and documentation from your medical team regarding your injuries. They will help you secure the evidence you need to identify the defendant and hold them accountable, which may include traffic camera footage, vehicle computer data, cell phone records, and eyewitness statements. Once your attorney has helped you determine the full scope of your damages and identify the party or parties responsible for your bicycle accident, they will guide you through your personal injury claim proceedings.

Your Santa Rosa Bicycle Accident Firm

The attorneys at Rush Injury Law understand the stress and uncertainty likely to follow a bicycle accident in Santa Rosa. Our firm strives to provide comprehensive and client-focused legal counsel for every client we represent. We have the resources and experience necessary to guide your bicycle accident claim to a satisfying result—whether a settlement with the insurance companies or a personal injury claim in civil court. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a compassionate and experienced Santa Rosa bicycle accident lawyer.

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