Over the years, many residents in California and across the country have become increasingly aware of their impact on the environment as well as the importance of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. As a result, many people have turned to the bicycle as both a form of transportation and a means of exercise. Unfortunately, when car accidents involve bicyclists, serious injuries can be suffered as a result of the massive difference in size and physical protections.
Regardless of the mode of transportation, all users of California roadways must obey traffic laws and regulations. Additionally, each user has the duty to exercise ordinary care. This means to take actions that help ensure the safety of other people using the roadways. A bicyclist injured because of a motorist’s negligence may choose to file a personal injury claim in an attempt to recover damages sustained as a result of a collision.
When deciding whether litigation may be the best option for a person’s individual circumstances, the first question that must be addressed is whether a driver’s negligence caused the accident. This claim of negligence must ultimately be proved in order to be entitled to an award of damages. However, if the driver was issued a ticket and convicted as a result of the accident — including speeding, failure to yield the right way or obey traffic signs, among others — this may be offered as evidence against the driver in civil . Whether the bicyclist may have contributed to the accident in some way must also be examined.
Determining whether a motorist failed to exercise ordinary care and if a bicyclist may have contributed to an accident are complex issues. An experienced personal injury attorney can help examine these issues and seek an award of damages. In many cases, bicyclists who were injured in California car accidents caused by negligence have been awarded damages to cover pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills, among others.
Source: FindLaw, “Bicycle Accidents“, June 30, 2015