Statistically, the Pacific coast area of the United States has the largest percentage of bicyclists in the country, and those bicyclists spend about 48% of their time on paved roads. These facts considered, it is not surprising that bicyclists are sometimes injured while on the road.
The state of California leads the nation in the number of bicyclist fatalities, and the number one cause of bicyclist injuries, by a wide margin, is collisions between automobiles and bicyclists.
Automobile accidents and bicycle accidents have a lot of the same issues, legally. That is because both bicycles and motor vehicles are held to the same legal duty: the duty to exercise reasonable care towards the safety of everyone on the road. Both automobiles and motor vehicles are required to follow the rules of the road, and operators of both types of vehicles can be held liable in court if their negligent acts resulted in property damage, personal injury, or death. Bicyclists also have the same right to recover for injuries if they are hurt by a driver.
There are, however, some big differences between bringing a personal injury lawsuit for an automobile accident and bringing one that involves bicycles. Since the nature of the two vehicles differs, the standards of a reasonably prudent bicyclist and a reasonably prudent driver are different. If the attorneys for a driver accused of injuring a bicyclist can show that the bicyclist was riding on a road where it was unsafe for them to be, was dressed in a manner that made them hard to see at night, or any number of other factors the defense attorney can show that the bicyclist was comparatively negligent—they both share fault for the accident.
In the state of California, this apportionment of fault will reduce the damages a defendant will be liable for by whatever percentage the court decides the plaintiff is to blame. Sometimes this can significantly reduce recovery. Additionally, if the bicyclist was a child they can be held to a much lower standard of care than an adult would, which can potentially radically alter the way an eventual holding will be determined. Because of these issues if you have been injured while riding a bicycle it is important to retain an attorney that is familiar with the particular issues that can arise in cases that involve bicyclists.
Your Southern California Bicycle Accident Attorney
Successfully pursuing a personal injury claim for a bicycle accident involves issues that are specific to these sorts of accidents. If you have been hurt while bicycling it is in your best interests to hire a lawyer that has experience with bicycle accident claims. Talk to a representative from the Green Law Group online by filling out the contact form on this page or by telephone at (888) 264-3780 today to discuss your potential case and learn your options.