Bakersfield offers many people the ability to ride their bicycles to school or work. Despite the city adding bike lanes to their roads, biking still means sharing the road with motorists. Unfortunately, not every driver is cautious behind the wheel.
When biking around town and a reckless motorist hits you, contact a Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyer to work on your behalf. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for your medical bills and emotional trauma. Call our talented injury attorneys today for help.
What Does a Bicycle Need to Have When Riding on the Road?
California has laws concerning what equipment a rider must install on their bicycle. Failure to do so could negatively impact any civil lawsuit seeking compensation after an accident. According to the California Vehicle Code §21201, bicyclists must comply with the following:
- The bike must have a stable seat
- A white light must be affixed to the bike
- Handlebars cannot be higher than the rider’s shoulders
- Brakes must allow the bicyclist to come to a complete stop on level, dry pavement
- Bicycles must be close enough to the ground that the rider can put one foot down when stopping at a sign or light
- At night, red reflectors must be visible from the rear, yellow or white reflectors must be visible on the pedals or cyclist’s ankles or shoes, and yellow or white reflectors must be visible on the side of the bike
Equipping a bicycle properly so motorists can see it helps prevent catastrophic accidents, which often occur when a heavy vehicle hits a vulnerable biker.
Who is Most Often at Fault for a Bicycle Crash?
Motorists are usually aware of other cars and trucks but may not have trained their eyes to spot bicyclists. By law, drivers have a duty to watch for them and avoid accidents by behaving reasonably and responsibly. When they do not, they breach their legal duty to the bicyclist.
The bicyclist must prove the motorist was negligent and caused the accident in order to recover financial damages. A hardworking attorney in Bakersfield is adept at identifying the elements of negligence and proving them in a bike crash claim.
Compensation Available After a Bicycle Accident
Bike wreck statistics show the bicyclist is the one who always comes out more severely injured than the motorist. Even though a helmet can prevent some injuries and deaths, chances are injuries will still be severe.
Catastrophic injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord damage, are expensive to treat. When motorists are responsible for these injuries, they owe it to the injured person to compensate them, either through their insurance companies or their own pockets.
Injured bicyclists are economic and non-economic compensatory damages. Economic damages include those that can be calculated, such as medical and rehabilitation services, lost wages, or property damage, like the bicycle involved in the accident. Non-economic damages are subjective and include compensation for disfigurement, loss of consortium, and lost future wages.
Comparative Negligence in California
Sometimes, the injured party bringing the lawsuit is partially to blame for the accident. In California, pure comparative negligence is the law. Injured parties can still recover some damages even if they are 99% responsible for the accident. A Culver City personal injury attorney can explain how the compensation is calculated after a bicycle accident.
A Bicycle Accident Attorney in Bakersfield Strives for Justice
You will likely suffer extensive injuries when a careless motorist hits you while riding your bicycle. Your recovery may be long and expensive, and you still have bills to pay, even when you cannot work.
A skilled Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyer will negotiate with the insurance carrier and the defendant’s attorney, representing you in court if necessary. Call today to explore your legal options.