What is it?
Accidents, as described on this page, deal with any accident matter involving automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians where an injury occurs. Being injured in an accident that was caused by someone else can be a difficult experience. In addition to any pain and suffering you might have, you may experience financial loss from medical bills and time away from work.
What do you do if you are injured in an accident?
There are many steps that must be taken in the time immediately following an accident. It is advisable that you get advice from a lawyer who has experience in personal injury cases as soon as possible after the accident. Some steps that you can take to assist the lawyer with the case are:
* Take pictures and/or video of all the injuries you sustained and any damage to your property
* Record any witness information
* Keep accurate records of lost time and wages
* Keep accurate records of any expense you incur as a result of the injury (medical, automobile, etc.)
Who can be held liable?
* The person at fault
* Their insurance company
It is important to remember that insurance companies have teams of people whose job description is to minimize the company’s financial payouts. Whatever the insurance company offers will generally be far less than the value of the case.
In all personal injury matters it is recommended that you seek professional legal assistance to protect your interests. A lawyer who has experience in this area of law can give legal advice that will assist you with the matter and will ensure that the judicial process is properly followed.
Bicyclists rights in California
California law views bicyclists as having the same rights and responsibilities as the operators of cars and trucks. The California Vehicle Code governs bicycle riders, and the police deal with bicycle accidents by the same procedures as they use for motor vehicle accidents. That means that if you are hit by a car or other vehicle in California, it is very important that you were obeying the vehicle laws and not relying on pedestrian laws when riding.
This means that you should always ride with traffic and use bike lanes where provided. Pedestrians have the right of way in most situations involving automobiles or other vehicles. Bicyclists do not, and must be cognizant of the applicable vehicle laws concerning stop signs, turning and proper use of bicycle lanes.
The two largest causes of accidents between cars and bicycles in Southern California are riding against traffic and riding on the sidewalk. Riding on the sidewalk makes a bicycle rider almost invisible to cars and other vehicles when they are turning at an intersection.
In addition, cars entering or leaving driveways are typically not expecting or looking for a bicyclist on the sidewalk. Approximately one fourth of all bicycle accidents involving a car or other motor vehicle involve a rider who is either riding against traffic and/or riding on the sidewalk.
What should you do when injured by a car?
Immediately seek treatment for your injuries. This documents the specific type of injury sustained as a result of the car hitting you. Demand a police report be completed and obtain a copy for your records. If possible, obtain the names of any witnesses that may have seen the accident occur. Then, contact the Law Practice of Jeff Dawson of Southern California. We know and understand the special situations surrounding a bicycle and car accident. Collision lawyers know that timing can mean the difference between a fair settlement, an unfair settlement, or no settlement at all.