Although many bicycle accidents in Chico result from motor vehicle driver negligence, not all accidents do. Some bicycle accidents occur when other drivers and cyclists follow all of the rules of the road and operate their vehicles safely and carefully.
Defective road maintenance, for example, is one alternative cause of a bicycle accident. Construction companies, maintenance workers, and municipalities are responsible for maintaining roads for all vehicles. When roads contain large potholes, deep cracks, and other defects, cyclists can lose their balance riding and fall to the ground. As a result, they may suffer serious injuries.
If a bicycle accident victim can prove that their injuries happened due to poor road maintenance or defective roadway conditions, they might pursue legal action against the entity responsible for maintaining and repairing the road, such as the city or county.
Similarly, bicycle part manufacturers—including handlebars, chains, and brakes—must design and construct their products properly. If an accident victim, through expert testimony, can prove that a bicycle part malfunctioned and that malfunction resulted from defective design work or a manufacturing defect, the accident victim can bring the product manufacturer into their claim.
Some other potential causes of bicycle accidents involve motor vehicle operator negligence. Negligence can take a variety of forms. Some of the most common types of driver negligence that lead to serious bicycle accidents include intoxicated driving, distracted driving, and violating California rules of the road:
Intoxicated driving – Motor vehicle drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles reasonably and safely under the circumstances. This duty of care includes refraining from intoxicated car or truck operation. Most drivers are per se intoxicated if they operate their vehicles with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. A 0.04 percent BAC cutoff applies to commercial drivers, such as truck drivers. Whenever a driver is intoxicated, they significantly increase their chances of causing a collision. Bicycles are low to the ground, and an intoxicated driver may not see them or stop in time to avoid colliding with them.
In addition, intoxicated drivers often experience altered depth perception and blurred vision. Consequently, they might not see a cyclist approaching, causing a collision. In addition to incurring criminal penalties if a judge or jury convicts them of DUI, an intoxicated driver can also incur civil penalties if they cause an accident that injures someone.
Distracted driving – Motor vehicle operators must also refrain from distracted driving while out and about on the road. Distracted driving means diverting one’s attention away from the roadway for one reason or another. Potential distractions for drivers can include loud music playing on the radio, small children in the vehicle, cell phones, tablets, and GPS devices. When drivers divert their attention away from the road by turning their heads, they might completely miss a bicyclist riding in the vicinity, striking them and causing them to suffer serious injuries.
Violating rules of the road – California road rules are in place to keep motor vehicle drivers, passengers, cyclists, and others on the road safe. When drivers violate these road rules, they are more likely to cause serious accidents. Risky driving maneuvers that can lead to collisions with cyclists include speeding, following too closely, weaving in and out of traffic, and failing to yield the right-of-way to cyclists at the appropriate times. When drivers engage in some of these maneuvers near designated bicycle lanes, they can strike a cyclist lawfully riding in the lane.
If you or someone you care about suffered injuries in a bicycle accident that resulted from negligence, the skilled team of attorneys at Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel can investigate the accident, and if necessary, retain an accident reconstructionist to figure out exactly what happened. We can then help you pursue a claim or lawsuit that seeks the monetary damages that you deserve for your injuries.
Recoverable Damages Following a Bicycle Accident
Damages that victims of Chico bicycle accidents recover depend on the extent of their injuries, the cost of their medical treatment, whether they suffered a permanent injury in the crash, and whether they will require future medical care and treatment—such as a future surgery. In addition to recovering the costs of all past and future medical expenses, victims of bicycle accidents can bring a lost wage claim as well as a claim for other out-of-pocket costs.
Bicycle accident victims who suffer permanent injuries can also claim loss of earning capacity, inconvenience, mental distress, and physical pain and suffering. They might also be eligible to pursue compensation for loss of the ability to use a body part, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of spousal companionship or consortium.
If you have suffered injuries in a Chico bicycle accident, the skilled and zealous legal team at Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel will be your advocates. Our legal team will highlight all of the strengths of your case while downplaying any weaknesses. We will then work to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation available to you in your case. We can do this by negotiating with the insurance company, and if necessary, litigating your case to a conclusion in the court system.
Contact a Skilled Chico Bicycle Accident Lawyer for More Information
If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident that resulted from carelessness or negligence, the experienced team at Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel is here to help you. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Chico bicycle accident attorney, please call us today at (530) 891-1909 or contact us online to discuss your possible personal injury claim or lawsuit.
631 W East Avenue
Chico, CA 95926Phone: (530) 891-1909