Question

What Are My Legal Rights If I’ve Been Injured In A Bike Accident In California?

Joshua C. Cohen

Answered by:
Joshua C. Cohen

Located in Los Angeles, CA
Cohen Law Partners

Joshua C. Cohen - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Joshua C. Cohen

Cohen Law Partners
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: 323-333-3986
Fax: 323-937-0958

View Profile

Answer

If you have been hurt while riding your bicycle after a collision with a vehicle, you have the same rights as a driver of a vehicle injured in an accident. California law gives the same rights to cyclists as motor vehicle drivers. However, the law is vague about how drivers should behave on the road around bicyclists. The good news is that the Department of Motor Vehicles provides a handbook with several guidelines for drivers. These guidelines emphasize how important it is for drivers to pay attention to bicyclists and serve as a protection for bicyclists. 

What If I Wasn’t Wearing A Helmet? 

California law requires those under 18 years old to wear a helmet while biking. People who are 18 and older can ride without a helmet. Is it good for your case? It is safest to wear a helmet, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a case or the right to sue. The challenge will be overcoming potential bias from jurors who think that it is irresponsible to go biking without a helmet and partially blame the victim for their injuries. There is added prejudice from the stereotype some people possess that bicyclists are scofflaws, that you are irresponsible and in some way reckless. 

What Should I Do If I’m Injured? 

The best-case scenario is to take the ambulance to an emergency room from the scene, even if you think you are not hurt. This builds the best possible case because there is no gap in time between the accident, when a doctor documented your injuries and when you receive treatment.  If you do not seek medical care immediately, it does not mean that you do not have a case. You go to the doctor right after the accident to document your injuries right at the time of the accident. It’s about documenting and providing evidence of your injuries.

What Should I Do At The Scene?

Again, document, document, document. The burden is on the plaintiff to prove your case – to do so, getting the defendant’s information and going to the doctor is key. Get a picture of the driver’s insurance card, their driver’s license, what the intersection looks like and any other possible evidence to make your case. This is another reason why I recommend cyclists wear a helmet camera.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

Other Answers About Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor Vehicle Accidents

How can I maximize my compensation after a car accident in Texas?

The most important thing you can do to maximize your compensation after a car accident in Texas is to get appropriate medical treatment right away …

Answered by: Charles J. Argento

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Who Pays My Medical Bills After A Texas Car Accident?

If you are in the process of pursuing compensation after a car accident, you may be unsure as to who will pay your medical bills while your case is …

Answered by: Daniel J. Christensen

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Why should I hire a local Tennessee car wreck attorney?

There are certain advantages to using a local attorney if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident. The first advantage is that you can usually …

Answered by: Jeffrey (Jeff) P. Boyd

Disclaimer:

If you send a lawyer or law firm email through this service, your email will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. You should not send sensitive or confidential information via this email service. The lawyer or law firm to whom you are writing may not choose to accept you as a client. Moreover, as the Internet is not necessarily a secure environment it is possible that your email sent via the Internet might be intercepted and read by third parties. Super Lawyers will not retain a copy of this message.

Page Generated: 0.64258694648743 sec