Marin County Bicycle Injury Lawyer
Marin County is one of the most dangerous counties in California for bicyclists, according to recent data from the California Office of Safety. Bicyclists must share the road with many negligent and dangerous drivers. When collisions occur, more than likely it is the rider who will suffer serious and possibly fatal injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, speak to a Marin County bicycle injury lawyer at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger. Our firm has nearly six decades of experience representing bicycle accident victims.
Why Choose Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
- Your case will be handled by a Marin County bicycle accident attorney who is among the most awarded in Northern California.
- We operate on contingency fee agreements, meaning we will only get paid when you do.
- Our Marin County personal injury lawyers have a considerable amount of experience successfully dealing with insurance companies. We are committed to seeing that you are treated fairly and compensated in full.
Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle injuries can range from mild cuts and bruises to being quite severe, such as paralysis. Common injuries include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Tendon and ligament damage, tears, and sprains
- Dislocated joints (especially shoulders)
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Nerve damage (loss of feeling, numbness)
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis (permanent, temporary, partial, or full)
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
- Emotional stress and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Serious injuries can greatly diminish a bicyclist’s quality of life. Repercussion can be immediately apparent or years after injuries heal, they can resurface or gradually cause deterioration to the originally injured site. Medical care should be immediately sought out following an accident, no matter how minor injuries may seem. Documenting injuries is vital when filing a claim to obtain compensation for suffering and financial losses with the help of a Marin county bicycle accident attorney.
Who is Liable in a Bike Accident?
Under California negligence laws, the victim in a bicycle accident must prove that the defendant was at fault for their injuries in order to hold them liable for damages. What can constitute as negligence varies based on facts surrounding the incident, but some examples include:
- Distracted driving
- Opening vehicle doors too quickly
- Failing to yield when turning left
- Blind lane changes and merging
- Failing to fully stop at traffic signals or stop signs
- Cell phone use
- Dangerous road conditions (potholes, uneven pavement, excessive gravel)
- No bike lane or shoulder
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Marin County also operates under the state’s comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, if the plaintiff is found to be at all at fault for the accident they are still able to recover damages. However, the amount awarded to the victim will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
California Bicycle Laws
The following California traffic and bicycle laws are relevant to rider safety:
The Vehicle Code :
Bicyclists have the same rights as drivers of vehicles and must also follow the laws applicable to vehicles, such as stopping at stop signs or traffic signals.
Ride With Traffic :
Bicyclists must travel on the right side of the road and move in the same direction as traffic.
Alcohol and Drug Use :
It is illegal to ride a bicycle on a highway while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Ride Close to the Curb :
Cyclists traveling slower than traffic must remain as close to the right-hand curb as possible, except when:
– passing a slower vehicle or bicycle.
– making a left turn.
– avoiding road hazards.
Passenger Requirements :
Passengers are only allowed on bicycles when a permanent and regular seat is attached. Passengers four years old and younger, or under 40 pounds, must have a seat that keeps them in place and away from moving parts.
Must Use Bike Lane :
If moving slower than traffic, bicyclists must use the designated bicycle lane if one exists.
Helmet Use :
All riders under 18 years old must wear a helmet.
Headset, Earplugs, and Earphones :
Bicyclists cannot wear a headset, earplugs, or earphones in both ears while riding.
Three Feet of Safety :
Vehicles must leave a distance of at least three feet when passing a cyclist.
Duty of Care :
- Bicycle must have brakes that work.
- Handlebar height cannot be above shoulders
- Bicycle must be an appropriate size for cyclist to handle safely.
- Bicyclists must use the following at night:
- White light in front of bike that is visible from at least 300 feet.
- Red reflector, solid, or blinking red light on the rear of the bike that is visible from at least 500 feet.
- White or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from all angles and from at least 200 feet.
- White or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bike, and a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bike.