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San Diego Bicycle Accident Personal Injury Attorney

SAN DIEGO BICYCLE ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

Hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries are caused by bicycle accidents each year, oftentimes because of negligence or wrongdoing on the part of another. When bicyclists in San Diego are involved in a collision or are struck by a vehicle, it can be life threatening, and can certainly lead to injuries that last a lifetime.

That’s why you need the experience of top rated San Diego bicycle accident attorneys like Mission Legal Center Personal Injury who can advocate for your rights and ensure you receive the lawful treatment and compensation you are entitled to in Southern California.

Call us for a free consultation and case-specific guidance today at 619-777-5555

What are the California Bike Laws?

California Vehicle Code VC 21201 addresses bicycle equipment requirements. An injury attorney can always give further clarification and information regarding California law. For example:

  • Working brakes – It’s illegal to ride a bicycle without functional brakes
  • Appropriate handlebar height – Handlebars can’t be raised higher than the bicyclist’s shoulders
  • Visible lamps – Bike lamps that emit white light should be visible from a distance of 300 feet from the front and sides of the bike
  • Visible rear reflector – A red rear reflector must be visible from a distance of 500 feet from the rear of the bike
  • Visible pedal reflectors – White or yellow pedal reflectors must be visible from a distance of 200 feet from the bike

What about helmet safety?

According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, approximately 540,000 bicyclists visit the ER each year, and 67,000 of those sustain head injuries. Additionally, 60% of bicycle-related deaths are as a result of fatal head injuries.

The following are must-follows for helmet safety:

  • Helmets should have a Snell or Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker on it, indicating that it has undergone rigorous safety checks
  • The helmet must fit snuggly, unable to move more than an inch in either direction
  • Use sizing pads for a secure helmet fit
  • Wear the helmet on top of your head, not off to any one side
  • Use chin straps to secure a proper fit
  • Ensure that the helmet allows for a direct line of sight; don’t let it impede your vision
  • Replace a damaged helmet, even one minor impact can affect the safety and integrity of the helmet
  • Replace an undamaged helmet every two years

What about bike safety for kids?

The helmet:

  • Nearly 50% of bike injuries requiring hospitalization sustained by children 14 and under are diagnosed with a brain injury.
  • Helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by 85%
  • Helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by 88%
  • Proper sizing is crucial

The bike:

  • It should be easy to control and not too big
  • Brakes, hand or foot, should be easily accessed
  • Regular brake, handlebar, tire pressure and wheel checks are important.

The ride:

  • Always look both ways
  • Always obey traffic signs and signals
  • Obey traffic laws
  • Only ride when it’s light outside
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Walk your bike in the crosswalk
  • Know when and how to use hand signals
  • Wear bright clothing for visibility
  • Do not wear headphones while biking
  • Exercise extra caution near driveways and entry/exit ways
  • Avoid heavily-trafficked areas, if possible
  • Parents using trailers to transport small children:
  • All child riders must wear a helmet
  • Obey the height and weight requirements
  • Consider a trailer with a flip hinge which allows for the trailer to remain upright when the bike is tipped
  • Avoid sharp turns
  • Mount an orange visibility flag
  • Be aware of the trailers dimensions, especially how much clearance you have in the rear
  • Parents using mounted infant/child seats:
  • Seats face forward, whether rear or front mounted
  • Be aware of the added shift in weight to the bike
  • Buy a seat that’s specific to your bike
  • Avoid recalled mounted seats

What is the statute of limitations for bike accidents in San Diego?

The statutory period for a person involved in a bicycle accident to file a claim is 2 years or 6 months if a governmental entity is involved. If the lawsuit to seek damages isn’t filed within that period, a judge may deny the claim. There are exemptions to the statutory period, for example, if a person suffered a concussion, and extensions can be granted if injuries from the accident weren’t discovered until later.

When a minor is involved in a bike accident, he/she may wait up until his/her 20th birthday to file a claim. This is because minors are permitted to file any time up until their 18th birthday, at which point the two-year statutory period begins.

If you have any questions about filing a claim, contacting a San Diego personal injury attorney can give you peace of mind and guide you through the next steps. Consulting with an expert as soon as possible will ensure that you file within the statutory period.

Who is at fault in a San Diego bicycle accident?

Bicyclists, especially when involved in an accident with a motorist, are extremely vulnerable to serious injuries such as: brain injury, head trauma, broken bones and fractures, lacerations and even spinal cord injury.

Although some states conclude that the driver is always at fault in a car vs. bike accident, California is a little different. In San Diego, the fault lands on the negligent party and that party is responsible for all of the damages. According to California law, “everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person�” Cal. Civ. Code § 1714(a)

When proving negligence, it has to be demonstrated that the motorist or bicyclist acted carelessly and that’s what caused the accident. Property damage and/or personal injury must exist as a result of the negligence.

What is the next step?

If you suffered serious injury as a result of a motorist’s carelessness, contact Mission Legal Center. We are San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys with a proven record of success in helping those who have been a victim of a bicycle accident, to receive the necessary medical attention, care and treatment you need, in addition to compensation for future care you may require. Call for a free consultation and case-specific guidance: 619-777-5555. You may also contact us or follow us on Facebook.

As a family owned and operated San Diego Personal Injury and Accident Law Firm, Mission Legal Center is conveniently located in Mission Valley – San Diego, California.

FAQ’s

Q: What is the statute of limitations for bike accidents in San Diego?

A: The statutory period for a person involved in a bicycle accident to file a claim is 2 years. If the lawsuit to seek damages isn’t filed within that period, a judge may deny the claim. There are exemptions to the statutory period, for example, if a person suffered a concussion, and extensions can be granted if injuries from the accident weren’t discovered until later. When a minor is involved in a bike accident, he/she may wait up until his/her 20th birthday to file a claim. This is because minors are permitted to file any time up until their 18th birthday, at which point the two-year statutory period begins.

Q: Who is at fault in a San Diego bicycle accident?

A: Although some states conclude that the driver is always at fault in a car vs. bike accident, California is a little different. In San Diego, the fault lands on the negligent party and that party is responsible for all of the damages. According to California law, “everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person…” Cal. Civ. Code § 1714(a) For more information about bicycle injuries suffered in San Diego, click here.

Q: What should I do if I’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in San Diego County?

A: If you suffered serious injury as a result of a motorist’s carelessness, contact Mission Legal Center. We are San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys with a proven record of success in helping those who have been a victim of a bicycle accident, to receive the necessary medical attention, care and treatment you need, in addition to compensation for future care you may require. For more information about bicycle injuries suffered in San Diego, click here.

If you have any questions about filing a claim regarding a bicycle injury suffered in San Diego County, contact a San Diego personal injury attorney today.