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Home » Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicycle Accident Attorney

California Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Our California weather permits bicyclists to literally travel at all times of the day and night, but it’s obvious that a bicycle is no match for a car or truck. Motor vehicles often strike bicyclists without even realizing it. Even a helmet-wearing bike rider is at best marginally protected. Injuries and fatalities are common. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, or if a family member lost their life, compensation may be available in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The bicycle accident lawyers at Johnson Attorneys Group will aggressively protect your legal rights.

Bicycle Accidents and Deaths Result From Negligent Motorists

In California, bicycle accident data from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal the following:

  • In 2010, there were 2,715 total traffic fatalities in the state
  • Of those fatalities, 99 were riding a bicycle
  • There were more bicycle fatalities in California than in any other state
  • California was second of all 50 states in all traffic fatalities

Bicyclists are at a great risk, especially in California, as the statistics show. If you were involved in a bicycle accident, it is your right to seek the compensation that may be available to you in a personal injury lawsuit. Skilled, qualified and experienced legal counsel is available at The Johnson Attorneys Group.

Motor Vehicle Conduct Resulting in Bicycle

Motorists are required by law to pay attention to their driving. When a driver is not focused on driving, they may be liable for damages if their conduct causes or contributes to a bicycle accident. This includes:

  • Speeding
  • Texting
  • Cellphone use
  • Eating or drinking
  • Drunken or drugged driving
  • Reaching for something in the car
  • Talking to passengers
  • Lighting cigarettes
  • Not obeying rules of the road

Negligent motor vehicle driver conduct often results in bicycle injuries and fatalities. Injured bicyclists may seek compensation for their injuries. Compensation often includes medical and hospital expenses, rehabilitative care, lost earnings, pain and suffering, property damage and much more.

Reasons To Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer

When motorists hit bicycles with their cars, they often don’t realize it and they are seldom willing to pay for the serious injuries they cause. There are several reasons to consider hiring a bicycle accident lawyer if you have injuries or have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident.

Medical Bills Can be Expensive

An average car weighs about 3,000 pounds and even the smallest models are well over 1,000. When a vehicle strikes a relatively unprotected bicyclist, serious injuries and deaths occur:

The cost of medical bills can be tens of thousands of dollars. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you can afford to pay for the medical care you need.

Insurance Companies Have Experience on Their Side

Insurance companies handle thousands of accident claims every year and they have a team of lawyers working to keep their costs down. Unless you are very unlucky, this is probably the first serious bicycle accident you have had.

The insurance company knows that you probably know less about the relevant laws and the value of your claim than they do and they may take advantage of this to try to get you to settle for less than your claim is worth. A bicycle accident lawyer can explain to you what your claim is worth and help ensure that you don’t get taken advantage of by insurance companies.

You May Need To Go To Court

If the insurance company thinks it has a strong case, it may refuse to settle your claim for its full value or deny your claim altogether. If this happens, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover what the responsible party owes you.

A bicycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the court system and gather the evidence you need to prove your case. Your lawyer can also make sure you don’t miss any deadlines that could impact your ability to recover compensation.

You May Have Questions About Your Case

You may not be sure who is at fault for the accident, which damages the other party is responsible for or what your next steps should be. A bicycle accident lawyer can answer the questions you have about your case.

You May Say Something You Shouldn’t

The other party’s insurance company will probably call you to ask questions about the accident. You may unintentionally say something that could damage your case. A bicycle accident attorney can give you advice about what you should and should not say to the other party’s insurance or attorney.

Fault Can Be Difficult To Prove

The people involved in bicycle accidents often disagree about who caused the accident. If you can’t prove your case, the other party’s insurance company may deny your claim.

To recover compensation for your injuries, property damage and other expenses, you must first prove that someone else’s negligence caused your damages. The law in California says that you can recover compensation from a negligent party, up to the percentage of your damages caused by that party’s negligence.

For example, if the driver of the car that hit you was talking on the phone and didn’t see you because of that distraction, but you also didn’t see the car because you were looking at a text message, the court might determine that the driver is 60% at fault and you are 40% at fault. You would be able to recover 60% of your damages from the driver, while the driver would be able to recover 40% of the driver’s damages from you.

What Is Negligence?

When people or entities owe a duty to someone else and they breach their duty either through their actions or their failure to act, that is negligence. For example, a person driving a car owes everyone else on the roadway a duty to drive safely and obey the rules of the road. When drivers engage in unsafe driving practices, they may be acting negligently.

How To Choose a Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Because of the serious nature of bicycle accidents, it is critical to choose a lawyer who is familiar with bicycle accidents to help you with your case. There are several factors to consider when choosing a bicycle accident lawyer.

Recommendations and Referrals

If you have worked with attorneys who did quality work for you in the past, ask them if they can recommend a reputable bicycle accident attorney in your area. Your local bar association may have a referral service. Check the website of the bar association for the names of the past and present chairs of the automobile accident or personal injury committee. These attorneys are usually highly respected in their field.

Ask About Experience and Results

Everyone has to start somewhere, but you probably don’t want to be someone’s first bicycle accident case. Ask the attorneys you are considering how many bicycle accidents they have handled and what kind of results they got for their clients.

Consider the Cost

Many reputable accident attorneys will accept your case on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Instead, if your attorney wins your case, you will pay a percentage of the settlement to cover the cost of your attorney’s services.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Proving that someone else is at fault for your injuries involves demonstrating that the other party did something wrong. It is helpful to understand the common causes of bicycle accidents.


Whether you are dealing with a collision with another bike, a person, a vehicle or an object, the faster the bike rider or vehicle driver is traveling, the harder it is to slow down in time to avoid an accident. Additionally, higher rates of speed can result in more serious injuries because the force of the collision is greater.

Not Leaving Enough Space

Bicyclists or vehicle drivers who follow too closely do not give themselves enough time to react if the cyclist in front of them suddenly stops. This can result in a rear end collision. Additionally, some cyclists may weave in an out of traffic and some vehicle drivers may try to squeeze by a bicyclist instead of changing lanes.

Improper Lane Changes

Drivers may fail to check that the lane is clear before moving into the lane a biker is traveling in. This can result in a collision.

Not Following Traffic Signals

Drivers or riders who do not stop at red lights and stop signs can cause accidents at intersections. Accidents may also happen when drivers and bikers do not yield to oncoming traffic at yield signs.


A dooring accident happens when a vehicle driver opens their door into the road without looking. Bicyclists traveling in the road may not have enough time to avoid the door, causing a collision.

Aggressive Driving

Some vehicle drivers become irritated by having to slow down because of bicyclists in the road. These drivers may make aggressive maneuvers that result in accidents.

Not Checking Blind Spots

Bicycles can be easy to miss when drivers do not check their blind spots before changing lanes or turning. This may result in a sideswipe accident.

Distracted Driving

Drivers who are not paying attention because they are talking or texting on their phones, eating, talking to passengers or otherwise distracted frequently cause accidents. If you notice the other party doing any of these things, it is important to mention that to the police when they complete their report.

Driving Under the Influence

Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause accidents because intoxication impairs judgment, reduces reaction time and causes problems with vision and coordination. A blood alcohol concentration over 0.08% is legally too intoxicated to operate a vehicle in California if you are 21 or over.

A BAC of 0.01% is the limit for people under the age of 21 and the limit is 0.04% for drivers of commercial vehicles requiring a CDL license and drivers of taxis and rideshare vehicles when there is a passenger for hire in the vehicle. It is also illegal for bicyclists to ride while under the influence.

Driver Fatigue

The dangers of driving while fatigued are similar to driving while intoxicated. Fatigue impairs judgment and slows reaction time. Additionally, drivers who doze off at that wheel may lose control of their vehicles or drift into adjacent lanes.

Dangerous Road Conditions

Sometimes, dangerous road conditions, such as poor visibility, potholes or malfunctioning traffic control devices, cause accidents. When this happens, the government agency responsible for maintaining the roads could be liable for your damages.

Product Defects

If a flaw in the design or manufacture of your bicycle caused your injuries or made your injuries worse, the manufacturer or designer of the bike could be liable. For example, if you were unable to stop at an intersection because your brakes malfunctioned due to a design flaw, the designer of the brakes could be liable for injuries you suffered because you got hit by a car in the intersection.

What To Do After a Bicycle Accident

The steps you take after a bicycle accident can impact your recovery and your ability to collect damages.

Assess Your Injuries

Some injuries may be immediately apparent, while others can take some time to appear. If you have minor injuries, such as cuts and bruises, you may be able to treat your injuries with first aid. However, if you have road rash, a head injury, a potential or obvious fracture or another serious injury, call 911.

Get the Other Party’s Information

If you do not require immediate emergency medical attention and there is another cyclist, vehicle driver or pedestrian involved, get their name, contact information and insurance information. Write down the make, model, color and license plate number of any vehicles involved. Take photos of the accident scene, damage to your bike and any vehicles and your injuries. If there are any witnesses, get their names and contact information.

Call the Police

If you called 911 to report your injuries, they would probably send the police out. If you do not have serious injuries, call the police department’s non-emergency or traffic accident number to report the accident. If the police do not come to the scene, call or go to the police department to file a report.

Get Medical Treatment

You do not have to go to the hospital in an ambulance to recover damages for your injuries. However, it is important to have medical records to back up your claims. If your injuries do not require emergency treatment, you can make an appointment with your regular doctor or go to a walk-in clinic.

Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you have applicable insurance, you may need to report the accident to your insurance company to ensure you have coverage. However, you may want to talk to a bicycle accident lawyer first.

File an Insurance Claim or Lawsuit

If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries and property damage, you may be able to recover compensation. The at-fault party may owe the cost of your medical bills, the cost to repair or replace damaged property, lost wages, lost future income, loss of use and other expenses. Additionally, you may receive compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.


The Johnson Attorneys Group has recovered more than $98.4 million for their injured clients and for the family members of deceased accident victims. Drivers who engage in negligent conduct resulting in injury or death to bicyclists should be held accountable for their actions. There are no up-front legal fees and no fees at all unless we win your case. To schedule your appointment at one of our many offices or meeting locations, call the bicycle accident attorneys of The Johnson Attorneys Group at 1-800-208-3538.

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