Bicyclist Injury Occurs in Traffic Accident in Fair Oaks

Bicyclist Injury Occurs in Traffic Accident in Fair Oaks

A bicyclist was injured in an October 8 accident in Fair Oaks along southbound Fair Oaks Boulevard when a motor vehicle crashed into a number of bicycles. It was reported by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that the accident happened just south of Sunrise East Way just before 1:00 in the afternoon. Emergency medical personnel were summoned to the site for reported injuries. One rider was said to be prone in the roadway. The bicyclist injury accident is being investigated by the CHP to determine the cause and assign fault.

Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclist injuries and fatalities occur in both rural and urban locations. In cities where 75 percent of accidents happen, more people are using bicycles to get to work or for personal enjoyment, increasing the accident rate. This correlates with more motorists. In 2017, 783 cyclists were killed. Most bicycle accidents happen after dusk and are at their highest number between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. That is because of the bicycle’s lower conspicuity on the road. Bicyclists can help avoid this by using lights and reflectors.

Liability in a Bicycle Accident

Motorists do not understand that cyclists have the same rights as they have on the road. When a cyclist is injured in an accident, they have the right to receive compensation for their injuries. If a motorist caused the accident due to negligence on their part, they have the responsibility of paying for the damages. 

How to Prove Fault in a Bicycle Accident

The majority of bicycle accidents are caused by motorist error. That said, the responsibility of proving that the motorist was negligent falls on the cyclist in a personal injury case. Some common accidents are:

  • A motorist parks his vehicle by the side of the road and opens his or her car door without looking to see if a bicyclist is approaching. The cyclist would have no way of knowing that the car door is about to fling open and often hits it. A driver is required to check before exiting their vehicle since cyclists are urged to ride as close to parked cars as possible for safety reasons. Ninety percent of the time, this sort of accident is the fault of the motorist.
  • Drivers must stay a specific distance when passing a bicycle, according to California Vehicle Code AB 1371. This distance is three feet between the vehicle and the bicycle. If the motorist decides that they are not willing to obey the law and pass too close, causing a bicycle accident, they are liable for any damages the cyclist suffered. 
  • Motorists making a right turn into the path of the cyclist is another example of a common bicycle accident. The bicyclist may be in the right-hand lane or traveling in a bike lane. Such accidents often happen when the motorist has passed a bicyclist and cuts off a cyclist by turning right. Unfortunately, the bicyclist is unable to get out of the way and a collision occurs. 

Ways an Attorney Can Help

It is essential to prove negligence. At our firm, we send investigators to the accident scene to do just that. We gather evidence from the scene as soon after the accident as possible. Since many drivers fail to stay a proper distance away from the cyclist, we put special emphasis on this. Video footage from traffic lights and stores in the area can help. The driver may also claim that the road was too narrow for their wide vehicle, making it impossible to stay three feet from the bicycle. By measuring the lane, we obtain proof this argument is invalid. In other cases, the driver may say that the bicyclist could conceivably have seen their car door open and move over in time. Using video footage, it is easy to see if the traffic would permit this. Once all evidence is garnered, we turn the data over to our legal department, who use it to structure a strong case for our client. 

Fair Oaks Bicycle Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fair Oaks bicycle accident lawyer. Bicycle riders are vulnerable to serious injuries when involved in a motor vehicle collision. When a negligent motorist caused your injuries, call me for my free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400. You can also reach me at (800) 404-5400 or by contacting me through our online form. 

I’ve helped Fair Oaks residents since 1982 obtain fair compensation for their injuries caused by negligence. Areas of my practice include all types of traffic collisions, cases involving wrongful death and traumas such as brain injuries.

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