Walnut Creek Bicycle Accident Lawyer
In the Bay Area, the weather is generally mild throughout the year. Plus, in many areas, the vehicle traffic is heavy, to say the least. So, many people opt for bicycle transportation. Bikes are not only a good way to get around. They’re also a great way to stay in shape and reduce one’s carbon footprint. Unfortunately, when a 2,000-plus pound motor vehicle hits a 20-plus pound bicycle, the results are usually tragic for the riders.
Local governments could all but eliminate these injuries by making some radical changes, like lowering speed limits and putting barrier-protected bicycle lanes everywhere. But for various reasons, decision makers often don’t make the right call. In contrast, the dedicated Walnut Creek bicycle accident lawyers at Venardi Zurada are firmly committed to victims. We do what it takes to obtain not only compensation, but also justice for these victims. These efforts are our way of making the Bay Area a better place to live.
Bicycle Wreck Injuries
Most serious or fatal injuries occur during left turn or right turn accidents. Bicycles are so small that many motorists who are turning left against traffic simply don’t see them. So, they turn directly into the oncoming rider’s path. Similar lack of visibility often causes right-turn wrecks. When motorists turn right, they usually look to the left. As a result, they might not see a bicycle in the bicycle lane next to them.
Lack of visibility never excuses negligence. If anything, lack of visibility should prompt motorists to use extra caution. But in most cases, that’s not what happens. Therefore, bicycle riders often suffer serious injuries in these collisions, such as:
- Head Injuries: Thin bicycle helmets offer excellent protection if the rider accidentally falls off the bike. But they are of very little use in a high-speed collision with an onrushing motor vehicle. Head injuries are permanent. Once brain cells die, they never regenerate. However, a combination of surgery and therapy eases the symptoms.
- Internal Injuries: When riders fall off their bikes and land hard, their internal organs mash against each other. Since these organs have no protective skin layer, a slight abrasion usually causes massive bleeding. In fact, many victims lose about a fifth of their blood before responders arrive at the scene.
- Broken Bones: These same forces often shatter bones, as opposed to merely breaking them. Therefore, doctors often use metal parts to surgically reconstruct these bones. As a result, these victims must go through extensive, and expensive, physical therapy.
The medical bills alone in incidents like this usually exceed $50,000. Most health insurance companies don’t pay injury-related costs, and most victims cannot possibly pay these expenses out of pocket.
Our Walnut Creek bicycle accident lawyers arrange for victims to receive top-notch medical treatment at no upfront cost in these situations. However, the bills come due eventually. So, our team works hard to obtain fair compensation.
Most successful bicycle accident claims involve the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se rule.
Ordinary negligence is usually a lack of care. The aforementioned right turn wrecks often involve the ordinary negligence doctrine. It’s a bit unclear who has the right-of-way in such situations. However, it is clear that drivers have a legal duty to look both ways before they turn. Left-turn wrecks could involve the negligence per se rule. Drivers who turn in front of bicyclists clearly violate the right-of-way rules. The negligence per se doctrine holds tortfeasors (negligent drivers) liable for damages as a matter of law if:
- They violate a safety law, and
- That violation substantially causes injury.
This doctrine only applies if emergency responders issue citations. That often does not happen in vehicle collisions. Many police officers see these incidents as civil disputes. So, they do not want to get involved in them.
Damages in a bicycle accident claim not only include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills. These victims are also entitled to compensation for their noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Count on a Hard-Working Alameda County Attorney
Injury victims are normally entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Walnut Creek, contact Venardi Zurada, LLP. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.