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In California, cyclists must follow the same basic traffic regulations as motorists. Just like motorists, a person riding a bicycle must exercise care and responsibility in traffic. Unfortunately, many motorists do not know how to properly share the roads with cyclists and accidents result. As the number of people riding bikes has increased, so has the number of traffic accidents involving cars and cyclists. In 2012, according to the NHTSA, 49,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents in the United States and 796 were killed. A person on a bike is not protected by thousands of pounds of metal, if a collision does occur, the cyclist’s injuries can be severe.
The most common theory of liability in a bicycle accident case is Negligence. If it can be shown that the driver was at fault, damages may be recovered. Other theories of liability may also be pursued such as unsafe road conditions, and product manufacturing or design defects. The specific facts of each case must be analyzed by an experienced attorney in order to determine the cause of the accident, the liability of the parties, and the appropriate damages.
You may also be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairs or even replacement of your damaged bicycle. If your bike is totaled (it cannot be adequately and fully repaired) by the accident then you are entitled to be compensated for the replacement value of your bike. Do not let insurance adjusters trick you into accepting a depreciated value for your bike.
Bicycle accident claims are subject to various Statutes Of Limitations which limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. In order to protect your rights, you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney who has experience with bicycle accidents. If you were hit by a government vehicle such as a city bus, fire truck, police car, etc. you must immediately contact us as municipalities often have a shorter window in which to file a claim. It can be as short as 30-60 days.
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