BICYCLE ACCIDENTS

The North Bay’s great weather year-round encourages bicycling

Summertime is prime time for enjoying the outdoors and bicycling. Sonoma County is very bicycle friendly with many special bike lanes throughout and more being added every year.

This results in more and more riders on the roads and the potential for more accidents involving bikes. Even with the bike lanes, paths, and trails, bicyclists are at risk of serious injuries caused by reckless or careless drivers.

Hazardous road conditions can play a significant role in accidents and injuries, from gravel and loose stones and other debris on the road, to construction areas and rough road conditions. Defective or poorly maintained bikes ridden by occasional bikers can also contribute to accident and injury.

Representing injured bicyclists

Our firm has represented clients in personal injury cases with over 40 years of combined legal experience. We have the resources and skill to help injured bicyclists recover damages for serious injuries or families recover damages in wrongful death claims.

We evaluate each case on a case by case basis to determine fault. Was the driver speeding? Did they run a stop sign or traffic light? Were they distracted or drunk? Were there road conditions that contributed to the injuries that should have been addressed? In those cases, we have sued responsible public entities.

There are new laws requiring motorists to maintain at least a three-foot buffer when passing a bicyclist. Motorists often are either ignorant of the law or fail to keep the requisite distance when passing. This leads to accidents and injuries for the riders.

Vehicle– bicycle collisions rarely work in favor of the bicyclist. Serious injuries to head or spine are common and can have long lasting and devastating effects on the rider with long recovery times and huge medical bills. Worse, death is not uncommon in a bicycle-vehicle collision.

Our firm will help you recover the monetary damages you are due, and which will help provide the financial support to help you recover.

Use a “Dutch Reach”

A “Dutch Reach” is becoming popular in some states, as state legislatures are passing laws requiring this move to be performed by drivers. A Dutch Reach, arising from practice in the Netherlands, is where a driver uses the arm farthest from the door to open a car door.

In the U.S., this means that a driver would use his right arm to open the driver’s side door. This maneuver causes the driver’s body to rotate and forces the driver to look out the left side of the car. This helps spot approaching bicyclists and prevents “dooring.”

Types of Accidents

There are many causes of bicycle accidents. These are some of the accidents where our firm has successfully obtained monetary damages for our injured clients:

  • Turning vehicles are one source of bicycle accidents since drivers rarely concentrate on the direction in which they are turning and do not see a bike on that side of the car;
  • “Dooring” is where a bicyclist hits an open door or where a door is opened suddenly into the rider’s path, too quickly to avoid collision;
  • Motorists’ failure to activate turn signals or motorists’ quick lane changes;
  • failure to proceed properly at intersections;
  • Distracted driving with texting or phone calls;
  • Drunk, drug or impaired driving;
  • Substandard or dangerous road conditions often lead to accidents, conditions like:
  • Gravel or lose stones from construction site or roadwork
  • Poor signage or temporary and or poorly constructed make-shift road work
  • Rough road resurfacing
  • Railroad tracks
  • Uneven sidewalks and or grooved pavement
  • Spills from third parties
  • Bike Helmet failure
  • Bicycle rims collapsing
  • Chains breakage and or catching onto an object

If any of these causes were a factor in your bicycle accident, then negligence is likely to have occurred and compensation should be paid. Your medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, future wage loss and pain and suffering all deserve an answer from a driver who failed to safely operate their motor vehicle.

Our bicyclist accident lawyers are not afraid to take on a large opponent or carrier including a large governmental entity like Caltrans.  Don’t despair if the police report puts you at 100% fault, because we have won many personal injury cases when that has been proven incorrect!  We hire the best and most respected accident reconstructionists for your case.

Bicycling is increasingly popular in the North Bay, and bicycle tourism is rapidly rising, with Sonoma and Marin counties as popular destinations for riders.

In the summer of 2019 at least three major bicycle sponsored races including the Ironman have taken place in the greater Marin and Sonoma County areas bringing thousands of cyclists touring around the beautiful northern California countryside.

The Rights and Responsibilities of Bike Riders

Bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. Bicyclists must obey all traffic signs, stop signs and signals and observe all the same traffic laws as cars. 

Bicyclists are required to display lights and reflectors while riding at night and must stay as close as possible to the right side of the road and drive in the same direction as vehicle traffic.  Riders must use bicycle lanes when they are available, and they must yield to pedestrians.

New strict laws prohibiting bicyclists from riding without helmets or with certain ear plugs or music devices covering both ears are being strictly enforced.

Unfortunately, if the bike accident rider was out of compliance with any of these rules it will make the bicyclist partially or contributorily at fault thus reducing his or her damages settlement or award. 

But our attorneys will perform a thorough and detailed case preparation and evaluation designed to minimize your fault to a claim’s adjuster or to a jury.

Experience Personal Injury Representation

At the Law Offices of Fiumara & Milligan, P.C., with over 40 years of combined legal experience, we deliver skilled, compassionate, and experienced personal injury representation to injured bicyclists that that produce the results that you deserve.

Our strengths as litigators and negotiators allows us to examine potential settlements and, if a workable settlement is not available, we are always ready to go to trial. We are dedicated to creating beneficial resolutions that enable our clients to focus on doing what they need to do for their recovery.

Contact the Santa Rosa Bicycle Accident Attorneys of The Law Offices of Fiumara & Milligan, P.C. “The Right Attorney Can Make all the Difference.”

Since 1992 our award winning and highly skilled personal injury attorneys have represented clients throughout the entire North Bay including, San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, and Alameda Counties.  Our bicyclist accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.  You don’t pay unless we win!  

In other words, we collect no fee unless we collect damages for your case.  The highly skilled and experienced attorneys of The Law Offices of Fiumara & Milligan can assist you to recover the full compensation that you need after being injured.  Se habla Español. We have a fully bilingual staff as well.

Please call our office at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation or contact us online.