Ventura Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Life on two wheels offers freedom, exercise, and fresh air. However, the road can also be a dangerous place for cyclists. Ventura has been recognized as a Bronze community by the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Communities program, but Bronze represents the lowest level of bicycle friendliness for cities. Ventura currently hosts 101 miles of bike lanes and two miles of protected bike lanes, as well as 36 miles of bike routes and 32 miles of bike paths. But we still have much more to do as a city, including adding bike facilities on high-speed roads, increasing the ratio of total bicycle network mileage to total road network mileage, upping bicycle education in schools, committing a higher share of the city’s transportation budget to bicycling, and reforming current laws and ordinances to be more bicycle-friendly.
While the city continues to implement its action plan with the goal of increasing the share of bike commuters while decreasing crashes, Zavala Law remains committed to helping injury victims hold negligent drivers accountable when their mistakes cause serious injury or worse to cyclists. Working side-by-side with injury victims, we help to obtain justice in each individual case while making the city safer for everyone. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bike crash in Ventura County, contact our experienced and dedicated Ventura bicycle accident lawyer today.
Leading Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Ventura
When a bicycle and a motor vehicle collide, the law often leans in favor of the cyclist. However, identifying the actual cause of the accident is crucial for a successful claim. Here are some common reasons bicycle accidents happen in Ventura:
- Driver Negligence: Drivers cause bicycle accidents in numerous ways, including failing to yield, distracted driving, speeding, running red lights and stop signs, and more.
- Poor Road Conditions: Cracked pavement, potholes, and lack of proper signage can make roads treacherous for cyclists. City and county road agencies are responsible for maintaining the roads in a safe condition, and cyclists are particularly vulnerable to road errors due to negligent design, construction, maintenance, or repair.
- Cyclist Errors: Sometimes, cyclists themselves may contribute to an accident by not obeying traffic rules. In California, cyclists must obey all the rules of the road that apply to other vehicles, except those that clearly only apply to motor vehicles. Cyclists have all the rights of a motorist, and all the responsibilities as well.
Types of Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
Bicycles don’t offer the protective frame that cars do, and cyclists don’t have any added protections like seat belts or airbags. As a result, cyclists are vulnerable to the most serious injuries in an accident. Typical injuries in a bike crash may include:
- Head Trauma: Helmets help, but they’re not foolproof. Helmets can reduce fatalities in some instances, but head injuries are still unfortunately common among cyclists.
- Fractures and Dislocations: Broken arms, legs, or collarbones are common.
- Lacerations and Abrasions: “Road rash” and deep cuts can lead to infections or permanent scarring and disfigurement.
- Spinal Injuries: Accidents can cause temporary or permanent spinal damage and paralysis.
Recoverable Damages After a Bicycle Accident
Navigating the aftermath of a bicycle accident is tough. You’re not just dealing with physical pain; you’re also likely facing medical bills and lost wages. California personal injury law recognizes both the “economic” and “noneconomic” damages an accident victim may be entitled to. In a bike crash, these can include the following:
- Medical Expenses: Current and future medical bills can be covered.
- Lost Wages: If you’re unable to work temporarily or permanently, you can claim lost income.
- Pain and Suffering: Emotional and physical trauma are quantifiable damages based on the severity of the injury, its permanence, and other factors.
- Property Damage: Repair or replacement of your bike and other damaged belongings.
California Bicycle Safety Laws
The Golden State has several laws aimed at ensuring the safety of cyclists, including the following:
- Helmet Laws: Anyone under 18 must wear a helmet.
- Right-of-Way: Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle operators. Cyclists must travel in the same direction as traffic, obey all traffic signals, etc. Traffic signals and other rules of the road determine whether the cyclist or the motorist has the right-of-way in any given situation.
- Bike Lanes: If a bike lane is available, cyclists must use it unless making a turn, avoiding an obstacle, or passing. If no bike lane is available, cyclists should ride as far to the right as practicable, except in the above situations when they can lawfully occupy the center of the travel lane. Cyclists who are moving as fast as the surrounding traffic can also take the lane if they choose.
Contact Zavala Law After a Ventura County Bicycle Accident
With Matt Zavala’s extensive background in insurance defense and his experience as an adept mediator and successful litigator, Zavala Law has the tools to see the big picture and craft a winning strategy for you in your particular circumstances. We are committed not only to your success but also to ensuring a high level of personal service and accessibility to your lawyer while you are a client of our firm. Call 805-429-4292 for a free consultation and immediate assistance from a skilled and knowledgeable Ventura bicycle accident lawyer.