Letting your bicycle coast through a long, straight stretch of Bakersfield after a tiring day can be the perfect thing to clear your mind. Your ride may take you along all 21 miles of the Kern River Parkway or just a few blocks up the street and back to your driveway.
No matter how you use your wheels, you deserve a safe, hassle-free ride no matter what time of day it is or where you’re going. Bicyclists have just as much right to the road as any car or SUV, but careless drivers can ignore this fact and put a rider in a frightening situation.
Finding Support for Bakersfield Bicycle Accident Victims
California law protects bicyclists, but sadly, many motorists don’t know the rules or don’t really care as they drive recklessly around Bakersfield. Someone on a bike has a right to the lanes just like a vehicle, but those rights have to be protected, especially when a mistake by someone behind the wheel leaves a rider seriously injured.
The bicycle accident attorneys with Maison Law of Bakersfield want to shield victims from the financial hardships that can follow a bike crash caused by a reckless motorist. Sadly, bicyclists also need safeguarding from insurance agents who will work to hold back support for injured riders. They may even spend their time trying to blame an injured bicyclist for an accident.
Contact a Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyer for a free evaluation of your case that comes with no obligation to you. In fact, if you decide to hire us you won’t be charged unless we win your case.
Bicycle Collision Dangers in Bakersfield
Bicyclists enjoy the fresh air and unrestrained travel, but they must also ride largely unprotected alongside vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds more than they do. Without a lot of bike lanes to take advantage of locally, cyclists truly do risk their safety every time they climb on.
A collision with a vehicle rarely results in just a few scrapes and cuts. The consequences for a victim on a bike after hitting a vehicle and the ground can be severe.
These are just a few of the most common injuries suffered by bicycle victims:
- Road Rash – The damage caused to skin by sliding along a road or sidewalk surface. Severe damage can require skin grafts and powerful treatments to fight off infection.
- Head and Brain Injury – It’s why bicyclists wear helmets, to protect their skulls and brains. A skull fracture can lead to severe consequences. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can claim your memories, and leave you experiencing mood swings and nausea.
- Broken Bones – Fractures and dislocations are common in the chest, neck, shoulders, and up and down the arms. These injuries are often caused when victims throw their arms out in front of them to cushion their falls.
- Amputation – Limbs and digits can be crushed or be so severely broken that they could have to be surgically removed.
- Paralysis – Paraplegia is a loss of feeling and control in the lower half of the body and quadriplegia is a loss of function in both upper and lower regions.
What Do You After a Bicycle Accident in Bakersfield
After a frightening impact and fall from a bike, the last thing you may feel like doing is getting up. But if you are physically able there are a few actions you can take immediately to help prove you weren’t to blame for an accident:
- Call the Police and Paramedics. Let paramedics check out every pain that you have. Detail what happened with investigators. Their report will be strong evidence in your favor.
- Take photos. Document bike damage, the car that hit you, license plates, street signs, and lane markings. Get images of any visible injuries. Note the time of day and weather conditions.
- Check for security cameras. Nearby businesses or homes may have had cameras rolling. See if any witnesses had dash cams on.
- Talk to witnesses about what they saw. Find out how your lawyer can reach them when he or she begins to collect evidence and testimony.
- Make an appointment with your doctor. The adrenaline is often running high after an impact and can mask injuries on the day of. You may find that in the next few days new pain emerges. Get everything documented by your physician.
- Don’t offer too much information to the driver responsible. Exchange driver’s license and insurance information but don’t comment on who was at fault or how badly you are hurt. You could say you’re alright, but as we mentioned above, your pain may only be beginning and you could find other injuries later.
- Don’t throw out your bike or your clothing. Keep any damaged items that show the kind of impact you were put through. These items are evidence.
- Don’t delay talking to a personal injury lawyer. Insurance agents will hope you don’t consider speaking to an attorney. This mistake will leave you vulnerable to insurance agent tricks. These tactics can include delaying a response to your insurance claim as long as possible to get you desperate enough to accept any settlement offer they make. They would also like you to give them a recorded statement. Anything you say can be used to weaken your injury case later. Better to let an experienced attorney handle all communication for you.
Can I file a Bicycle Accident Claim if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
You don’t have to be wearing a helmet when you get hit to expect compensation from an at-fault driver. In California, if you’re 18 years old or older you don’t have to ride with a helmet.
A judge could decide that your injuries wouldn’t have been as severe if you had been wearing a helmet and you might have to accept some of the blame for your crash. This usually isn’t a substantial amount and you would still be eligible for a sizable settlement offer that would pay for many of the costs of recovery.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Serving Bakersfield
Bicyclists are often the most vulnerable people on the road, and yet they often seem like the least protected. Careless drivers and limited safe paths in Bakersfield can put someone on a bike at real risk of a devastating collision.
After an accident involving a serious bicycle injury, contact an experienced Bakersfield Personal Injury Attorney such as Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian works to protect bicyclists from careless drivers and the insurance companies that try to get their policyholders off the hook for their mistakes. Don’t trust your physical and financial recovery to a giant, faceless insurance provider.
Talk to a local attorney ready to defend your rights as a victim and earn you the support you need to get back on your bike again.