With their climate, roads, and scenery, Salinas and Monterey County are nearly perfect bicycling country, but even experienced bicyclists must be on the lookout for negligent drivers on the roads. The general rule pursuant to CVC 21200 is that bicycles are vehicles, and bicyclists have the same rights on the road as drivers of motor vehicles. Regardless of that fact, bicyclists continue to be injured in accidents that are caused by those drivers. If you were injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by a careless and negligent driver in or around Salinas, Maison Law can help you understand what you’re confronted with and how to approach it.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents in Salinas
By maintaining an awareness of the different types of bicycle accidents that can occur, bicyclists can ride with increased safety. Speeding, distracted driving, dooring accidents and driving under the influence can all fall under the heading of failing to yield the right-of-way. Here are some common examples of the types of bicycle accidents that can occur when drivers of motor vehicles fail to yield the right-of-way to bicyclists:
- Stop Sign Accidents: Most drivers fail to completely stop and look both ways before entering an intersection. Accidents at stop sign-controlled intersections often occur after a driver approaches an intersection and slows down but fails to stop.
- Accidents at Intersections Without Traffic Controls: If there aren’t any stop signs or traffic lights at an intersection, the person who enters the intersection first has the right-of-way. Bicyclists are highly vulnerable in an accident. If there’s any doubt on who has the right-of-way, bicyclists should yield for their own personal safety.
- Accidents at Intersections Having Traffic Lights: The law at these types of intersections is fundamental. If you have the green light, you have the right-of-way. Make sure that the intersection is clear though.
- Left Turns: Riders must be aware of the fact that a driver who appears to be intending to turn left might not see a rider traveling straight ahead. That driver might fail to yield the right-of-way and turn left directly in front of the bicyclist and cause a collision.
- Right Turns: Motorists will also fail to determine whether it’s safe to make a right turn. Then, they’ll turn into a bicyclist who is between their motor vehicle and the curb.
Common Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Other than maybe a helmet, bicyclists are unprotected and exposed to serious injuries. When an impact with a motor vehicle occurs, there’s at least one other impact with the road surface. Here are some common types of bicycle accident injuries that are suffered:
- Skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries.
- Vertebral fractures or displacement with displaced or herniated discs.
- Leg and hip fractures.
- Joint injuries to the ankles, knees, and shoulders.
- Facial and dental fractures.
- Road rash with a likelihood of infection.
Don’t Take Another Hit from the Insurance Company
When an insured driver causes serious injuries to a bicyclist, his or her insurer knows that it’s exposed to paying serious compensation for the bicyclist’s damages. It’s going to do whatever it can to try and attribute some or all of the fault for the accident to the bicyclist. Don’t give the opposing insurer an opportunity to try and do that. The best way to prevent that is to not give the opposing insurer any information at all about your accident or medical condition. It will only try to use information that it gets from you against you. California law doesn’t require you to cooperate with an opposing insurer in setting up its defense against you.
Contact a Salinas Bicycle Accident Lawyer
You can preserve and protect your right to pursue the maximum compensation that you deserve for your injuries and damages by contacting us at Maison Law to arrange for a free confidential case consultation and review. We’re going to listen to you closely and answer your questions truthfully. After that, we’ll tell you how your case should be approached. We might even be able to help you if the driver who hit you was uninsured. If we’re retained to represent you, our objective will be to obtain the maximum compensation that you deserve for your injuries and damages.