Santa Ana Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Riding a bike along the Santa Ana River Trail or Orange County’s beaches, or during any one of our county’s bike races, is fun and exciting, but it can also be dangerous. Drivers around Santa Ana are often dismissive of local cyclists, either ignoring their right-of-way, taking up bike lanes, or just plain driving recklessly. Careless drivers injure, disable, and kill cyclists throughout our neighborhoods every year. When these tragic accidents occur, riders and their families should be aware of their right to compensation.
If you or someone you love was injured in a bike accident that wasn’t your fault, reach out to the team at HN Injury Lawyers. Our skilled Santa Ana bike accident attorneys can sit down with you and your family to explain how you can receive full compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and trauma. We have more than 50 years of combined experience under our belts and are not afraid to go head-to-head against large insurance companies. Let us fight for your right to compensation. Call HN Injury Lawyers today at (657) 333-5726 to schedule a free case evaluation.
There is no doubt that bike accidents are dangerous. In just Orange County, more than 3,700 bicyclists were admitted to the emergency room and hospitalized in accidents, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and that doesn’t include the number of riders killed in motor vehicle accidents. Worse, these accidents are rarely the fault of the bicyclist.
Anyone who has ridden around Santa Ana knows that drivers often ignore the right-of-way of cyclists. They may drift into bike lanes, pushing riders against the curb, or ignore riders when they are in crosswalks. There is no excuse for these behaviors, and riders who are injured by negligent drivers may be eligible to pursue compensation after a crash.
Negligent driver actions that often lead to bike accidents in Santa Ana include:
- Driving while distracted
- Making dangerous turns
- Failing to check blind spots
- Blocking bike lanes
- Drunk driving
- Running red lights or ignoring stop signs
Bicycles are regulated in Santa Ana and California as a whole that cyclists should be aware of. These laws are designed to protect riders and prevent serious injuries during an accident. To keep yourself and others safe, it is important to review Santa Ana’s bike laws and be aware of these key rules:
- Helmet Laws: California CVC §21212 states that all underage bike riders have to wear a helmet at all times and adults are encouraged to wear helmets to prevent serious trauma, including brain damage. This law also applies to anyone riding a skateboard, using roller skates, or operating a scooter. New laws now require motor scooter riders to wear helmets if they are under 18.
- Sidewalk Use: Bike riders are not allowed to ride their bikes on the sidewalks in Orange County, according to the Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA). Riders are allowed to ride on the streets and in bike lanes so long as they obey the flow of traffic.
- Bike Lights: Bike lights and reflective equipment are required by law in California when riding at night, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). All bike lights should shine a white light in front of the bike for up to 300 feet. Bikes should also have white, yellow, and red reflectors on the wheels and the back of the bike’s seat to make them more visible in car headlights.
- Hand Signals: Given that bikes do not have blinkers, riders should learn hand signals to help them warn other people on the road when they are turning or stopping. Riders should use hand signals whenever they are changing lanes and turning in an intersection.
- Traffic Laws: Bicyclists are expected to obey the same laws as drivers, including following all traffic signals, lights, and signs.
While bicyclists are not required to take safety courses, they are advised to learn the best riding practices to keep themselves safe, which include:
- Bike Maintenance: If you are riding an older or used bike, you should have it inspected by a local bike shop that can repair the brakes, chains, or tires.
- Keep Visible: Bikes can be hard to spot, especially at night, and riders can protect themselves by wearing bright, reflective clothing.
- Remember Your Rights: Just as bike riders are required to follow the same laws as car drivers, riders are protected by those laws. If a negligent driver sideswipes or rear-ends you, you can pursue full compensation for your injuries from that driver’s insurance company.
After a bike accident, it is important for the cyclist to get checked out by a doctor. While there are many affordable urgent cares around Santa Ana, such as OC Urgent Care, these facilities are not always equipped to help accident victims. Getting a check-up from a full-service medical center, like St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group, may help you identify serious injuries and get proper treatment for them.
Riders should pay attention to their pain and flexibility after a bike accident, as it may indicate that they are suffering from:
- Brain damage, which can present itself as confusion, mood swings, slurred speech, or drowsiness
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage and paralysis
- Neck pain, shoulder issues, and back problems
- Fractured bones, especially in the wrists or ankles
- Fractured hips
- Serious cuts and lacerations
- Soft-tissue injuries, such as biker’s arm and joint pain
- Road rash
You should also continue receiving treatment, including physical therapy, until you are fully healed. Stopping early can lead to mobility issues down the line that could affect your ability to ride, work, or even sleep comfortably. We understand that you are worried about medical bills, but you may be able to recover all of these costs in an accident claim.
After being hit by a negligent driver, bicyclists are allowed to seek compensation for their injuries from the driver’s insurance company. This can include everything from your medical bills to the paychecks you missed because you were in the hospital to the physical and emotional pain you have gone through due to the accident. However, your best option is to first contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Insurance companies are rarely charitable, especially after bike accidents. They like to devalue or dismiss bicyclists’ injuries by stating that they were caused by overuse or poor bike-riding habits. Without an attorney, you may find yourself being offered a tiny settlement that hardly covers your emergency room bill.
When you contact a Santa Ana car accident lawyer at our firm, you can learn the true value of your claim. Bike riders are not only allowed to seek emergency room bills after an accident, but can also recover:
- Past and future medical bills, including future surgeries, medication, and physical therapy
- Lost wages from time off work
- Lost earning capacity if you had to reduce your work hours
- Property damage to your bike or other equipment
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
To recover the full value of your accident, our attorneys will review all available insurance policies that may apply in your case. Typically, accident victims will have to file claims against the other driver’s insurance policy, but if you have a personal car insurance policy that includes medical payment reimbursement (MedPay) and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), then you may have additional coverage.
If you have it, MedPay is available any time you are involved in a car accident, even if you were riding a bike, and it can provide immediate payments for your medical bills. If the other driver does not have insurance but you have UM/UIM, you can file a UM claim with your own insurance company. If they have a small policy that doesn’t fully cover your injuries, you can file a UIM claim to make up the difference.
To ensure that you receive proper compensation after a bike accident, you should reach out to the attorneys at HN Injury Lawyers to discuss all of your options.
Bike accidents are rarely ever minor, especially on the busy streets of Santa Ana. If you have been injured by a negligent driver, you probably need extensive medical treatment to fully recover. This can make it difficult for you to go to work and put food on the table for your family. You may be tempted to accept a quick settlement offer from the driver’s insurance company, but we are here to tell you that is a mistake.
Our Santa Ana personal injury attorneys at HN Injury Lawyers have worked with numerous clients throughout Orange County, to get them the compensation they needed to move on after a serious bike accident. We have more than 50 years of combined experience and are dedicated to fighting for our clients’ best interests.
Do not worry about paying us. Our legal team works on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay us a dime unless we win your case. We also offer free case evaluations, so call (657) 333-5726 to sit down with us and talk about your case.