Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you want to get around in a cheap and eco-friendly way, riding a bicycle is the best option. Not only that it won’t hurt your pockets, but it is also a great way to stay fit and healthy. Bicycles are also easy to operate, and it costs less to maintain than an automobile. Accordingly, some people ride bikes as a hobby while others use them for transportation.

However, the positive traits of a bicycle can also become negative ones. Bicycles are vulnerable compared to other kinds of vehicles. Thus, bicyclists need to be mindful of the basic elements of bicycle accidents, common bicycle accidents, the rights and duties of a bicyclist, and the effects of violating these duties.

Personal injury attorney Jin Kim represents bicyclists injured by motor vehicles. To learn more about your rights and chances of recovery, call Sacramento accident attorney Jin Kim at (916) 270-6880 for a free consultation.

Bicycle Accidents

How I Can Help You

I help clients secure financial compensation for their injuries. Specifically, I help injured clients recover compensation from insurance companies, negligent drivers, and other liable parties.

The first step to financial recovery is a free consultation. Call my office at (916) 270-6880 Monday – Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM to learn more about your personal injury rights and damages.

What are the most common bicycle accidents?

The bicycle’s small and compact size means they’re harder to spot in traffic. Furthermore, a bicycle doesn’t offer much protection, save for a helmet. Some motorists may also view bicyclists as a nuisance to traffic.  These, and other factors, make it unavoidable for bicycles to get into accidents such as:

  • Getting “doored” – This is the term used for a scenario where a motorist parks a car (either legally or illegally), opens the car door, and then a bicyclist slams into the open car door. Depending on the speed of the bicyclist, the injuries may range from mild to severe. The question of liability, in this case, is often judged based on the circumstances. There is no cut-and-dry bright-line rule for liability.
  • Overtaking vehicle –This scenario contemplates a car that overtakes another car and then hits the bicyclist in front. This may be because the bicyclist is not easily seen from the point of view of the overtaking vehicle.
  • Riding the wrong way – Another common cause of bicycle accidents is when bicyclists ride against the traffic flow. This may stem from a misconception that the rules of the road don’t apply to a bicyclist.

What falls under the definition of ‘bicycle’?

For purposes of bicycle accident law, the term ‘bicycle’ is broader than the layman’s idea. It includes the type of bicycle we’re all familiar with – the pedal-powered bike, which may have one or more wheels. But the law also includes ‘motorized bicycles’ under this term, as well as pedicabs. 

Motorized bicycles have a motor that assists the rider in powering the vehicle. Electric bicycles also fall under this definition. In some instances, motorized bicycles are also known as mopeds.

Pedicabs are bicycles that have seats attached so a passenger can ride beside them.

How is a bicyclist treated under the law?

Anyone who rides a bike on a street or highway has the same rights and duties as a person driving a motor vehicle (VC 21200). The law treats bicyclists the same as any other motorist, imposing the same basic rights and duties. Hence, a bicyclist must also exercise due care and caution in driving their bike. The exercise of due care and caution includes observing the rules of the road, giving a signal when turning, properly maintaining the bike equipment, and attaching lights and reflectors to a bike when used at night.

A bicyclist has the right to use the road the same as any other motorist, so long as the bike’s speed does not impede the normal flow of traffic.

When should a bicycle lane be used?

Local authorities often provide bicycle lanes. A bicyclist is required to use a bicycle lane when they’re unable to keep up with the traffic speed, and riding in the street would impede the normal traffic flow. 

Under California law (VC 21208), anyone who travels slower than the speed of regular traffic must use a bicycle lane if one exists, except if the following apply:

  1. A bicyclist intends to prepare to make a left turn at an intersection or into a driveway.
  2. A bicyclist wants to move past another bicycle or pedestrian who is also within the bike lane.
  3. To avert road debris or another hazardous condition in the bike lane.

A bicyclist may go outside the bicycle lane, like when preparing for a left or right turn. However, he must wait until it is safe and give an appropriate hand signal to warn vehicles of deviation from the lane.

What happens if a bicyclist is negligent in their driving?

It depends on the accident. If the bicyclist is the defendant, he is treated the same as any other motorist. For example, an intoxicated bicyclist who hits a pedestrian may be criminally charged for reckless driving. Contrarily, if the bicyclist is the victim, he may be liable for contributory negligence. In which case, the damages awarded will be reduced.

Free Consultation

Call us for a free consultation or send an email and we’ll get back to you within 1 business day.

Call : (916) 270-6880

Mon – Fri 8:00-6:00

View on Google Map

Call Now Button