In Orange County as a whole, 13 people died and 1,441 were injured due to bicycle accidents in 2012. Surprisingly, there are no laws in California requiring bicyclists to wear helmets. As a result, bicyclists are vulnerable to severe injuries. Bicycle accidents are typically caused by the following circumstances:
Driver wasn’t looking for pedestrians while turning
Driver was distracted prior to the collision
Driver failed to yield right of way
Visibility was blocked or reduced by surrounding environment
Driver opened the door of a parked car without looking
Even if the bicyclist is partially responsible for the accident, he may still recover damages under the doctrine of comparative negligence. This doctrine allows an insurance company to pay out compensation to both the driver and the pedestrian based on their level of fault in the bicycle. The more at-fault a person is in the accident, the more they will likely have to pay out in damages.
In fatal cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral costs, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. Regardless of whether the driver is charged or cited by law enforcement, if he is determined to have been negligent, both he and his employer (if driving a company vehicle or driving on company business) can be held financially responsible for injuries caused by the accident.
To learn more about personal injury claims after a bicycle accident, contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys at Ford & Diulio LLP, 949-555-5525.