Fontana Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle Accident Attorney Proudly Serving All of Orange County
Riding a bicycle is a wonderful way to relax and to exercise, but it is also a preferred method of transportation for eco-friendly people. When bicycles come up against cars and trucks on the road and an accident ensues, the bicyclist generally comes out on the losing end. Injuries resulting from an accident can, by the nature of less protection, carry dire consequences. If you or a member of your family are a victim, reach out to a skilled Fontana Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Banner Attorneys. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of your personal injury case.
Some Of The Statistics
Riding a bicycle poses unique risks. It is reported that nearly 1,000 people lose their lives in bicycle-related accidents each year. That is roughly 3 deaths for each day of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the majority of fatalities occurred in urban areas (over 70%) as opposed to rural areas (less than 30%), and that approximately 35% of them involved alcohol, either on the part of the cyclist or the motor vehicle driver connected to the incident. Bicycle fatalities represent less than two percent of all traffic fatalities, a seemingly small number. However, it is understood that in an auto v. bicycle accident, the effects are specifically tragic because if the cyclist does survive, their injuries are most likely catastrophic.
In an effort to reduce these heartbreaking stats, a recent Californa law was passed providing that drivers must give bicyclists at least three feet of buffering space as they pass them on the road. Here are a couple of conditions relating to how the “Three Feet Rule” works:
- The law applies to any place a vehicle passes a bicyclist, regardless of whether there’s a bike lane in the road.
- A law enforcement officer must witness a violation to issue a fine. Bystanders’ accounts or video recordings made by the bicyclist, on a GoPro, for example, are not admissible.
- Violators face at least a $35 fine, and a $220 fine if a collision occurs. Both can increase when court fees are added.
- There is one exception to the new law: If there’s not enough room for a driver to give three feet of space. In that case, they must first slow down before safely passing.
Despite the efforts of California lawmakers, few motorists seem to be aware of the law, and enforcement of it is spotty, at best. If a violation is indeed issued, the penalties themselves are hardly a deterrent. According to California AB-1371, violations of the rule are considered only an infraction and are punishable by a fine of a mere thirty-five dollars ($35). In the event a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle, and the driver of the motor vehicle is found to be in violation, a two-hundred-twenty-dollar ($220) fine shall be imposed on that driver. These mild punishments are not viewed by victims as a suitable consequence.
How Inland Empire Bicycle Accidents Happen
Fontana bicyclists have just as much right to the road as motor vehicles such as motorcycles, autos, and trucks. In California, bicyclists’ rules are categorized under the same obligations of the vehicle code that applies to other motorists. As such, they have to follow all the same traffic laws, just like any other vehicle. Despite being as careful as possible, accidents can and do happen. Some of the most common types of bicycle accidents are:
Dooring – More common in metropolitan areas, dooring is when you are cycling down the street where there may be cars parked. Motorists exit their vehicle without checking their surroundings and you collide with their vehicle door as it opens.
Sideswiping – As a good rule of thumb, drivers should leave at least three feet between themselves and bicyclists if they are passing a rider who is on the right side of the road. Blatant failure to observe this “unwritten” rule and inattentiveness is the main cause of sideswiping accidents.
Rear-Ending – This signifies any incident where vehicles and bicycles collide front end to back end and vice versa. This could occur if a motorist makes a sharp, unexpected stop causing you to hit the rear of their vehicle, or if a vehicle does not stop in time and impacts the back of your cycle.
Right Hook – This indicates an accident wherein a vehicle passes you on your left and then makes a quick “hooking” right turn, cutting you off and forcing you to hit them, or directly hitting you.
Right Cross – This is when a car pulls out, making a right turn from a driveway, side street, or parking lot directly into your path, or physically striking you.
Left Cross – Much like the above, this is when a vehicle which is traveling from the opposite direction, coming towards you and unexpectedly turns left in front of or into you.
Inadequate or Non-Existent Maintenance – The negligent maintenance of public roadways or private property can mean road hazards, debris in the road, or poor general road conditions. This can cause bicycle riders to slide, fall, crash or come into contact with other moving vehicles or stationary objects.
Product Defects – Some bicycle accidents arise from a manufacturer’s faulty design or defective production.
How We Can Help
Our compassionate team of Fontana Personal Injury Attorneys are experienced litigators. We know California law. We understand how the law applies to seeking justice against someone who wrongfully caused you injury and to obtaining compensation for your losses. Bicycle accidents can come with minor property damage, but MAJOR injuries. After an accident, you will most likely have a lot of questions. Fortunately, we have answers so do not delay in contacting our office. Medical bills pile up, wages are lost, and your quality of life is compromised. Don’t let an accident drain your family dry.
Call a Fontana Bicycle Accident Lawyer At Banner Attorneys for Exceptional Legal Representation
Bicycling is an important part of our lifestyle at Banner Attorneys. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident in the Inland Empire, please contact our office today at (909) 681-1622 to speak with a Fontana Bicycle Accident Lawyer. Let us fight for your rights to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. We can investigate your case in detail in order to assess the full extent of your injuries and to establish liability. We have almost two decades of experience and our attorneys have what it takes to handle your injury case. Call today for a free confidential consultation, or fill out our convenient online form.