Oxnard Bicycle Accident Lawyer

One of the nice things about living in Oxnard is that year-round, biking is possible–there’s never the worry of snow or icy roads. In fact, biking isn’t only possible, but also very pleasant thanks to Oxnard’s location on California’s coast. 

Biking is often a quick way to get to-and-fro, as well as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally sound option. But while biking may be positive for numerous reasons, it’s also risky, especially in Ventura County, where levels of motor vehicle traffic can be high. If you or a loved one has been involved in an Oxnard bicycle accident, our experienced Oxnard bicycle accident lawyers at the office of Fisher & Talwar can help. We are experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable. Call us today for your free consultation. 

Injuries From A Bicycle Accident

Bicycle accidents are devastating, in large part because a cyclist may have no protections to prevent injuries when struck by a motor vehicle. In the most severe and tragic cases, a motor vehicle may even run over a bicyclist, resulting in (sometimes fatal) crush injuries. As such, there is no limit to the type or severity of bicyclists’ injuries when a crash happens. Common injuries include:

  • Head, face, and brain injuries. Especially when a cyclist is not wearing a helmet, the area of the body that may suffer the most damage is the head, face, and brain. External head, face, and scalp injuries are common, as are traumatic brain injuries. Both can result in permanent harm, disability, and scarring. 
  • Back, neck, and spine injuries. Another part of the body that is at high risk of injury in a cycling crash is the back and neck, including the spine. Bone fractures, back sprains and strains, and, most seriously, spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent paralysis or partial paralysis.
  • Injuries to extremities. A cyclist’s arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes are at a high risk of injury in a crash. Common injuries to extremities are soft tissue injuries, bone fracture injuries, lacerations, bruises, crush injuries, and, in some cases, amputation injuries.
  • Internal injuries. If a cyclist is hit with enough force or if they are actually run over with a car, they will likely suffer internal injuries, including internal bleeding, punctured organs, and other damage. These injuries can be fatal. 

In addition to the above, a cyclist who is hit by a car will likely suffer psychological injuries. These can be just as disabling as physical  injuries in many cases. 

Steps To Take After An Oxnard Bike Crash

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle crash in Oxnard, it’s important that you take steps immediately to protect your right to damages. We recommend:

  1. Reporting the accident to the police immediately. Request a copy of the accident report.
  2. Gather as much evidence at the scene of the accident as possible, including photos and the driver’s name and information.
  3. Seek medical care. Be sure to seek medical care immediately after the crash. Follow your doctor’s orders. 
  4. File an insurance claim. Even though you were hit while riding a bike, you should call your car insurance company–you may be covered under a part of your policy, or your insurance company may be able to represent you in bringing forth an action against the responsible driver. 
  5. Call a lawyer as soon as you can. While it may seem like overkill, having an attorney on your side is very important, especially if your injuries are serious. 

Examples: 18-Year-Old Cyclist Injured

An 18-year-old female was injured after a car collided with her bicycle on the evening of March 24th, 2013.  According to reports, the 53-year-old driver of a 1998 Jaguar struck the woman on her bicycle from behind as she rode in the northbound lane, near the shoulder, of a rural county road. On impact, the rider was thrust backward, onto the Jaguar’s hood and windshield, with enough force to break the windshield and cover the driver with glass. She then rolled off the hood of the car and landed at the intersection of another county road.

According to reports, the woman operated her bicycle without any lights, at night, while wearing dark clothing. Reports also indicate that the driver of the vehicle that struck here neither slowed down nor swerved to avoid the bicyclist, likely because he could not see her. She also was not wearing a helmet — her condition remains unknown. The crash happened just outside Woodland, CA.

Bike Safety Gear Saves Lives

Safety equipment like reflective gear, bicycle lights, helmets, etc. do more than just make a person more visible on the road, they also make it easier for victims of bicycle riding-related accidents to show that it was not their own negligence that caused the injury. In the case above, it is very likely that the driver could not see the rider because of the lack of lighting/reflective gear. Had the woman been wearing safety gear, not only would she have been less likely to be hit, it would have been easier for her to argue after being hit that she did nothing wrong and that full fault for her injuries lies with the driver of the Jaguar.

In many jurisdictions, when a person is partly responsible for his or her own injuries, the amount of monetary compensation that he or she will be able to recover from other involved parties is reduced by an amount to reflect the victim’s part in the injury. For example, victims found to be 25% at fault for causing their own injuries, in many jurisdictions, would be limited to collecting up to 75% of a judgment.

Each case is different, so bicycle injury victims are encouraged to speak with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer to determine what compensation they may be entitled to.

Collecting Damages

When a person is awarded cash from a civil judgment, it is said that the person has collected “damages”. The word “damages” is another way of saying monetary compensation for the injuries and/or losses sustained. In personal injury cases, damages may include medical expenses, the cost of physical therapy, and, if the victim is unable to work as a direct result of his or her injuries, lost future earnings.

The types of damages that a person will be able to collect will also depend heavily on the specific facts of a case and is something else that an attorney can provide custom-tailored advice and guidance on.


How Our Law Firm Can Support You

Our law firm wants you to know that we are here to work for you. We know how devastating bicycle accidents are, and we will provide support, guidance, and advocacy throughout every step of the process. Our process involves reviewing your case (free of charge), opening an investigation into your accident and damages, identifying the liable party, sending a demand letter for damages, negotiating your settlement, and bringing forth a lawsuit if necessary. We will remain available throughout the entire process, and will always put your best interests first.

Call Our Oxnard Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today

If you have been in a bicycle accident–or have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident–our Oxnard bicycle accident lawyers at the office of Fisher & Talwar are here to lend our support and advocate for you. We have a track record of success and know-how to get results. To schedule your free consultation, please call our law firm directly or use the intake form on our contact page to send us a message telling us more about your accident and injuries.

Hit By Car on Bike in Los Angeles

The freedom of riding a bike is pretty incredible. Sure, you sometimes have to deal with bad weather, but the majority of the time in Los Angeles, you get to benefit from sunshine, the wind in your hair, and the luxury of being able to avoid parking, and in many cases, traffic as well. What’s more, if you bike as your primary mode of transportation, you never have to worry about things like car insurance, registration, or the cost of gas. Further, your commute gets to double as a workout – a win-win situation for your health and the earth.

But riding a bike also has some drawbacks, too. To be sure, the biggest risk of riding a bike is the chance of being hit by a car. Indeed, California leads the nation in terms of bicycle accident deaths, with dozens of cyclists being killed every year, and hundreds being hit and suffering serious injuries.

Why Are Bicyclists Hit By Cars?

Because both cyclists and cars are operated by humans, it makes sense that human errors are the leading causes of accidents, and that with greater care, bicycle accidents coul

d be completely avoided. In fact, bicyclists should never be hit by cars, and often are as a result of drivers (and sometimes cyclists) failing to pay attention, or committing other acts of negligence such as failing to yield, speeding, texting while driving, or driving drunk.

When Are Cyclists Hit?

Cyclists are hit most often when the drivers of motor vehicles don’t see them. As such, nighttime accidents and accidents when daylight or weather conditions are less than ideal and visibility is poor are more common. Cyclists are also more likely to be hit in the following accident situations:

  • When a cyclist is proceeding straight through the intersection and the driver of the vehicle is  making a right-hand turn;
  • When a cyclist is making a left-hand turn through an intersection and a driver is proceeding through the intersection; or
  • When a cyclist is proceeding through an intersection and a driver is making a left-hand turn.

It is also common for cyclists to be hit when they are crossing driveways, as vehicles may attempt to enter a driveway or parking lot without looking, or may reverse out of a driveway without seeing a cyclist.

So Who’s at Fault?

We know that bicycle accidents are almost always caused by human error. But if you have been hit by a car while riding your bike in Los Angeles, who was at fault for the accident may be unclear, as well as who should pay for the accident. 

Consider, for example, a situation in which you are riding your bike down the bike lane which is adjacent to a row of parked cars. You are in the bike lane, and you are riding legally. Without warning, a driver of a car–which is also legally parked–opens their driver’s side door. You see it, and quickly swerve into traffic to avoid hitting the open door. Upon swerving though, you are struck by another oncoming vehicle.

In this case, who’s at fault? Should the driver of the parked car have exercised more caution in opening their door? Should you have been traveling slower in order to have more time to stop in the event of a hazard or road obstruction? Or should the vehicle traveling behind you have been following you at a greater distance?

When accidents are complicated, it is very important to hire an attorney who has the resources and skill set to fully investigate your accident, and hire accident reconstructionists and other experts as well who can determine fault.

Recovering Compensation for Your Bicycle Accident

Once you have determined who was at fault for your bicycle accident, you can initiate the process of filing a claim. California’s law requires at-fault parties to pay for damages, and allows parties injured in motor vehicle accident to file a claim with their own insurance company, the insurance party of the at-fault party, or to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver.

In order to recover the full value of the damages you have suffered, you will need to prove that the accident was the fault of the other driver, and that you did not contribute to your injuries.

Did You Contribute to Your Injuries?

The state of California recognizes the rule of comparative negligence, which holds that if a plaintiff contributes to their injuries, they can still seek damages from another party who was more at fault than the plaintiff. However, the amount of damages that you can recover will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.

Which is why it is important to consider whether or not you contributed to your injuries in any way. For example, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury in your bicycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, there is a strong case to be made that you contributed to the brain injury by your choice to ride helmetless, even if the other driver was at fault for the crash. Other things that can be regarded as acts of fault, even when the other driver is mostly to blame, including not having proper lighting on your bike, texting while biking, or performing any other dangerous maneuver.

 

Working with an Attorney Can Help

When you choose to work with a bike accident attorney in Los Angeles, you improve the chances that you will be able to recover the full value of compensation that you deserve. At the law offices of Fisher & Talwar, we have the skill set you’re looking for, and are passionate about what we do.

We know how serious bicycle crashes can be. If you have been seriously injured, or if you have lost a loved one in in a bicycle crash, we can help you. Please contact us today for a free consultation where we will review the facts of your case and provide you with the sound legal advice you’re looking for.

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