A common error made by people, and even attorneys, is to evaluate a car versus bike accident as if it involved a pedestrian. The laws for a bicyclist are not necessarily the same as a pedestrian. For most purposes the bicyclist is under the same traffic rules and regulations as a person driving a car.
The importance of this fact is that the operating behavior of a car and bike, needs to be considered on basically an equal footing as if the accident involved two cars. While in some cases this will work against the bicyclist (such as if the bicyclist is riding against traffic), it more often than not works to protect the bicyclist because the bicyclist has the right of away to the road in most cases just as if the situation were if the bicyclist were operating a car. A bicyclist hit from behind by a car is equal to a rear-end type car accident. A car passing a bicyclist must obey the law just as if it were passing another car. Similar rules apply in terms of stop signs, yield signs, signal lights, lane right of way, and other roadway controls and conditions.
Car drivers have a tendency to usurp the right of way owned by bicyclists and this is the cause of many accidents, including very serious ones involving injuries to the bicyclist because the bicyclist is clearly unprotected, an accident with a car often results in devastating injuries.
While insurance companies like to blame bicyclists for the accidents, thereby evading the payment that the insurance company owes to the injured bicyclist, they often do so without a reasonable or factual basis, and ignore very clear traffic laws.
A unique aspect to handling a bike accident is the difference in speed, both actually and in capability, between a car and a bike. It is all too easy for an insurance company to use false calculations of speed and distance to try to blame a bicyclist for an accident really caused by their insured car driver. There are also significant issues to be assessed concerning visibility and it is not a proper defense by an insurance company to deny an injury claim because of a contention that the driver did not or could not see the bicyclist because the car driver was looking for cars and not bikes. It is the duty of every car driver to keep a proper look out, and that proper look out, i.e., paying proper attention to the roadway and conditions, means that the driver should operate the vehicle at such a speed and paying such attention so as to be able to observe not only other cars, but bikes and pedestrians.
The Cooper Personal Injury Law Firm has over 35 years of experience as a Stockton bike accident lawyer. Call us today to schedule your FREE consultation! Why wait? The initial consultation costs you nothing! Delay can cost you everything!!
Dean Cooper is a Stockton personal injury attorney. In his more than thirty-five years of representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases, Mr. Cooper has successfully tried and settled countless cases. He has recovered many millions of dollars on behalf of his clients over his career,
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The Cooper Law Firm
Stockton Personal Injury Attorney
2453 Grand Canal Blvd.
Stockton, CA 95207