When you think of a bicycle accident, you probably think of a bicyclist taking a tumble or colliding with a car. But bicycle vs. bicycle accidents are surprisingly common in the crowded streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Generally speaking, California requires bicyclists to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. Bicyclists must obey traffic laws, ride responsibly, and try to avoid crashing into anyone else while riding.
If two bicycles collide, what happens next is similar to a car accident except for a few aspects that are unique to cyclists. Here’s how to handle a bike vs. bike accident in California.
Remain Calm and Remain at the Scene
In the immediate aftermath of a bike accident with another bicyclist, it may be tempting to leave the scene. More than motorists, bicyclists are used to lots of daily bumps and scrapes that come with riding.
It might feel normal to just dust yourself off and ride away. Don’t do it! Please remain at the scene of the accident as the law requires, or you could end up in trouble with the law.
Check yourself for injuries and see if the other cyclist is okay. Call 911 for medical assistance if needed and contact the police for an accident report. Try not to get into an argument with the other cyclist, but gather contact information from the cyclist and nearby witnesses.
This could be your only chance to document the scene of the accident with photos and videos. Preserve as much evidence as possible before it’s lost forever.
Accept medical assistance and follow through on any recommendations your doctor makes. Save all of your medical paperwork and bills, because you may be able to recover compensation from the other cyclist later.
Important Things to Know About Bicycle vs. Bicycle Accidents
California law treats bicycles very much like other motorists when they’re riding in road traffic. However, until recently, bicyclists were exempt from many road rules while riding on bike trails and other off-road trails.
A new law introduced in January 2019 now means bicyclists must treat any accident – regardless of whether it’s on an actual road – as a road accident. If a bicyclist crashes into another rider or otherwise hurts someone, they must remain at the scene of the accident or face felony charges.
It’s also important to know that if you’re in a bicycle collision and the other cyclist flees, you don’t have to give up hope. An experienced hit and run lawyer may be able to make a motion using the Delayed Discovery Rule to get the court to grant the extension of time, meaning the clock on the statute of limitations doesn’t start ticking if the other cyclist leaves the scene.
There’s plenty of reason for optimism because a lot can happen in the hours and days after a cycling accident. A witness might report their location, the police might find them, or your lawyer might be able to track them down.
What Happens When Bicyclists Collide?
The team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers has seen the impact of bicycle vs. bicycle accidents on innocent lives. In an accident between two cyclists at Mission and 8th Street in San Francisco, a creative director who had been commuting to work by bike for 18 years got caught in another cyclist’s loose, dangling bungee cord. She was flung off her bike onto the ground and suffered severe fractures and lacerations.
As she tried to recover from her injuries, she was unable to work and faced mounting medical bills. She wasn’t sure whether one cyclist can seek compensation from another cyclist or if so, how she should initiate the claims process.
That’s when she contacted Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We researched how insurance might apply to this case and advised her that although regular car insurance coverage wouldn’t apply to this bicycle accident, there was a small amount of potential uninsured motorist coverage. There was also a homeowner’s insurance policy that included medical coverage.
The settlement totaled $420,000, which helped our client relax and focus on healing after the accident. As you can see, even in a bicycle-on-bicycle crash where insurance is unclear, it’s possible to get a positive outcome that supports your recovery.
We Handle Your Personal Injury Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including bicycle accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.