Bike riding is a past-time enjoyed by millions of people every year. Some do it for fun. Some ride bikes to get exercise. Many do it as a form of primary transportation.
However, though bicycle trips only account for about 1% of all trips in the U.S., bicyclists account for more than 2% of fatal crashes involving motor vehicles. To be more specific, nearly 1,000 bicyclists are killed every year, and more than 130,000 are injured.
While bike accidents can occur without another vehicle being involved, the majority of bike crashes happen when bicyclists are struck by other drivers on the road. And some of the worst kinds of bicycle accidents happen when a bicyclist is rear-ended.
In California, with so many bicyclists on the roads, rear-end bike crashes happen all the time, and the resulting injuries can be devastating. If you or a loved one are injured in a rear-end bike crash in San Francisco, our legal team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers can help you file a personal claim to recover the compensation you need.
How Does a Rear-End Bike Crash Happen?
Rear-end bike crashes can happen in many ways. Though bicyclists are generally required to ride on the right side of the road, there are many reasons why they might need to steer into the middle of a lane. And drivers are supposed to share the road and make room for bicyclists to make lane changes when needed. Unfortunately, many drivers do not give bicyclists the space they need, which can result in a rear-end accident.
Some common scenarios that lead to rear-end bike accidents can include:
- A bicyclist needing to move into the middle of the lane to avoid an obstruction or hazard on the right side of the road. When they make the move, a vehicle in that lane might not pay attention or give them the space they need, which could result in the bicyclist getting rear-ended.
- An aggressive driver purposely not sharing the road with a bicyclist, such as tailgating them or trying to keep the bicyclist from riding in their lane.
- A bicyclist moving into a lane to make a left-hand turn. This is a common cause of rear-end bike accidents, especially when drivers are not paying attention to the bicyclist moving in front of them to make a turn.
- Bicyclists waiting in an intersection to make a turn when a car comes up behind them.
- Drivers coming up on bicyclists in the dark and failing to see them on the road.
Serious Rear-End Bike Accident Injuries
Any kind of bike accident can result in serious injuries because bicyclists have very little to protect them when they are struck by a larger vehicle. But rear-end bike crashes can be even more dangerous because the bicyclists might not be able to see and prepare for the accident. Also, when hit from behind, the bicyclist is more likely to be propelled from their bike.
Some common serious injuries that can result from a rear-end bike accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder dislocations
- Jaw fractures and dislocations
- Dental damage
- Skull fractures
- Eye injuries
- Broken nose or cheekbones
In most cases, rear-end bike crash injuries require emergency medical attention, like a bike accident head injury, which can lead to costly treatments and surgeries. It’s not uncommon in these situations for the victims to be left severely impaired or even disfigured, not to mention the emotional trauma they could also experience from the accident.
This is why it’s important for bike crash victims to work with a bike accident lawyer to take legal action. A personal injury claim or even a lawsuit can help the injured victim get the compensation they need to pay for their medical expenses and other damages.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Rear-End Bike Crash
The steps you take after a bike accident can play an important role in your personal injury case. Not only do you want to ensure your health and safety, but you want to make sure you will have the evidence you need to support your claim so your attorney can build a strong case against the driver that hit you.
- Call 911 and wait for the police to arrive: If you are injured, call 911 immediately to have emergency medical responders sent to your location. You should also wait for the police to arrive so an official police report can be filed.
- Get the driver’s contact information: If possible, get the driver’s information while you wait for the police. However, while talking to the driver, do not say sorry or take any blame for what happened, as they could use this against you when you file your claim.
- Take pictures or videos of the accident scene: If you or someone with you can take photos or videos of the accident, this will be beneficial to your case. The more evidence you have to show what happened, the better.
- Get witness contact information: If there is anyone nearby who witnesses the accident, you should get their contact info if you can. The driver may try to deny fault, so having witnesses back up your claim can help prove what happened.
- Talk to a lawyer before negotiating with insurance: The driver’s insurance company will likely try to contact you after the accident to ask about what happened and to get you to settle. However, this is usually a tactic to get you to say something that could be used to deny your claim. So it’s in your best interest to speak with an attorney first. Your lawyer can handle the case for you and ensure the insurance company awards you the full and fair settlement you deserve.
Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers: California Bike Accident Attorney
Proving fault after a bike accident can be challenging, but our legal team can help. We have years of experience handling bike accident cases and know what it takes to ensure the right party is held accountable and the insurance company pays you what you deserve.
Call us at 877-380-8852 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.