Were you injured in a right hook bicycle crash? You have the right to seek compensation from the motorist who hit you.
A right hook accident is one of the most traumatic and destructive accidents a bicyclist can ever experience. It happens when a motorist is traveling in the same direction as the cyclist, then suddenly makes a right turn into their path.
Also called a right turn accident or right cross accident, a right hook accident usually takes the cyclist completely by surprise. The cyclist is simply riding along and suddenly a car is smashing into them.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ve seen the devastation right hook accidents can cause. We’re cyclists ourselves, so we truly care about helping you recover from your accident and maximize your case value.
As an injured cyclist, you have the right to make an accident claim to get your bills paid, get your bike fixed, and move forward from the crash. Learn more with a free bicycle accident case evaluation.
What’s a California Right Hook Accident?
A right hook accident occurs when a motorist, an Uber driver, a truck driver, or even a scooter rider collides with a bicyclist while making a right turn. When the cyclist is struck and knocked from their bike by a car turning right, this is known as “being hooked” or “getting right hooked.”
These crashes tend to happen in three main ways. In the first scenario, a motorist completely fails to see a cyclist nearby and turns into them at a fairly fast rate of speed. Afterward, the motorist might say to the cyclist, “You came out of nowhere!”
In the second scenario, the motorist sees the cyclist but makes a bad calculation about how fast the cyclist is traveling. The motorist believes they can safely turn in front of the cyclist. However, the motorist’s incorrect calculation leads them to turn directly in front of the cyclist, causing a crash.
In the third scenario, the motorist and cyclist are both stopped at a stop sign or red light. When the light turns green, the motorist assumes the cyclist will wait and makes a right turn, colliding with the cyclist as they begin to move forward.
Why Do Right Hook Accidents Happen?
Right hook accidents happen for many reasons, including inattentiveness, misunderstanding the law, making assumptions about things like speed and direction, and a lack of courtesy toward other people on the road. Motorists often think their rights outweigh cyclists’ rights, which isn’t true.
It’s a driver’s responsibility to ensure their path is clear before making a turn, but sometimes they don’t check for cyclists first. They may also exhibit dangerous driving behavior like riding too close to cyclists, trying to outrun them, or menacing them by making dangerous and sudden movements.
Cyclists are also vulnerable to distracted and drunk drivers. Distracted driving causes 2,800 deaths and 400,000 injuries per year. For example, a vehicle driver might overlook a cyclist while messing with their cell phone, adjusting an in-car display, or chatting with their passengers.
Drunk drivers also kill more than 1,000 people in California every year. Some of these victims are cyclists who were simply making their normal commute and didn’t expect a drunk motorist to cause a right-hook accident.
In rare cases, a government or municipality is partly to blame for your right hook accident. Maybe the roadway was improperly marked and led you into danger, for example. Talk to your lawyer about whether a government entity may play a role in your crash. Unfortunately, bicyclists themselves sometimes add to the right hook danger by failing to abide by the rules of the road. Bicyclists sometimes fail to stop at red lights, disregard road signs, or wear headphones that prevent full awareness of the vehicles around them.
But even if you are partially at fault, you can still start an accident claim. Don’t give up! We’ll explain more about how partial liability works in accident claims below.
Do Right Hook Accidents Only Happen in Bike Lanes?
A right hook accident can happen anywhere, whether there’s a bike lane or not. Cyclists aren’t required to use bike lanes at all times in California. They can ride along the right side of the road or even directly in the center of the main lane of travel if it’s safest to do so.
Many laws protect cyclists’ rights to share the roads. Motorists can’t simply ignore cyclists and slam right into them, but this is often what happens in right-hook crashes.
Common Right Hook Accident Injuries
Right hook accidents can cause severe injuries, including:
- Soft tissue injuries like bumps and bruises
- Knee injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Road rash
- Torn muscles and ligaments
- Back and spinal injuries
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Chest and ribcage impact injuries
- Broken bones
- Loss of feeling in the limbs
- Limited range of motion
- Problems with balance
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
You might also have long-lasting mental and emotional injuries that need significant psychological treatment. Seek treatment for depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Your treatment is likely to be covered by an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Can I Still Start a Claim if I Was Partially At Fault?
If you’re worried about starting an accident claim because you might be partially at fault for the right hook accident, here’s some good news. In California, each person’s level of fault for an accident is assigned as a percentage using the comparative negligence rule.
This means one person could be 100% responsible and the other zero percent, or there could be 50/50 shared fault, or anywhere in-between. You can successfully recover compensation as long as your percentage of fault is below 100%.
Your amount of fault is established through evidence like the police report, witness testimony, expert analysis, skid mark evidence, video footage, and more. It’s all presented to the court and/or to the insurance company.
Winning a claim means you have provided overwhelming evidence of the other person’s fault plus documentation that shows your expensive costs like car repairs, medical bills, lost days of work, and pain and suffering. It can be tough to do this successfully, especially if you decide not to hire a lawyer, but a successful outcome is well worth it!
What Factors are Considered in a Right Hook Accident?
You’re probably hearing plenty of opinions about who’s at fault for your accident. The motorist might be pointing the finger at you! Lawyers, insurance companies, judges, and juries typically look at multiple factors to decide who’s at fault.
Factors in right hook accidents may include:
- Relevant California bicycle laws
- Where and when the crash occurred
- The weather and road conditions
- Witness accounts
- Expert witness testimony
- How each person was positioned in the crash
- Damage to vehicles and bicycles
- Drunk, drugged, or distracted driving
- Video footage
- Police reports
The more evidence you can gather to support your side, the better. California tends to support bicyclists’ rights to share the roads, but you’ll still have to make a compelling case if you want to recover monetary compensation.
What to Do Immediately After Your Right Hook Crash
After a right hook accident, it’s time to decide on your next steps. We strongly advise you to work with a bicycle accident lawyer to ensure you don’t make any missteps that could harm your case.
First, preserve any evidence you may have, like debris from the accident and your demolished bike. In particular, focus on evidence that matches the details listed in the police report.
Photograph your injuries, including any cuts, bruises, deformities, or scarring. Continue to document these injuries as you receive treatment and begin to heal. Also, photograph your medical gear like crutches, casts, slings, and canes.
Save all of your relevant medical records and keep track of your medical costs. This is a huge part of determining the value of your claim, even if most of your costs are covered by your health insurance. Track out-of-pocket costs too, like bus fares, Uber rides, and copays.
With the guidance of your lawyer, open a claim with the motorist’s insurance company. You’ll be asked to share personal information, like your social security number, and they may ask for a recorded statement. Don’t provide either of these things without talking to your lawyer first because it could all be used against you.
And remember, don’t talk about your accident on social media. It might feel irresistible to update your friends on social media, but this gives the other side the details they might need to destroy your case!
The Legal Time Limit for Right Hook Accident Claims
The clock is ticking on making an accident claim due to the legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. It’s usually within two years of the date of the accident, but sometimes this period shortens if you’re dealing with a government entity.
Don’t wait too long. Valuable evidence could soon be lost and peoples’ memories fade fast after the trauma of an accident. Talk to an accident lawyer as soon as possible to start building a strong case for compensation.
Get a Bicycle Right Hook Accident Lawyer ASAP!
Sure, you can try to handle your case yourself. That’s your right. But it’s an extremely stressful and risky thing to do. Here’s why.
Insurance companies tend to toss out lowball offers to people who don’t have lawyers. They’ll assume they can push you around, plus they’ll know you’re spending zero dollars on legal representation. So they’ll try to give you the minimum amount possible.
Plus, they’ll try to get out of paying anything beyond the basics. They might suggest compensation for your past medical bills, but what the expenses that are still piling up for your future treatment? Your mental health counseling? Your lost days of work? The value of your beloved bike?
And we can’t emphasize this enough: You’ve had pain and suffering that deserves to be valued, but the insurance company doesn’t care. Your suffering should never be undervalued by an insurance company that’s pressing you for a quick settlement.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we don’t take our fee until the conclusion of your case after you’ve already covered the costs of your right hook accident. So let’s talk about the circumstances of your crash in a free and confidential consultation so you can stay on the road to recovery!
$500,000K Settlement – Avid San Francisco Cyclist Riding Bike Hit By Uber Driver
Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers secured a solid settlement for a twenty-eight year old avid cyclist on her bike hit by Uber. The Uber driver turned right in front of her across a bike lane. She suffered serious injuries as a result, but with the help of Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, she walked away from the accident with a great settlement and was able to move forward with her life. Learn more about how the attorneys at Sally Morin Law were able to help.
We Handle Your Accident Claim so You Can Focus on Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including many types of bike accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about California’s injured people. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation or call 877-380-8852.