The rights and obligations that apply to drivers of motor vehicles in California also apply to cyclists. Drivers must share the road with bicycles, respect their rights, and be careful to prevent accidents. However, many negligent motorists look down upon cyclists, which has led to a growing number of vehicle-bike collisions every year in California. Knowledge is your first defense if you encounter a bicycle accident in California.

Can a cyclist claim against a motorist in an accident? 

In the simplest terms, when a motorist causes an accident, a cyclist has a claim against them. Because some bikes now cost more than the average car, it is crucial from a financial perspective that motorists have insurance. From this policy, injured cyclists can seek compensation for their injuries, associated costs, and property damage. 

However, it’s often the case that a cyclist is somewhat at fault for an accident, and depending on how much, it may be more challenging to prove a driver’s fault. That is why engaging a Sacramento bicycle accident attorney is paramount to protecting your rights as a cyclist.

What is the most common cause of bike-vehicle accidents?

Careless driving is the most common cause of bike vehicle accidents. The law recognizes that, for obvious reasons, cyclists are more susceptible in the event of an accident than those operating automobiles, and it also expects drivers to exercise “due care and attention.” 

A driver might drive recklessly by taking unsafe shortcuts, overtaking recklessly, failing to look before pulling away at intersections, turning corners without signaling, or other ways. Such actions can lead to a collision with a cyclist, and they have a right to file a lawsuit against the driver.

Where do bike vehicle collisions mostly occur?

Accidents frequently happen near intersections and in front of driveways, which present opportunities for vehicles to pull out in front of cyclists without warning. The slightest shove from a moving car can result in serious accidents, with riders frequently being catapulted into the air, landing on hard surfaces, and having their bicycles irreparably wrecked.

Moreover, accidents between cars and bicycles frequently occur near roundabouts and traffic signals, and if it is viable to prove that the driver of the vehicle was not exercising reasonable care and attention, they will be held legally responsible. Drivers frequently fail to see cyclists, which may be the consequence of inattention, poor visibility owing to traffic or bad weather, the design of the roundabout or junction, bad weather, excessive speed, or irresponsible driving.

What should a cyclist do in an accident?

Following an accident with a car, a cyclist should try to get the driver’s information and any witnesses’ information. The location of the accident, the cyclist’s injuries, and the damage done to their bicycle can all be captured as evidence and used to support a claim. Physical harm, emotional distress, property damage, medical care costs, and lost wages resulting from time away from work are covered by compensation.