California Bicycle Intersection Accidents

Most bicycle accidents occur when riders lose control of their bikes for any number of reasons. When a rider is in complete control of his or her bike and collides with a motor vehicle, about half of those crashes occur in intersections. Because bicyclists present such a thin profile in traffic, motorists are usually at fault in those intersection accidents. Motorists often just don’t see bike riders, don’t see them until it’s too late, or they see the bicycle, but that blip on their radar screen just doesn’t register with their brain. What comes to issue when a bicyclist is hit by a motor vehicle is that the bike rider is likely to suffer serious injuries and require immediate medical care and treatment.

Drivers of motor vehicles need to be aware of the fact that bicycles might be around them, especially in urban intersections. Here are some common examples of intersection accidents involving motor vehicles and bicycles.

Left turns

These accidents are commonly called left cross crashes. They happen when the driver of a motor vehicle and a bicyclist approach an intersection at the same time from opposite directions. The driver of the motor vehicle either misjudges the speed of the bicyclist or fails to see him or her at all. The driver of the motor vehicle then fails to yield the right-of-way and turns left in front of the bicycle, and a crash results.

Right turns

These are commonly known as right hook crashes. The bicyclist is on the far right of the roadway and traveling in the same direction as a motor vehicle. The driver of the motor vehicle passes the bicyclist and forgets that he or she is in the immediate area on the right. The driver starts making a right turn in front of the approaching bicyclist, and a crash results. As opposed to a right hook, a right cross collision might occur when the bicyclist is sideswiped in an intersection by the right side of a vehicle.

Stop signs and drive outs

Motorists might fail to stop at a stop sign when the bicyclist has the right-of-way, or they might stop and pull out in front of the bicyclist. They might also fail to yield when entering a roadway from an alley or a private drive. In any such case, serious injuries can result from a crash.

What to do after a crash

If you’re injured as a bicyclist who was in a crash with a motor vehicle, you’ll want police to document the crash. Be sure to give the investigating officer your version of events. Then you’ll want paramedics to transport you to the nearest emergency room. Preserve your bike in the same condition that it was in immediately after the crash along with the clothing that you were wearing. Don’t wash the clothing.

Never give a written or recorded statement to the insurer of the driver who turned into you. The law doesn’t require you to give any such statement, and the opposing insurer will only try to use that statement against you sometime in the future. You can contact our offices instead, and you can arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Bay Area Bicycle Law

We are the only injury law firm in Northern California specializing exclusively in representing cyclists. In many cases we can help injured cyclists obtain significantly more compensation for their injuries than they would receive without having an experienced bicycle accident lawyer represent them.

We work exclusively with injured cyclists in northern California. If you were injured in Davis, Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco or anywhere in northern California and think Caltrans may be responsible for your injuries, contact us today.
We take these cases on a contingency fee basis, so if we enter into a retainer agreement, no up front money is required. Remember that you have the same right to be on the road as a motorist does. Contact a California bicycle accident attorney from our offices right away after being injured in any bicycle intersection crash. We’ve helped dozens of bicyclists just like you.

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