Aside from being broadsided, a rear-end bicycle collision might be the most dangerous crash that a bicyclist can be involved in. Nobody on a bicycle has the luxury of air bags or seat belts. The only crumple zones for a bicyclist are his or her bones and joints. Pavement doesn’t crumple very well at all. Sometimes rear-end bicycle accident victims are even thrown into the path of oncoming traffic.
Coupled with the lack of protection, the simple physics of even a light impact rear-end bicycle crash dramatically increase the possibilities of severe injuries or fatalities. It’s likely that the bicyclist is going to be propelled over the handlebars of the bike face-first onto the pavement. Of course it’s instinctive for the bicyclist to extend his or her arms out to try and break the crash with the pavement, and even if the bicyclist is wearing a helmet, it does little to protect his or her face. Injuries from being launched over the handlebars of a bicycle can lead to permanent disabilities. Just some of those injuries might include:
- Traumatic brain and spinal cord damage
- Facial fractures
- Nose fractures, septum and sinus damage
- Jaw fractures
- Dental injuries
- Rib fractures
- Fractures to the hands, arms and shoulders
- Damage to internal organs
- Severe abrasions, infection and scarring
Bicyclists in California have the same rights on the roadway as motor vehicles. Like rear-end motor vehicle accidents, almost all of the motorists who rear-end a bicyclist are at fault for the crash. These crashes might occur when a vehicle is overtaking the bicycle or when the bicyclist is coming to a stop or stopped for a stop sign or red light. They can also occur when a bicyclist changes lanes. They’re able to do so much more quickly than a car.
Don’t Give a Statement
It’s likely that soon after your accident, the insurer of the person who rear-ended you will phone you and want a recorded statement from you giving your version of how the crash occurred. No law requires you to give a statement, and we strongly recommend that you politely refuse to give one. The opposing insurer will only try to shift all or some of the liability for the accident over onto you by trying to use your own words against you in the future. Never give an insurer on the other side of your claim any type of a statement unless we’re present with you.
Contact Bay Area Bicycle Law after a Rear End Accident
Any rear-end accident might indicate negligence on behalf of the motorist who crashed into the bicyclist. The best way to learn whether you have a viable personal injury claim after being rear-ended by a motorist is to contact our offices, and arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation with us. There are at least two sides of the story on every accident case, and we’ll carefully listen to your version of events. Then we’ll discuss what we think we might be able to do for you. If we enter into a retainer agreement, we won’t even charge any legal fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
If you’ve suffered any type injury as a result of a bicycle crash in or around San Francisco, Oakland, Davis, Sacramento or anywhere in Northern California that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, don’t hesitate to contact our offices by phone or email to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation.