Santa Cruz, from the redwoods to the coast, might be the most beautiful place in the world to ride a bicycle. It’s an important responsibility to have such a well-known attraction in our backyard.
Cyclists who call the area home or those who visit from across the world all deserve safe passage as they enjoy the natural wonders and boardwalk sites and sounds. Unfortunately, Santa Cruz County drivers can easily become distracted not notice the bicyclist along the road.
Bicycle Accidents Involving Distracted Drivers
The entire state of California offers some of the best bicycle rides around, but that popularity brings more people and more traffic each year. These drivers have more distracting them now than ever before. The California Highway Patrol sees the problem every day when they respond to accidents.
In a single year, the CHP attributed 118 fatal accidents to distracted drivers. Another 10,902 accidents involving injury were blamed on distracted driving.
The causes of the distractions were sometimes shocking and sometimes not surprising. In an amazing admission, 27 accidents were blamed on a driver who was reading at the time. Another 706 accidents with injuries were blamed on handheld cellphone use. 194 injuries were blamed on handsfree cellphone distractions. And these numbers are just what people admitted to. Not everyone confesses to looking at their phone before an accident.
Getting Help After a Santa Cruz Bicycle Accident
The things drivers will focus on, other than driving, seem ridiculous, but the results are often devastating, especially when bicycles are involved. Bicyclists have little to no protection in an accident. They are often thrown clear of their bike in a collision and then it may be a helmet and some thin clothing between them and the ground.
A cyclist who is a victim in a collision can easily be facing weeks of recovery. The hospital bills will be enormous and the injuries may keep the rider from making it into work.
In these cases, an attorney with Bay Area Bicycle Law can help a cyclist figure out the next step. We are cyclists ourselves and protect other riders who have become victims of a careless driver. The victim didn’t cause this accident and he or she shouldn’t face the aftermath alone. An at-fault driver should be held accountable for the pain, suffering, and financial losses a victim experiences.
Common Injuries In a Bicycle Accident
The goal immediately after a serious bicycle crash is always to get the rider back on his or her bike as soon as possible. Bay Area Bicycle Law wants to support the cyclist through every step of that journey back to a normal life.
The damage can’t be undone, but the distracted driver and his or her insurance company shouldn’t be allowed to pay you the bare minimum in compensation for injuries that may be with you for years to come.
The injuries in these accidents can be severe and deserve to be taken seriously. These are just some of the most common injuries riders can face:
- Brain Injury – An accident could result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) involving severe concussions. A skull fracture and even permanent brain damage can also occur.
- Amputation – Amputation can happen in the blunt force trauma involved in the collision or be necessary later, by surgery.
- Paralysis – A loss of body function such as paraplegia (a loss of control of the lower body) and quadriplegia (a loss of control of the upper and lower body).
- Broken Bones – Clavicle fractures, shoulders fractures, arms fractures, wrists fractures and also breaks in hands, legs, and hips.
- Facial and Dental Injury – A cyclist can land on his or her face after being thrown from a bike. Teeth can be chipped or cracked and facial bones can break.
- Joint Dislocation – Bicyclists can attempt to break their fall when sent off their bikes and dislocate joints.
- Road Rash – Hard Road surfaces can cause serious damage and may make skin grafts necessary.
Compensation After a Bicycle Accident
California puts a statute of limitations on cyclists injured in accidents. They have up to two years from the time of the accident to file a claim for damages. The sooner victims file this civil lawsuit, the better for their case. If you wait months or a year or more to file, evidence can be lost and documents can become hard to obtain. An attorney can help you gather these important aspects of your case.
If your claim is successful an at-fault driver and his or her insurance company will be legally required to compensate you for many of the losses you’ve accumulated since your tragic accident.
Some of the damages that are commonly recovered are the costs of medical bills in the past and those expected in the future. Travel costs that have built up in your recovery can also be part of an award. The time you’ve missed from work and may miss in the future will also figure into the money you’ll get. Your damaged bike can be replaced and any emotional trauma you’ve experienced may also be accounted for.
Contact a Santa Cruz Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been the victim in a bicycling accident you should be free to focus on your recovery and working towards that moment when you can return to your bike. Let our attorneys handle the fight against the at-fault driver and the insurance company to make sure you are reimbursed for every dollar you’ve spent or will spend on medical bills and other expenses. Let a bicycle accident attorney protect your future.
At Bay Area Bicycle Law, we concentrate our practice solely on bicyclists who have been injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of others. We’re dedicated and effective Santa Cruz bicycle accident lawyers. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in or around Santa Cruz or anywhere else in Northern California, contact us right away for a confidential, free consultation and case review.