Bicyclists get no respect — at least from most motorists. Every cyclist knows this and experienced bicyclists follow have their own riding guidelines that are defensive in the extreme, even though San Diego is blessed with lots of bike trails and bike lanes on the roadways. But even for the most experienced riders, those defensive instincts aren’t always enough. And too often, bicyclists assume that they are secondary citizens on the road. That is not the case, even though too many drivers would like to think so. Here are some examples of bicycle collisions that riders often assume they’re responsible for:
- A motor vehicle driver signaling and then turning directly in front of a bicyclist
- An automobile driver leaving a driveway. Pulling out into traffic in front of the bicyclist
- A motorist’s failure to yield according to rules of the road, at an intersection
- A passing motorist who inadvertently forces the cyclist off the road
- An automobile driver who makes a legal stop at a stop sign and then strikes a cyclist when resuming travel
Bicycle accidents such as these do NOT involve responsibility on the part of the rider. You’re not invisible and not without rights. If a driver doesn’t see you or doesn’t understand that bicyclists have right-of-way protection, that does not excuse hazardous operation of the vehicle. Bicycle riders are required to observe the traffic laws governing vehicular use; but drivers are also required to allow bicyclists the same rights motor driven vehicles enjoy.
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These are the scenarios that make it important to retain an experienced bicycle accident attorney who will represent your rights for insurance coverage, for driver negligence and for fair compensation. Your bicycle accident lawyer should look on your case as a traffic collision matter regardless of the types of vehicles involved — in other words, you have the same standing as the driver who struck you. Many insurance companies are not willing to compensate bicyclists who are injured in traffic accidents at the same level as automobile occupants. You need legal representation that can brush that attitude aside, in court if necessary.
There are other issues that may require a highly qualified bicycle accident attorney.
- There may be an issue of equipment failure which contributed to the accident — and which may lead to a product liability suit as well as an insurance settlement. A combination of driver error and bicycle failure can develop into a complicated case.
- Approximately one million children injured each year in bicycle accidents. If your child is one of them, you need an attorney who is versed in protecting a minor’s rights. It may take aggressive investigation to prove that an accident wasn’t your child’s fault — an accusation that is almost automatic in most child bicycle accidents.
If you’re a bicyclist in need of energetic, thorough legal representation call the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum. Retain an advocate who understands that just like road rights, the legal rights of a bicyclist are equal to those of a motorist.