Bike Accident Attorneys in Santa Barbara
Get Representation After a Bicycle, Scooter, or Skateboarding Accident
Bicycle accidents in California occur for a wide variety of reasons. Even the most cautious, law-abiding bicyclist may be unable to avoid the opening of an adjacent car door, an inattentive or intoxicated driver, an unleashed animal, or a dangerous road condition. Hidden guardrails, debris on the road, and poor lighting can also cause bikes to wreck.
When accidents occur, bicycle riders are often thrown from their bikes, and require extensive medical care. They often suffer broken bones, head and brain trauma, damage to internal organs, spinal cord injuries, amputation, and wrongful death.
Since 2013, California law requires motor vehicles to maintain a distance of three feet of clearance when passing or driving around bicycles. This safety buffer is vital, and whether drivers ignore it or are ignorant of it, they may receive a traffic ticket and be held liable in civil court for the bicyclist’s injuries.
NordstrandBlack PC has represented injured bicycle riders and their families for 30 years, and collected millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. For each case that we accept, we will aggressively pursue all avenues to obtain fair compensation for your injuries. Our firm will provide you with personal service and assist you through the legal process. Call today for a free consultation at (805) 962-2022.
Bike Accident Case Results
- $595,000 Judgment at Trial - Bike Accident - Struck by Pick-up Truck
- $525,000 Settlement for Policy Limit - Bike/Truck Accident
- $100,000 Settlement for Policy Limit - Bike/Auto Accident - Hit at Intersection
- $85,000 Settlement - Bicycle/Auto Accident - Broken Bones
∗ Selected cases listed. Every case is different. Past case results are not a guarantee, and similar results may not be obtained in your case. View more case results here.
A Note About Head Injuries
Bicyclists often receive head injuries in accidents, even while wearing a helmet. Oftentimes, signs of serious head injury go unnoticed for a significant amount of time. Head injury can result in impaired vision, impaired hearing, and loss of sense of smell. It may impair cognitive function, cause fatigue, and myriad other symptoms. NordstrandBlack PC has extensive experience assisting accident victims with head injuries. If the bicyclist’s head hit anything, examine the head and helmet. Photograph any bruises, bumps, and other injuries as well as scrapes to the helmet and pavement or other areas of contact. We will direct you to the specialty doctors and medical providers you need to determine, document, and treat a head injury.
What Should You Do after a Bike Collision in California?
The first thing you should do after a bike crash is get appropriate medical care for your injuries. It is important to follow through on any medical advice or treatment regimen that your physician recommends. If you don't, you make it possible for the insurance companies to argue that your injuries were not related to the accident, are not severe, or that you made your injuries worse by not following medical advice.
The next thing you should do is contact a lawyer. When clients call us, we waste no time in beginning our own independent investigation of the collision. We visit the scene, preserve evidence, identify and interview potential witnesses, and work with a variety of experts to determine both the cause of the accident and the full extent of the injuries suffered by our clients.
Before settling a claim with an insurance company or responsible party, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities as well as the full extent of your injuries and damages.
Who Is Liable for a Bike Accident?
Liability ultimately comes down to negligence. Driver negligence is a major contributing factor in bicycle-car collisions. For example, if a driver did not check the side mirror, and opened a door into your path, you may be able to bring a civil lawsuit against the driver. It is the responsibility of drivers to share the road not only with other motorists, but also with bicyclists and pedestrians. Drivers must be aware of their actions and environment, and act reasonably to ensure you remain safe on a bike.
Of course, you must also observe the right-of-way laws while riding a bike. You must follow the same laws as motorists and obey traffic signs, ride in the same direction as traffic, and signal when changing lanes or turning. As long as you are following traffic laws, you have the right to share the road with motorists, and you should be able to use bicycle lanes without vehicles obstructing them or coming dangerously close to you.
What If the Accident Was Serious?
After a serious bicycle accident, you must act immediately to protect your rights. Ask for medical care. Call law enforcement to take an accident report. If you speak with a police officer at the scene, describe what happened accurately, but do not take any blame for what occurred. You may take responsibility for something you later learn happened because of someone else's actions!
When a child is involved in a bicycle accident, make sure he or she receives immediate medical attention. Serious bicycle accidents can have long-term effects for a child, especially if the crash resulted in a head injury. You may feel like you should sign what your own insurance company provides to you, but they may ask you to sign away certain rights. Always have an experienced Santa Barbara child injury lawyer look at documents before signing them - even if they are given to you by someone you believe works for your best interests.
If death occurs after a bike accident, there is no real compensation adequate for such a loss. But knowing that medical expenses are handled, as well as the loss of financial and emotional support, can allow you and your loved ones to grieve and recover with a certain peace of mind. In these situations, it is more important than ever to have an experienced wrongful death lawyer. No one grieving the loss of a loved one should have to deal with a civil lawsuit alone.
What Should I Do If It Was a Hit-and-Run?
After a motor vehicle/bicycle collision, motorists must remain at the scene and provide necessary assistance and information. Anyone who leaves the scene of a bike accident commits a crime known as hit-and-run. If you can, try to record details about the vehicle, including the make and model, color, and license plate number. Even partial information can help. Provide all of this information to law enforcement, and make sure you remain at the scene to give any other details that may be needed. NordstrandBlack PC can assist you in determining whether you have coverage on your own insurance policy for a hit-and-run claim.
What About Scooter Accidents?
Scooter riders are as exposed and unprotected as bicyclists, and the impact of a car, truck, or SUV can cause them serious injuries. Santa Barbara drivers must be mindful of people on scooters and watch out for them, particularly when merging into traffic from a driveway or parking lot.
It is also important for people on scooters to be mindful of traffic laws and take precautions to protect themselves. Scooter riders need to follow the same rules as bicyclists in terms of moving with traffic, not obstructing vehicles, and staying off sidewalks. Anyone operating a motorized scooter on the sidewalk in Santa Barbara can be stopped and fined. Motorized scooters can go up to 15 mph, much faster than can safely be operated around pedestrians on a busy sidewalk.
State laws also require anyone under 18 riding on a motorized scooter to wear a helmet. Failing to wear a helmet can result in a fine. More importantly, however, not wearing a helmet on a motorized scooter is dangerous. A collision with a car can leave a motorized scooter rider seriously injured - and the lack of a helmet can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries.
If a motorist does not pay attention and strikes a person on a scooter who has the right-of-way, the motorist is likely at fault and liable for the accident. But that will come as little comfort to a scooter rider who was not wearing a helmet and suffered a life-long disability due to a traumatic brain injury. Regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet, if a motorist hits you on a scooter, you have grounds for a personal injury claim in Santa Barbara.
What About Skateboard Accidents?
Santa Barbara has specific laws for skateboarders designed to keep everyone safe. People on skateboards are considered pedestrians by law, so they must stay off of public streets. Skateboards cannot be ridden on certain sidewalks, particularly those in the downtown corridor and other areas where prohibitive signs are posted.
When a skateboarder gets into an accident with a vehicle, the skateboarder can suffer serious injuries, especially if he or she is not wearing protective pads and a helmet. Pedestrians can also suffer injuries when struck by someone on a skateboard. As people are knocked over, it can lead to neck, shoulder, and head injuries. That is why skateboarding is prohibited on sidewalks in certain busy areas where pedestrian accidents are more common.
Do Not Wait to Seek Compensation for Your Injury
If you have been injured in a California bicycle, scooter, or skateboard accident due to the negligence of another person, you may feel that you should "wait and see" how bad your injury truly is. Bear in mind that the law requires injury victims to pursue legal action sooner rather than later. This requirement is known as the "statute of limitations." If you fail to file your claim within the statute of limitations, you may be barred from ever seeking damages related to the accident, regardless of your claim’s merit. Therefore, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney right away is essential for preserving your potential claim.
Put Our Knowledge and Experience to Work for You!
The Santa Barbara injury lawyers at NordstrandBlack PC have the legal experience to successfully obtain compensation for your losses due to someone else’s negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how we can aid you. Do not wait - give us a call at (805) 962-2022 and we can discuss your case, talk about your options, and make sure your rights are protected.
- What Are Common Ways Driver Negligence Can Cause a Bike Accident?
- NordstrandBlack PC Obtains $545,000 Settlement in Bicycle Injury Accident
- Caltrans Bicycle Program
- Sharing the Road (FFDL 37) Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists
- CVC 21200 - Operation of Bicycles