Did you know that California is the leading state in the country for bicycle accidents? It’s not something we’re proud to broadcast, but it is an unfortunate downside to living in a state where the weather is mostly warm and inviting the whole year through.
California is a place full of healthy, active people who love to get outside and walk, run, and ride bicycles, both for recreational and professional purposes. Cyclists help to reduce the amount of traffic clogging our highways and the amount of car exhaust pollution filling our air. That’s a great thing. But the more bikes taking to the roads in an era of unprecedented distracted driving means more bicycle accidents and the need for bike injury lawyers to stand up for the cyclists in our great state.
At The Barnes Firm, our experienced bicycle accident attorneys in Oakland have seen the negative effects of bike accidents, year after year. We’ve seen how a bike accident can cause serious injury, or worse, and lead to a lot of lost time at work and a lower quality of life overall.
We want to help protect you and make the roads safer for pedestrians. Our law firm is on your side. Here’s more of what you need to know about bike accidents and how our Oakland bicycle accident attorneys can help you.
Bike Injury Statistics
There’s no doubt that bicycle safety is a real concern in our society. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- 840 bicyclists were killed in accidents with motor vehicles nationwide in 2016.
- 71 percent of those fatalities occurred in urban areas.
- More than half of the fatalities happened during daylight hours, so there are clearly more factors involved in these accidents than visibility conditions.
- The number of deaths related to accidents involving bicycle and motor vehicles has been steadily rising. In 2007, 701 cyclists were killed in traffic crashes, and that number has climbed, year by year, over the subsequent decade.
Here are the NHTSA statistics specifically for California, where our Oakland bicycle accident attorneys have been practicing for years:
- California was the No. 1 state for bicyclists killed in traffic accidents in 2016, with 147 fatalities. Florida was second with 138.
- California accounted for 17.5 percent of the national total of bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2016.
The number of bicyclists injured in accidents with motor vehicles, as you might expect, is far greater.
- In 2015, an estimated 45,000 bicycle riders across the country were injured in traffic accidents.
- That’s very likely a conservative estimate when you consider how many bike accident injuries go unreported.
- According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, only about 10 percent of all accidents involving bicycles are reported to police. Ten percent!
The National Safety Council estimates the cost of cyclist injury and death at $4 billion per year. However, legal claims involving bicycle accidents have historically been difficult to prove.
All of this information underscores the importance of experienced, knowledgeable bicycle accident attorneys in the Oakland area. If you or one of your loved ones has been injured in a bicycle accident and you are facing medical bills, time away from work, or further treatments for your injuries down the road, you’ll need solid, reliable representation to go after the benefits you deserve.
You’ll need a law firm that cares enough to go the distance for you. You’ll need the Oakland bicycle accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm.
How to Protect Yourself
You might wonder why it’s so difficult for a law firm to prove a case involving a bicycle accident.
Think about it: as the cyclist, it’s going to be your word against the word of the driver or drivers involved, and you’re both coming at it from very different perspectives. Reliable witnesses can be difficult to identify, if there are any witnesses at all. Reconstructing the accident in order to prove what really happened is a true challenge.
Don’t worry. Our Bicycle accident attorneys in and around Oakland have your back in the event of a bicycle accident injury. We handle only personal injury claims and have the expertise and resources to put together a strong case. But it’s still important to take precautions when you’re setting out on a bicycle in the Bay Area or anywhere in California.
Here are some basic bicycle safety tips, courtesy of our lawyers:
- Take a bicycle safety course. You might think you’re an experienced cyclist and know all there is to know about safety, but education is never a bad thing. Many local bike shops or community colleges offer bicycle safety courses that take a modern perspective on what it’s like for bicyclists in urban areas right now. Consider taking a course; you might be surprised at how helpful it will be.
- Review the rules of the road. Remember, bicyclists are required to follow the same laws as motorists. Just because you’re doing your part for the environment by riding a bike to work doesn’t mean you get a free pass through stop signs and traffic lights. You have a responsibility to yourself and everyone else who uses the roads to ride safely and lawfully.
- Check your headgear. Is it time for a new helmet? It goes without saying that you should always ride with a sturdy, well-secured helmet protecting your head.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Never ride wearing headphones. It’s essential to pay attention to the sights and sounds all around you. Distracted driving doesn’t just apply to vehicles.
- Never assume what a vehicle is going to do. Speaking of distracted driving, a cell phone could be a bicyclist’s worst enemy, considering how much it has been shown to impair drivers’ awareness levels and reaction times. It’s even more important for a bicyclist to be aware and cautious because you never know what’s going on with the other drivers on the road. Give cars a wide berth, and never assume anything.
- Leave extra time. If you’re in a rush to get somewhere, you’re much less likely to follow any of these safety tips. Giving yourself extra time to bike to a destination is an investment in your own safety, and maybe even your own life.
The bicycle accident attorneys at our Oakland-area law firm understand how easy it can be to get into a bicycle accident on the busy streets of the city, but it’s also simple to avoid an accident. It’s just takes a little extra thought and preparation.
Our Oakland Bicycle Accident Attorneys Are Here for You
Having to search for a lawyer after you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident can add even more stress to your situation, but that won’t be the case if you contact The Barnes Firm.
Our Oakland bicycle accident attorneys have built a successful practice standing up for people just like you. We understand the process of filing a claim, from start to finish. You can rest assured because we won’t rest until we get you results. Contact us today to set up a consultation.