Just a straight shot up Highway 101 from San Francisco, Rohnert Park is a great place to live and visit. With its year round moderate climate and the availability of great bicycle trails at its regional park, it’s a lot of fun for bicyclists. But if you happen to get into an accident with a motor vehicle while on your bike, you need to speak to an experienced Rohnert Park bicycle accident attorney.

Are All Accidents Created Equal?

You can probably guess that the short answer is, “no.” According to the NHTSA, in 2017, almost 800 people were killed on bicycles in the United States. Bicycle riders take chances when they head out onto the road. They are sharing streets with vehicles that are thousands of pounds heavier than they are, and the slightest wrong move at the wrong time could result in very serious, life-altering injuries. However, in a crash involving a car and a bicycle, it is often the driver of the car that is at fault for the accident.

Why is that? There are many reasons. But one that comes to mind is that drivers tend to be a bit less careful on the road than cyclists, simply by virtue of the fact that they are surrounded by metal, upholstery, seat belts, and air bags. Theoretically, at least, they have less at stake than the cyclist who is completely exposed. A person whose body is utterly exposed to massive vehicles travelling at fast speeds will have an innate desire to preserve their life. So often, the impatience and distraction of automobile drivers is the cause of the accident.

So if you have been in such an accident, you need a dedicated professional to examine all of the evidence for you. An experienced Rohnert Park bicycle accident attorney can discern who was at fault for the accident. And if the other driver was at least partially at fault, they can help you to build a case so that you can get compensated for your injuries.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Obviously, bicycles are smaller than cars, making them harder to see on the road. They are also less frequently encountered on the road than cars or even trucks. So drivers may not be accustomed to looking out for cyclists the way that they should. Here are some other common causes of bike accidents:

  • Driving while texting – distracted driving
  • Driving while on the phone – distracted driving
  • Simply not paying attention – letting your mind wander
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Improper turns
  • Failure to yield
  • Impatience and failure to properly share the road with cyclists
  • Improper passing of a bicycle
  • Rain or other weather conditions
  • Bicycle or vehicle defects

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

The injuries sustained in a wreck can be minor to life-threatening. Some will affect you for only a limited time period, and others can last the rest of your life. If you were not completely at fault for the accident, you can recover compensation for your hospital stays, medical treatments, and surgeries (if any are needed) – among other things. Some common injuries in bike accidents are:

  • Bruises and scrapes
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Burns
  • Broken bones; shattered bones
  • Skull fractures
  • Jaw or facial fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Internal injuries or bleeding

What Can I Recover For in a Bicycle Accident?

When you have been involved in a bicycle accident that is due to someone else’s negligence, you can recover for many of the same elements as someone in a car wreck. 

Medical Bills – When you have been injured, it is important to seek treatment immediately or as soon after the accident as is feasible. Waiting will only make it seem as though you were not really hurt, and some symptoms can take a while to manifest. It is always best to see your doctor as soon as possible after an accident where you have not been hospitalized. Either way, you can be compensated for any medical treatment you required at the time of the accident as well as any current or future medical expenses that can be foreseen. 

Lost Income – If you need time to recover from your injuries and are not able to work during this period, you can recover for whatever wages you lost out on. 

Lost Earning Potential – If your injuries are such that you are no longer able to perform your work duties, there are many factors that come into play when determining how this change will affect your future. Maybe you will have to take an extended leave of absence at your current job. Maybe you will have to take so much time off to recover that your job is no longer available when you are ready to return. In some cases, a complete career change becomes necessary – which may require additional vocational training or education. These are all factors that must be assessed in order to determine the long-term loss of earning capacity that you can be compensated for. 

Pain & Suffering – In a personal injury claim, you can recover for any pain and suffering that you’ve endured since the crash. Again, this takes a professional to assess, so having a lawyer on your team is critical to receiving full compensation.

Rohnert Park Bicycle Accident Attorneys Are Here for You

Call us today at the Henderson Law Firm. We can help you get through your recovery period by taking all the pencil-pushing tasks off of you so that you can focus on healing. We will be sure to analyze every aspect of your case, and we fight hard to make certain that our clients end up with enough money to see them through their hardship. So call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.