May is one of the best times of the year to ride a bicycle in or around Bakersfield, but accidents that are caused by careless and negligent drivers are certainly a possibility. Some riders come to our offices after accidents and inquire into whether they have a case. Sometimes, the driver who caused the bicyclist’s injuries speeds away from the accident scene, and bicyclists want to know if they might be eligible for compensation for the injuries and damages that they’ve suffered. The answer is that a bicyclist is probably eligible for such compensation if the crash was caused by a hit-and-run driver.
What to Do Immediately After the Crash
If it’s physically possible for you to do so, the first step that you must take is to call police and paramedics to the accident scene. Police will document the hit-and-run and write up a report on it. If any eyewitnesses remained at the scene, they will be interviewed. Paramedics can stabilize you and transport you to an emergency room right away. They will also make a record confirming that you were in a bicycle accident. From the hospital, you can then call us to arrange for a free consultation with a Bakersfield bicycle accident attorney from our offices.
Common Causes of Bakersfield Bicycle Crashes
When on the road, bicycles are silent to motorists, and they present small and narrow profiles. After accidents, motorists often remark that they either didn’t see the bicycle until it was too late, or they didn’t see it at all. Here are some of the common causes off bicycle accidents in and around Bakersfield:
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- Motorists turning left or right directly into the path off a bicycle.
- Drivers who disobey stop signs or traffic signals.
- Distracted driving like talking on a cell phone, texting or using an infotainment center while in motion.
- Failing to yield the right of way to bicyclist.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
The driver of every car in California is required to carry liability insurance in specified minimum amounts. Some drivers also carry uninsured motorist insurance that covers their medical bills and other damages resulting from an accident that was caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Such coverage is optional, and its premium is separate from that of mandatory liability insurance. It operates to cover you or any member of your household who is a blood relative, spouse or domestic partner in the event that one of you are injured or die in an accident that is caused by a hit-and-run driver. Nearly all California uninsured motorist insurance covers all of you if you’re hit by a hit-and-run driver as pedestrians or bicyclists.
A Recent Bakersfield Bicycle Crash
Just a few days ago at about 8:00 a.m. in Bakersfield, a bicyclist suffered severe injuries upon being hit by what appeared to be a white landscaping truck that was pulling a white trailer. The bicycle crash happened at the intersection of North Tulare and Irene Streets. The crash remains under investigation. A similar hit-and-run incident happened in Riverside where a bicycle rider collided with a car and died on the scene.
Here are some of the types of damages that are typically sought in uninsured motorist claims:
- Past and future medical bills.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Any permanent disfigurement or disability.
- Pain and suffering.
- Diminished enjoyment of life.
- Other substantial damages in the event of a wrongful death.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
After being injured or losing a loved one in a hit-and-run bicycle or pedestrian accident, contact our offices right away to arrange for that free consultation. We’ll be pleased to listen to you closely and advise you on all of your legal rights and options. Any insurance claim that you might make on an uninsured motorist claim requires notice to your insurer of your accident within a short period of time. That’s why you’ll want to contact a Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyer from our offices as soon as possible.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.