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Does a California Motorist Owe a Duty to a Bicyclist?

Torem & Associates

Bicyclists know that they face threats each day on California roads. A rider must watch for dangerous road conditions and road hazards in addition to watching for distracted and reckless drivers. Regardless of how careful a bicyclist may be, a rider cannot always avoid all bicycle accidents. To hold a motorist responsible for his or her negligence, you need a reliable and trusted Fresno bicycle accident attorney to help you file an accident claim.

For a free consultation, call (888) 500-5000 to speak with an attorney.

Motorists Have a Duty of Care

Under California law, bicyclists are held to the same standards as motorists. Bicyclists must obey traffic laws. Likewise, bicyclists are afforded the same privileges as motorists to use the roads, including having an expectation that other drivers will follow traffic laws and take steps to prevent accidents.

Anyone traveling on California roads has a duty of care to avoid harming another person. Drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. When a driver causes a collision, that driver has failed in his or her duty of care. If the accident results in damages, that driver can be held liable for those damages.

Damages in a Bicycle Accident

Because bicyclists have virtually no protection in a collision, the injuries in a bicycle accident can be traumatic. Common injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), broken bones, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, back and neck injuries, and severe scarring. These injuries can result in substantial medical bills. In the case of a permanent injury, the victim may face a lifetime of personal care and ongoing medical treatments. The cost can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In addition to the physical injuries and medical bills, victims suffer other damages in a bicycle crash. Common damages in a bicycle accident claim include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Permanent disability
  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional stress
  • Other out-of-pocket costs

Filing a claim is the only way you can recover compensation for these damages. In some cases, you may need to file a bicycle accident lawsuit. Our attorneys are exceptional negotiators and trained trial attorneys — we have the experience you want and the legal team you need representing you in your claim.

Avoiding Bicycle Accidents

As a bicyclist, you cannot control what driver do, but you can take steps to avoid an accident. Always remain alert and avoid distractions. It may be tempting to wear headphones so you can listen to music or talk to a friend; however, that interferes with your ability to hear traffic and warnings. When riding, be cautious when approaching intersections and when passing parked vehicles.

If you ride at dawn, dusk, or night, install a headlight and taillight on your bicycles and wear reflective clothing. Riding in pairs or groups can also increase your visibility to motorists. Always follow all traffic laws when riding.  For more tips, visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles’’ website.

When Do You Need a Fresno Bicycle Accident?

You need a bicycle accident when you are injured in a collision. You need the assistance of a skilled Fresno personal injury to help you get the justice you deserve for your injuries.

Contact Torem & Associates by telephone at (888) 500-5000or online by using the contact form on our website.


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