Rancho Santa Margarita Bicycle Accident Lawyer

For cyclists, Rancho Santa Margarita is an excellent setting for a ride. Whether riding for pleasure or as transportation, cyclists make up a notable portion of the traffic on area roadways. While there are countless health benefits of cycling, there are also serious risks. In 2017 alone, nearly 800 bicycle riders nationwide sustained fatal injuries in traffic accidents. The number of non-fatal injuries is significantly higher.

If you have sustained an injury in a bike accident through no fault of your own, you could benefit from a discussion with a Rancho Santa Margarita bicycle accident lawyer. You have the right to seek compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit, and an experienced personal injury attorney could guide you through the process.

Rancho Santa Margarita Bike Laws

Bicycles share the same rules of the road as motorists in Rancho Santo Margarita, but they also enjoy some unique protections. If a motorist violates a cyclist’s rights while driving, they could face liability for any damages resulting from a crash.

According to California Vehicle Code 21200, cyclists have the same right to travel on roads within the state as any motorist. The statute also provides that vehicles must share the road with cyclists and that drivers owe cyclists a duty of care. If a motorist collides with a bike rider after failing to share the road with a Rancho Santa Margarita cyclist, their attorney could seek compensation for any damages.

The laws related to operating a bicycle also impact cyclists. These rules regulate:

In many cases, the most impactful bicycle law is the requirement to wear a helmet. According to California Vehicle Code 21212, cyclists must wear approved headgear when biking or face the risk of a fine. However, this statute also plays an important role in a bicycle accident lawsuit. If a cyclist without a helmet suffers a head injury in a crash, the defendant could argue that the victim failed to mitigate their risk of injury by violating the helmet law. While the lack of a helmet might not jeopardize a plaintiff’s case, it could directly impact the amount of their damage award. Fortunately, a seasoned bicycle accident lawyer in Rancho Santa Margarita could help an injured victim recover the damages they deserve.

Shared Fault in a Bicycle Accident

It is not always easy to identify the at-fault party in a collision between a car and a bicycle. In many cases, the motorist causes a collision when they fail to notice a nearby cyclist. However, cyclists also contribute to these collisions, as well.

In cases where a cyclist is partially at fault for a collision with a motorist, state law still allows the cyclist to recover monetary compensation for their injuries. California is a “pure comparative fault” state, which means a plaintiff may pursue compensation for their damages even if they were the primary cause of the accident. However, under pure comparative fault, a jury would reduce the damages award to a plaintiff by their degree of responsibility. An attorney representing a Rancho Santa Margarita accident victim could help demonstrate to a jury that the other driver was entirely at fault.

Reach Out to a Rancho Santa Margarita Bicycle Accident Attorney

Whether you are faultless in your bicycle accident or primarily at fault, you could have a viable claim for damages from the other driver. However, your degree of fault could significantly impact your ability to recover damages.

A Rancho Santa Margarita bicycle accident lawyer could advise you on the degree you are liable for your own accident. To learn more about your options following a motorcycle crash, schedule a free consultation today. Let a dedicated legal professional fight for you.