Rialto is one of the most popular places in Southern California for biking. It consistently ranks as one of the most bicycle-friendly areas in the U.S. The warm weather and endless sunshine coupled with a significant investment by the City of Rialto in bike transportation infrastructure makes biking a highly attractive mode of transportation.
Notwithstanding, accidents still happen. Even with ongoing improvements to bike lanes, intersections, and bike paths, Rialto continues to lead the country in the number of bicycle accident-related injuries and fatalities. Accordingly, if you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is critical that you contact a skilled attorney to help you better understand your legal rights and options. Get in touch with a Rialto bicycle accident lawyer today to get started.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents in Rialto
There are a variety of different ways in which bicycle accidents occur in Rialto. The most common types of bicycle accidents in Rialto include the following:
- Car door crashes
- Exiting a private drive
- Accidents caused by riding against traffic
- Drivers overtaking a bicyclist
- Sideswipe accidents
Car Door Crashes
A car door crash happens when a driver opens their vehicle door as a cyclist is passing by. In urban areas such as Rialto where there are bicycle lanes that are located right next to cars that are parallel parked, it is easy for an unsuspecting bicyclist to hit an opening door.
Exiting a Private Drive
As a major city in San Bernardino County, Rialto has many residential zones. This leads to many accidents as bicyclists or vehicles exit side streets, private alleys, driveways, or sidewalks.
Accidents Caused by Riding Against Traffic
Bicyclists may feel safer when riding against traffic given that they can see oncoming vehicles in their path. Conversely, this causes many bicycle accidents in Rialto.
Drivers Overtaking a Bicyclist
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a bicyclist to be struck from behind when on the roadway. Specifically, under California’s Three Feet for Safety Act, drivers who overtake and pass a vehicle that is headed in the same direction on a roadway must do so at a reasonable distance to preserve the safety of the overtaken bicyclist. When they fail to do so, drivers can cause serious and sometimes fatal bicycle crashes.
Sideswipe crashes happen when a driver comes into contact with the side of a bicyclist. These are serious accidents that often result in severe injuries and even death.
The Causes of Bicycle Crashes in Rialto
There are several causes of bicycle accidents. A majority of bicycle crashes could be prevented if drivers kept their eyes on their surroundings and followed all of the rules of the road. When an accident does occur, the common causes include, without limitation, the following:
- Driving while impaired from alcohol or drugs
- Driving while distracted
- Failing to obey signals and street signs
- Defective roads
- Drivers who engage in road rage
- Inclement weather
The Types of Damages in Rialto Bicycle Accident Cases
There are several forms of damages that a victim may obtain in a Rialto bicycle accident case. These include:
- Special damages: This type of compensation is also known as economic damages under California law. These may include medical bills, lost earning potential and lost wages, and damage to property.
- General damages: General damages, also known as non-economic damages, are aimed at compensating a person for loss of affection, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.
- Punitive damages: These types of damages are intended to punish the defendant whose misconduct contributed to the victim’s injuries. However, these damages are only able to be obtained if the plaintiff submits strong evidence to the court demonstrating that the defendant was guilty of delinquency or gross negligence.
Get in Touch with a Rialto Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you must contact a Rialto bicycle accident lawyer today to learn more about your legal rights and options. A personal injury attorney knows the applicable laws and will guide you throughout each stage of your case.