Costa Mesa Bicycle Accident Lawyers
At least 14 cyclists were killed in Orange County traffic accidents in a recent year, according to the Orange County Register. In Costa Mesa alone, many people are injured in bicycle accidents every year. One cause of bicycle accidents may be drivers running red lights. At one time, red-light running at the intersection of Bear Street and South Coast Drive contributed to ten accidents in a single year, making that intersection the most dangerous for running red lights in the country. If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries.
- Bicycle accident injuries account for approximately 900 deaths, 23,000 hospital admissions, 580,000 emergency room visits, and more than 1.2 million physician visits every year in the U.S., as reported by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
- The estimated cost of bicycle accidents in the U.S. is more than $8 million annually.
- Bicycle-related injuries are responsible for 10% to 40% of the approximately 4.4 million children ages 5 to 17 who are injured every year in sports and recreation activities.
- One study estimated the rate of severe bicycle accident injuries to be 37.4 per 100,000 population in urban areas.
AAFP reports that most serious injuries and fatalities in bicycle accidents result from collisions with motor vehicles. Although superficial soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal trauma are the most common bicycle accident injuries, head injuries are responsible for most long-term disabilities and fatalities. The following traumatic injuries are commonly sustained in bicycle accidents, as stated by AAFP:
- Head: Skull fractures, concussion, brain contusions, intracranial hemorrhage
- Face/eyes: Facial fractures, contusions, dental fractures, foreign bodies in the cornea
- Musculoskeletal: Strains, dislocations, fractures
- Chest: Rib fractures, lung tissue injury
- Abdomen: Ruptured spleen, laceration of the liver, renal (kidney) contusion, pancreatic trauma, vascular (blood vessel) perforation, contusion of the small or large intestine, rupture, traumatic hernia
- Genitourinary: Trauma to the urethra, vulva, and rectum; pelvic fractures
- Skin and soft tissue: Abrasions (road rash), contusions, lacerations
Many different factors can contribute to bicycle accidents, including rider error, driver negligence, environmental hazards, and mechanical failure. When driver negligence leads to a bicycle crash, common causes may include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding or driving aggressively
- Following too closely
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Backing out of parking spaces or driveways without looking
Common types of bicycle accidents caused by negligent drivers include:
- Dooring: This type of crash occurs when a motorist opens a car door directly into the path of an oncoming bicyclist. Dooring is more common on busy streets with heavy traffic, where cyclists are forced to ride closer to parked cars.
- Side-swiping: When a motorist doesn’t give a bicyclist enough room while passing, a side-swiping accident can occur. Drivers should maintain a safe distance when overtaking a bicycle.
- Rear-ending: A driver who is distracted or inattentive and following too closely can easily rear-end a bicyclist. This type of bicycle accident is common at stop signs. It also occurs when a cyclist is trying to move left to get around parked cars.
- Left cross: This type of bicycle accident is common at intersections when a vehicle turns left directly into the path of an oncoming cyclist traveling straight through the intersection. Drivers are either not paying attention or simply fail to register the bicycle in the roadway.
- Right-hook: A cyclist to the right of a car at an intersection may be hooked by the vehicle turning right. Many drivers simply fail to check their blind spots before executing a right-hand turn.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident that was someone else’s fault, contact Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie at (949) 752-7474 today to schedule a free consultation. Our Costa Mesa personal injury attorney can tell you if you have a bicycle accident case, and what damages you may be entitled to claim.
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