Whether you ride a bicycle for transportation, fitness, or fun, there’s no question that all bicyclists should wear a helmet. In California, bicyclists are required to wear a helmet under the age of 18. However, it’s a good idea regardless of the California statute to wear a bicycle helmet each and every time you ride a bike. That’s because a helmet can save your life. Because legal advocates recognize helmets as a simple and inexpensive way to save bicyclists’ lives, many states require helmet use for younger riders. Individual cities and towns sometimes pass ordinances that apply to adult riders’ use of bicycle helmets as well.
According to California Highway Control statistical data, bicycle-auto accidents have increased almost 20 percent over the past five years. Thousands of people are injured or killed each year in collisions involving bicyclists.
A bicycle accident can have devastating consequences. If you’re not wearing a helmet and you’re involved in a bicycle accident, the negligent party’s insurance company might argue for shared negligence. They might argue that because you didn’t wear a helmet, you’re somehow responsible for your serious injuries. Even if the vehicle driver was 100 percent negligent, you may be asked to share responsibility. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced California bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Realize that if you’re a cyclist, drivers of passenger cars, pickup trucks, and commercial vehicles might not see you. Because you’re not protectively surrounded by thousands of pounds of metal, an airbag, or safety belts, you can be seriously injured in a car-bike accident. Statistics tell us that younger cyclists between the ages of 15 to 24, and older adults over age 45, are at higher risk of injury or death.
Realize that even if the driver that hit you has a car insurance policy, it’s not necessarily an easy task to file and settle a personal injury insurance claim. Contact the team at The Paris Firm today to schedule a case evaluation.