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Left Turn Bicycle Accidents in San Pablo

The Law Office of Nikolaus W. Reed represents bicycle accident victims in San Pablo. Any bicycle accident is going to be challenging for you, and there’s a number of different types of accidents you could find yourself in. One of the most common is a left turn accident, where a car misjudges your speed or simply doesn’t see you and turns left into you. To learn more about the legal process and your options, contact us today for a free consultation.

Should You Work With My Firm?

Being in a bicycle accident is undoubtedly difficult, especially in an area as ideal as San Pablo. Our climate and infrastructure makes biking extremely popular, but this also unfortunately raises the likelihood of accidents. Whether in a left turn or any other bicycle accident, whether or not you need a lawyer depends on the circumstances.

There’s no legal requirement in California that says you need a lawyer, but if your injuries are serious, you’re going to need more help than others. My firm can support your claim by explaining your legal options and what the process looks like, then supporting you by gathering evidence and taking the lead on talking with insurance companies and anyone else involved. Our top priority is making sure you have what you need for a successful claim.

Determining Liability in a Left Turn Bicycle Accident

The starting point for your legal options after a left turn bicycle accident in San Pablo is figuring out who’s responsible. This is important because it sets the parameters of who pays for your injuries and other losses. Given the nature of a normal left turn accident, the driver that hit you is going to carry most of that responsibility. However, given certain circumstances, others may share some liability:

  • Another driver involved in the accident
  • Passengers or pedestrians
  • The manufacturer of vehicle parts
  • The bicycle manufacturer
  • The City of San Pablo or the government agency responsible for road upkeep

What you need to do

No matter who’s responsible for the actual accident, it’s very important that you do what you can to lay the groundwork for your potential claim right after the accident happens. Many of these steps are no different than any other accident, but tailoring them to the circumstances of your bicycle accident will only help the matter:

  • Medical care – Check yourself for injuries and seek medical care as soon as possible, either from ambulance services on-site or at an emergency room or urgent care facility if you can move on your own power. This is a vital step to protect your health.

  • Report the accident – Contact the San Pablo Police Department (SPPD) or the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office to report the accident. Although a police report cannot be used as evidence in a lawsuit (as it’s considered hearsay), it’ll have important information for your insurance claim.

  • Exchange information – If possible, exchange contact and insurance information with the other involved driver. If they leave the scene, tell the police immediately and report the accident.

  • Gather details of what happened – Make sure to get pictures and videos of the accident scene. Also, make note of anything that might have led up to the accident, including driver and vehicle information. This evidence can be valuable in supporting your claim later on.

Obviously, the best way to avoid the challenges that come with a left-turn bicycle accident is to not be in one to begin with. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible–and is sometimes unavoidable. That’s why these steps are so important. But just as important is understanding how the legal process works.

Legal Process After a Left Turn Bicycle Accident

When there’s a left turn bicycle accident in San Pablo, the actual legal process is not going to differ from most any other accident. What will differ is how your particular process plays out. This is because, as you might expect, every accident is different. So, there’s certain facts and circumstances involved in your case that won’t transfer to others. However, going through the process still has two main starting points:

Though left turn accidents are prevalent among bicycle incidents in Northern California, understanding the claims process is essential. Each accident is unique, and consequently, the claims process varies. However, the typical procedure for these accidents includes filing:

  • An insurance claim
  • A personal injury lawsuit

Procedurally, both an insurance claim and lawsuit look pretty similar. The main difference is that the insurance process is much less formal. The main goal of either option is to recover damages for your injuries, like:

  • Medical expenses, covering current and future medical bills resulting from the accident.
  • Lost income, which covers any income lost due to the accident and potential future earnings.
  • Pain and suffering, addressing the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Permanent injury or disability, addressing any lasting changes to your appearance or abilities.
  • Loss of quality of life, covering the changes that hinder your enjoyment of life after the accident.
  • Funeral expenses, applicable if you or a loved one died due to the accident, covering significant costs.

Remember, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your claim. Miss this statute of limitations, and you won’t be able to even file a claim, no matter how strong your case is.

What Causes Left Turn Bicycle Accidents?

Part of the problem with any bicycle accident is that you don’t have any control over what a driver does. This is all the more frustrating in a left turn accident, because in most cases, the driver can see you coming, they simply misjudge your speed or try to make an illegal turn at places like San Pablo Avenue or Rumrill Boulevard. Still, even left turn accidents have underlying causes, like:

  • Failure to yield
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving

Unfortunately, the typical injuries that come with these accidents are in line with other bicycle accidents, meaning that it could leave you facing severe physical and mental setbacks. Usually, you can expect to have:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Road rash
  • Neck injuries
  • Brain or head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Burns
  • Whiplash

In order to protect yourself, you should always wear a helmet and other safety gear while biking. Aside from that, you have to try to be ready and alert when riding anywhere in San Pablo. Nobody wants to get hurt in a bike accident, but if it does happen, my firm will be there to support you.

Dedicated Legal Support After a San Pablo Left Turn Bicycle Accident

No matter how experienced or ready you are, a left turn bicycle accident can happen if you find yourself riding anywhere in San Pablo. Bike accidents are an unfortunate part of life, but you don’t have to face them alone. My firm, NWR Law, can explain the process and help you get better. Contact us today for a free consultation.