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Riding a bicycle in Mountain View is often a convenient way to get to work or school while avoiding traffic, getting exercise, and reducing pollution. The city has created a network of designated bike paths, some of which cross the 101 or major streets like Middlefield Road or Central Expressway. Also, it has set aside bike lanes on many streets. However, a bicycle accident still can occur even if a cyclist takes the appropriate precautions. Bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries or even death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, it is crucial that you contact a skilled Mountain View bicycle accident lawyer as soon as you are able. The attorneys at Ziff & Cohn are ready to investigate your case and fight for your rights in settlement negotiations and at trial.
Mountain View police reports from 2018 showed that the rate of bicycle accidents has not slowed down significantly from prior years. There were 24 bicycle crashes in Mountain View in 2018, and at least one person was injured in 20 of them. Overall, some of the most dangerous intersections in Mountain View include the intersection of El Camino Real and Grant Road, the intersection of West Middlefield Road and Shoreline Boulevard, the intersection of El Camino Real and Sylvan Avenue, and the intersection of Central Expressway, Moffett Boulevard, and Castro Street.
If you are riding a bicycle and get into an accident, the first thing that you should do is move to the side of the road if you are able, or somewhere else that will keep you safe from any oncoming traffic. However, if someone has a suspected neck or back injury, they should not be moved if at all possible. The other important thing to do immediately is to seek emergency medical attention if there are any suspected injuries.
Head injuries are common after a bike accident, although the extent of the injury may not always be obvious. If there has been any head trauma at all, the injured person should be checked out by emergency services and taken to the emergency room if needed. The important thing is to prevent any further injuries and make sure that existing injuries get the medical treatment that they need.
Once the injured person has been stabilized, the next step is to contact a skilled bicycle accident attorney in the Mountain View area. They can help you assess the damages and start putting together a claim for compensation.
Each accident is different, and sometimes even small variations in the facts will result in very different results. Generally, however, these kinds of cases are based on a negligence theory. As a legal term, negligence means that someone had a duty of care that they did not meet. For example, drivers have a duty to drive reasonably safely and to follow the rules of the road. If someone acted in a way that was unreasonable, and that act caused a bike accident, they will usually be liable for the damages. Breaking a traffic law is usually strong evidence of negligence, since reasonable people will follow the law unless there is an emergency or some extreme situation that prevents them. However, proving a violation is not necessary for your Mountain View bicycle accident attorney to establish liability. It is usually up to the jury to determine negligence unless the situation is very clear, such as when a cyclist is hit by a car door.
California also uses a comparative negligence system. That means that you can recover some damages even if you bear part of the fault for causing the accident. However, the amount that you can recover will be reduced by the amount of your fault. For example, if the total damages were $200,000, and you were found to be 30% responsible and the other party 70% responsible, they (or probably their insurer) would need to pay you $140,000 in damages.
At Ziff & Cohn, we can help you pursue the compensation that you are due for your injuries and costs, including medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Call (650) 329-0851 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation with a bicycle accident lawyer in the Mountain View area. We have represented college students, commuters, injured children, and other bike riders who have been struck by careless drivers. You do not owe us any fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.