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If you regularly use your bicycle for commuting or pleasure, you have probably encountered certain road hazards. Cyclists should be aware of road hazards in order to protect their own safety. However, sometimes the hazards are invisible or unavoidable. If you were injured in a bicycle accident due to road hazards, you should contact an experienced Palo Alto bicycle accident lawyer at Ziff & Cohn. Depending on the specific circumstances, there may be an entity that can be held accountable for your injuries even if there was not another party involved in the accident. We can help you determine which defendants to pursue and promptly take legal action against them.
If you have been injured due to a road hazard, there is a strong chance that a branch of the government may be responsible for your injuries. For example, the cities of Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, and other municipalities can be held accountable for failing to fix a pothole or another issue on a road or bike lane. This is because California cities have a duty to keep roads under their control in a reasonably safe condition for people traveling on them. If you are suing a city or another branch of the government, you need to be aware that the time you have to file a claim is much shorter than the standard statute of limitations. Most claims have a six-month time limit before they will be time-barred. That is part of the reason why it is crucial that you contact a knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Compensation for your injuries may cover both economic and non-economic damages. For example, you may be able to recover reimbursement for your medical bills and lost income, in addition to the pain and suffering that you experienced. Damages in bicycle accident cases often are substantial because the injuries tend to be severe, but you should not assume that it will be easy or straightforward to receive full compensation. These cases are often fiercely litigated, and you should have an aggressive advocate on your side.
The Bay Area is known for having challenging road conditions, including potholes and repair work in construction zones. Just because a pothole gets filled in does not mean that it is not a hazard. Tar can get hot and become sticky, so keep that in mind if you are riding over filled potholes on a hot day.
Gravel, such as gravel in construction zones, also can be dangerous because it is easy to slip and crash. If you are riding on gravel, it is best to refrain from slamming on your brakes but instead feather them to slow down. While on gravel, you should keep pedaling and never coast, but you should be careful not to end up riding too fast. If you are trying to turn on gravel, you should lean your body into the turn and keep your bike straight.
If you notice manholes, sewer grates, or other steel pieces in the road, as with other hazards, you should first try to avoid them. If you cannot avoid them, use caution when riding over them, especially if they are wet. Wet steel can act like ice and be extremely slippery. You will be less likely to slip if you keep your bike absolutely upright. However, the safest way to handle these hazards when they are unavoidable is to get off your bike and walk it over the hazard.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident caused by a road hazard, you should contact a personal injury attorney who knows how to help victims get the compensation that they deserve for their injuries. We assist bike crash victims ranging from students to commuters throughout the Bay Area, including in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Stanford, Portola Valley, Woodside, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, San Jose, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Redwood City, Burlingame, San Mateo, San Bruno, Daly City, San Francisco, Alameda, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Leandro, and Union City. Contact us at (650) 329-0851 or through our website for a free case evaluation.