Bicycle accidents and car accidents may not seem to have a lot in common, but according to Stockton personal injury attorneys, at least one facet is shared. And that is related to the actions that people involved should take after an accident that may have caused an injury. Our lawyers advise drivers and riders to minimize post-accident conversation. According to Stockton personal injury lawyers at Sette Law, comments made after any accident can come back to haunt both plaintiff and defendant in court. Personal injury attorneys say that even an innocent “I’m sorry” may be interpreted as admission of guilt. Consequently, our accident and injury lawyers suggest that conversation is only about insurance and contacts, and little else after an accident in Stockton.
Personal injury attorneys also encourage the victims of bicycle accidents to pay attention to details surrounding the incident that led to injury. Lawyers suggest that people take note of events leading up to the accident, and use a cell phone camera to document the physical environment. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys can use such documentation to support the case of a plaintiff or defendant whom we represent.
Yet another practice our Stockton personal injury lawyers advise is that bicycle accident victims promptly get medical attention. When plaintiff’s claim injury, our attorneys must show that harm was done specifically by the accident. However, when a victim waits for many hours or days, the defendant’s accident and injury lawyer might seek to prove the injury was pre-existing or, even, fabricated.
In summation, our Stockton personal injury attorneys say that post-accident behavior is essentially the same for car accidents and for bicycle accidents. But that’s where the similarity stops.
Injuries Are Often Severe for Bicyclists in Stockton
Personal injury lawyers at Sette Law are keenly aware that bike riders are most at risk in any traffic accident. Our attorneys point to the physical vulnerability and lack of protection available for bicycle riders on the streets of Stockton. Accident lawyers also know that nationwide statistics support the reality of increased risk of injury to bicyclists in collisions with motorists. Among the organizations monitoring bicycle accidents is the Pedestrian and Bicycle safety Center. In 2012, the group found that at least two bicyclists died due to accidents each day of the year. But, Stockton injury lawyers say that figure pales compared to the 29,000 bike riders who were injured that year. And, since many bike accidents are never reported to authorities, our personal injury attorneys believe the figure could be significantly larger.
How can bicyclists keep themselves safer of the streets of Stockton? Accident and injury attorneys at Sette Law offer a few best practices to follow, starting with the most fundamental protection of all – always wear an approved bicycle helmet to avoid head injury. Our lawyers point out that head injury is one of the major outcomes of a serious bicycle accident – an outcome that’s, at least partly, avoidable.
Our Stockton accident attorneys are aware of numerous studies that show how effective helmets are in preventing grave head injury. Our lawyers, in fact, are vigilant about insisting their families don helmets for each and every bike ride. Our legal experience has exposed us to the very significant, sometimes life changing, impacts of brain injury, and attorneys take that knowledge home!
Stockton Accident Attorneys Say Small Precautions Matter
In addition to making a habit of wearing a bicycle helmet, there are other safety measures that help prevent bicycle accidents. Our lawyers say it may sound a bit surprising but the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that riding bikes in the street should be one of the safest places to ride. That’s because the rules of the road apply to vehicles as well as cars. Our personal injury attorneys say this creates a more predictable environment for both riders and drivers. The exception to this suggestion is youngsters under the age of ten. Our Stockton injury lawyers report that experts find the brain development and maturity of riders under ten is not sufficient to manage the demands of street traffic. However, knowing that children may be riding bikes on sidewalks places onus on motorists backing out of their driveways to be very aware! Our Stockton personal injury lawyers do not want to represent an injured youngster or an unaware motorist who struck a child and caused serious injury. Attorneys see pain on both sides of this kind of incident. Caution on the part of motorist and young rider are fundamental to prevention of Stockton bicycle accidents.
Injury attorneys further say that bicyclists riding on roadways are advised to adopt extreme safety measures. From our extensive experience as Stockton personal injury lawyers, we know that bicyclists almost always suffer the most serious injuries in a collision with a vehicle. Consequently, it’s in the best interest of bike riders to develop consistent safety practices such as constantly monitoring surrounding traffic and anticipating unexpected maneuvers that could cause accident and injury. Attorneys agree that bicycle safety experts put a lot of the responsibility for safety on the shoulders of the bike rider. But, from our experience as Stockton personal injury lawyers representing seriously injured bicyclists, we agree that this ‘defensive riding’ approach only makes sense. Anticipate car doors opening from parked cars, or drivers swerving in traffic. Our Stockton accident lawyers have seen many accidents that may have been avoided by conscientious bike riders and vehicle drivers.
Other precautions supported by our Stockton accident and injury lawyers include the practice of bicyclists wearing clothing that stands out. No, not everyone wants to wear bright ‘race team’ type bike garb but most bicyclists can afford colored tee-shirts or jackets as one simple measure to prevent a bicycle accident.
Injury attorneys at Sette Law have many years of experience, backed by many years of legal training in accident and injury law. However, that doesn’t make it easy for our Stockton accident lawyers to represent a badly injured bicyclist. We know the lifelong challenges faced by accident victims suffering traumatic brain injuries so common in bike accidents. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys urge bicyclists to adopt strict safety practices.
Attorneys at Sette Law understand the lure of riding motorcycles in and around Stockton. Our lawyers, however, also understand the often dire consequences of a serious motorcycle accident. As attorneys we are aware of grim statistics that clearly indicate the high risk factors attributed to riding motorcycles. Our Stockton injury lawyers have access to state and national data bases that show how vulnerable riders are in any kind of motorcycle accident.
Our attorneys point out that it’s not just the obvious factors – such as driving while intoxicated – that contribute to Stockton motorcycle accidents. Lawyers, however, highlight the fact that drinking and riding a bike is a particularly bad combination. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 27 percent of motorcycle accident deaths in 2012 were attributed to drunk driving. A full 2,000 deaths involved single car accidents. Attorneys add that 43 percent of all motorcycle crashes that year involved drunk driving – except on weekends when the figure rose to 64 percent! Stockton injury lawyers note that this is one kind of crash that can, in fact, easily be avoided.
Clearly, drinking and driving is a bad idea for all drivers, but Stockton injury attorneys emphasize, particularly so for motorcyclists. Alcohol diminishes balance and judgment – critical to avoiding any accident but more so for Stockton motorcycle riders. Injury lawyers say that, all too often, an alcohol impaired rider will be the cause of an accident. Irresponsible riding while under the influence can easily lead to the rider being held liable for a motorcycle accident, our injury lawyers say.
Bike Riders at Higher risk of death and Injury
Attorneys are alarmed at the disproportionate number of injuries and deaths to motorcycle riders, compared to motorists. According to a 2006 NHTSA report 13.10 percent of 100,000 car accidents led to deaths. But our Stockton injury lawyers observe that figure pales compared to the 72-plus percent of deaths for motorcycle riders in the same period.
Stockton accident and injury attorneys say that additional NHTSA data highlights even greater risk inherent in motorcycle accidents. Attorneys say Administration figures for 2012 showed a 7.1 percent increase in motorcycle accidents over 2011. This translates to far greater risk of death in a motorcycle accident. Injury lawyers know that bike riders are five times more likely to die in an accident than are vehicle drivers. In 2012, NHTSA recorded 93,000 injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys believe these figures are a wake-up call for all motorcycle riders.
Older Riders face Higher Risk of Stockton Accidents
Our injury lawyers reference 2011 data from the NHTSA showing that riders over the age of 40 accounted for 56 percent of motorcycle deaths. Older riders seem to favor big bikes – comfortable for touring and traveling the byroads of Stockton. Injury attorneys, however, say the weight of such bikes makes them harder to handle. Roll overs of big bikes are not uncommon in Stockton accidents. Attorneys say the heft of such bikes, coupled with somewhat diminished physical condition of older riders adds to the risk of injury and death in Stockton motorcycle accidents. Our lawyers say that NHTSA looked at accidents from 2002 to 2011 and found a 78 percent rise in fatalities of riders 40-plus. During the same period, fatalities to younger motorcycle riders actually declined.
Stockton injury lawyers also report that riders of so-called super bikes, favored by young and often inexperienced riders, also faced an increased risk of death in a Stockton accident. Injury attorneys say these light and very fast bikes (some can get up to 190 mph) were four times more deadly in an accident. Lawyers posit that although speed is a factor, young riders are often inexperienced and lack mature judgment.
Tactics to prevent Stockton Motorcycle Accidents
Injury attorneys at Sette Law first highlight the obvious – no one should ever drink alcohol and drive a motorcycle. Clearly, impaired riding is a major factor in deaths and injuries to motorcycle riders. But accident lawyers say there are many other precautions that can make it safer for bike riders in Stockton.
Injury lawyers completely support helmet laws. Head injuries are the leading cause of fatalities in motorcycle accidents. Without a helmet a rider faces a 40 percent greater chance of death and 15 percent increase chance of injury in a Stockton accident. Injury attorneys consider this as basic safety equipment for all motorcycle riders.
Motorcycle associations across America offer further guidelines for safer riding. Stockton injury lawyers admit that most of the responsibility for riders’ personal safety rests with the motorcyclist. Although this may seem a bit ‘unfair’ the NHTSA statistics on motorcycle deaths and injuries support heightened awareness for rider in Stockton. Our injury attorneys say that cars making left turns in front of a bike rider is both common and dangerous. Unfortunately, it may be up to the motorcyclist to monitor his surroundings because many times, vehicle drivers seem blind to motorcycles. Stockton accident lawyers also say that motorcycle associations caution riders about the potential for car drivers to change lanes without signaling their intentions. Fair or not, our Stockton injury lawyers say that vigilance on the part of motorcyclists can prevent an accident in which they have the most to lose.
Deaths, disabilities and the risk of injury are ever present in the recreational pastime of motorcycle riding. Our Stockton injury attorneys understand the allure of riding and, at the same time, deal directly with the outcome of motorcycle crashes. A serious accident can change lives and take lives of riders in Stockton. Our injury lawyers believe that riders must step up their safety game so that they can enjoy the thrill of riding while minimizing risk. Since bike riders face the biggest risk of death and injury, our Stockton accident attorneys encourage riders to access safety courses offered by the California Highway Patrol. By developing consistent safety habits, Stockton motorcycle riders can enjoy the thrills of riding minus the perils and pain of accidents our Stockton injury attorneys deal with all too often.