Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving the Stockton and Petaluma California Regions
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Springing into Bicycle Season in Stockton

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.


Safety First for Bicyclists in Stockton

Bicycle accident lawyers at Sette Law in Stockton look at national trends regarding safety for residents who enjoy bike riding for fun and recreation. Those statistics, according to our Stockton personal injury attorneys, show a heightened need for vigilance and adherence to traffic laws for both bicyclists as well as motorists in Stockton.

Bicycle accidents increased from 2011 to 2012, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Center. This trend may be due to an increase in riders nationwide and, our Stockton bicycle accident attorneys say, probably underestimates the number of people injured in bicycle accidents. Law enforcement is often not notified about minor accidents, victims may not visit hospital emergency rooms and many bike injuries go unreported. Safety Center researchers estimate the number of Stockton bicycle accidents reported may be as low as 1- percent. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers believe that a great deal of education needs to happen to create a safer urban environment for bicycle riders.

Stockton bicycle accidents are most threatening to youngsters. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the number of accidents involving riders under the age of 15 earned a dubious ranking for Stockton. Bicycle accident lawyers explain that, out of 13 similar cities, Stockton ranks the second most dangerous for these young riders. The city placed ninth on the scale for riders over 15 in Stockton. Bicycle accident lawyers say the reported 138 bicycle accidents logged in 2011 probably represent a fraction of actual Stockton bicycle accidents.

Lawyers at Sette Law believe riders and motorists must step up vigilance and build greater awareness of safety on the streets of Stockton. Bicycle accidents most often result in serious injuries to riders, given the vast difference in speed, weight and protection between bikes and cars. Consequently, our Stockton injury attorneys call for mutual respect on the roads. Motorists should be on the watch for bike riders and bicyclists must not only anticipate movement in vehicle traffic but also ride responsibly.

Unfortunately, because bike riders are so vulnerable in Stockton, bicycle accident lawyers advise riders to adopt consistent rules for riding in traffic. A first basic rule would be to always, unfailingly, wear a helmet on the streets of Stockton. Our personal injury attorneys know that most bicycle accidents result in head injuries – damage that can impact victims for a lifetime.

Another simple prevention practice is for riders to dress in brilliant colors to make themselves clearly visible to vehicle drivers in Stockton. Bicycle accidents can, and do, happen because the rider seemed to blend with the environment. Our bicycle accident lawyers encourage riders to be colorful when riding on the streets of Stockton.

Bicycle accidents can also be minimized if bikes are outfitted with good lights, reflectors and mirrors. Making eye contact with vehicle drivers signals awareness of both rider and car for mutual safety in Stockton. Furthermore, our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers say riders need to think ahead about the intentions of drivers. Something as simple as a car door swinging open can cause serious injury or death in a resulting bicycle accident in Stockton.

If these suggestions seem to place the greatest responsibility on riders to avoid bicycle accidents, our lawyers agree. After all, the bicyclist is almost always at greatest risk in a bicycle accident. Ultimately, if the result is serious injury or death in a Stockton bicycle accident, lawyers know that, despite monetary recovery that may be won, the rider suffers the greatest harm. It is in the rider’s personal interest to adopt consistent safety habits when riding in Stockton.

Bicycle accident lawyerrs urge riders to take these simple precautions and to also recognize that their actions can contribute to Stockton bicycle accidents. Our attorneys are watching a case in nearby Sacramento in which a rider hit a pedestrian and left her disabled for life from a bicycle accident. The bicyclist was riding on a sidewalk and hit the woman from behind. In this case, the bicycle was the dangerous vehicle. The victim is suing for damages in the bicycle accident, contending that the city vehicle code regarding riding on sidewalks is unclear. The rider who caused the bicycle accident has not been identified. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers know that riding on busy streets can be a frightening experience. Proper bike lanes are often nonexistent and bicyclists are drawn to the safety of sidewalks. But, Stockton personal injury attorneys point to the Sacramento incident as a case in which a bicycle proved as dangerous as a car to a pedestrian.

Clearly, responsibility for bicycle and pedestrian safety is shared. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers believe it is time for state and local traffic laws to adapt to an increase in bicycle use. This requires education and vigilance of bike riders and motorists to keep themselves and pedestrians safe from Stockton bicycle accidents.

A Critical Look at Stockton Bicycle Accidents

Lawyers know there are at least 2 sides to every story. This holds true as we look at car vs Bicycle accidents in Stockton. Injury attorneys also know that in such accidents, it’s usually the bicycle rider who sustains the most serious injuries. Nonetheless, as in car accidents, liability has to be established in cases brought to court in Stockton. Personal injury attorneys at Sette Law look at all the facts and evidence in a bicycle accident, knowing that bike riders, like car drivers, can make bad decisions and disobey traffic laws in Stockton.


Bicycle accident lawyers know that legal issues surrounding a bicycle accident are similar to those arising from automobile accident. In addition, our Stockton personal injury lawyers, also agree that safety laws and precepts governing both modes of transportation are analogous. The concept of “duty of reasonable care” applies to all drivers, meaning they must exercise care for all who share the road with them – other cars, pedestrians, motorcycles and bicycles on the streets of Stockton. Our Bicycle accident lawyers say a similar concept applies to bike riders.  Traffic laws must be obeyed and care for the safety of others is a responsibility for bicyclists in Stockton. Injury attorneys remind riders and motorists that common courtesy and good judgment are essential to personal and community safety.


Asking the right Questions about Bicycle Accidents in Stockton
Personal injury lawyers in Stockton help to establish liability when working on behalf of a bicycle injury client. We investigate the circumstances of the accident, with our Stockton injury lawyer looking at the behavior of the driver of the car, as well as the actions of the bike rider who is also bound by traffic rules in Stockton. Bicycle accident lawyers must have information about both (or all) parties to an accident in Stockton. Injury lawyers can help establish liability or responsibility for an accident by knowing, for example, the bike rider was following traffic laws and not behaving in a reckless manner. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys explain that actions like riding the wrong way on a one-way street, ignoring stop signs or darting out into car traffic lanes are acts that put bicyclists at risk and can contribute to serious accidents.


Stockton injury lawyers say that motorist liability is also scrutinized. If witnesses report a driver was speeding or ignoring traffic signals, there may be an indication that driver negligence caused the accident in Stockton. Sette injury lawyers also check police logs for any citations issued around the time of the accident. If the driver had been ticketed for reckless driving or speeding, this could be used as evidence of liability for the bicycle vs. car accident in Stockton.


Injury Lawyers back Bicycle Safety
At Sette Law, our Stockton personal injury lawyers know that regardless of liability, it’s most often the bicycle rider most injured in a collision with a car. In researching bike accidents, our Stockton injury attorneys learned that at least fifteen percent of bike vs. car accidents result in traumatic brain injury. We also accessed research that concluded up to 88% of those brain injuries could be prevented if riders simply wore bicycle helmets in Stockton. Our injury attorneys strongly urge bike riders to protect themselves with approved bicycle helmets on the roadways of Stockton.


Bicycle accident lawyers emphasize that bike riders are vulnerable – speed plus a lack of protection for the body (and head) can have life changing, sometimes deadly, consequences.