A simple bicycle commute to work in Southern California could end in tragedy because of a careless driver. A bicycle accident can cause life-changing injuries or death. In serious cases, the injured party may be eligible for compensation from the at-fault driver or another party.

To obtain compensation in California after a bicycle accident, the victim must file a claim against the negligent party or insurance company in pursuit of fair damages. An important part of the claims process is identifying who or what caused the accident.

Distracted drivers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted drivers took nearly 3,200 lives in 2017. Distracted drivers cannot react in time to changing roadway situations. They may not be able to keep safe control over their vehicles. The most common cause of driver distraction in California is cellphone use.

Reckless drivers

A reckless driver is one who has a wanton disregard for the safety of others. Reckless drivers may speed, run red lights, make unsafe lane changes, weave between cars, drive drunk or ignore right-of-way at intersections. Such unsafe practices can cause catastrophic and fatal bicycle accidents in Newport Beach and the surrounding areas.

Unsafe roadways

Sometimes it is not another driver at fault for a bicycle accident, but the roadway. Unsafe roadway designs, such as lack of bicycle lanes, can make biking unreasonably dangerous. Road defects are also common causes of bike accidents. It is the city’s responsibility to take care of potholes, debris, loose gravel, uneven shoulders and dangerous construction zones as soon as possible to prevent crashes.

Defective bike parts

Product manufacturers cause many auto and pedestrian accidents around the world because of defective parts. Defective or dangerous bicycle parts may lead to a crash by making it impossible to properly stop or steer the bike. If a defective part causes a collision, the biker could have grounds for a product liability lawsuit.