518 Ocean St., Ste. B

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(831) 426-3140

No Fee Until We Win

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We're the Force You Need for the Compensation You Seek

Santa Cruz Bicycle Accident Attorney

Your Local Attorneys Serving Santa Cruz County and Beyond for Over 40 Years


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Auto vs. bicycle

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Injured through no fault of your own in a bicycle accident?

We're the force you need to get the compensation you deserve

Going for a bicycle ride in Santa Cruz County should not be a life-changing event, yet recent data from California’s Active Transportation Safety Information pages reports, in 2019, 136 of our friends and neighbors were involved in biking accidents. This is almost 3 people a week. 
As local Santa Cruz cyclists, we take special pride in handling bicycle accident cases and ensuring that bicycle accident victims are treated fairly when resolving their claims.
If you have been in a bicycle accident, you are encouraged to consult with a lawyer who has a proven track record with bicycle injuries – even if you do not end up hiring one. Reason being, bicycle accident cases tend to be more complex than typical auto accident or pedestrian accident cases because the right-of-way is so often in question.  In addition, it is our opinion that parties involved in auto vs. bicycle accidents are far more seriously injured than those in auto vs. auto cases. A bicyclist is extremely vulnerable to the huge, heavy automobile that may strike them on the road knocking to them ground. As such, we believe that bicycle victims are in a very unique position and are entitled to substantially larger recoveries based on their vulnerable position and the likelihood of more serious injuries.

As avid cyclists ourselves, we really know the law. We also know your rights.

We are members of the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club. These are our streets, and we ride right alongside you. We fully understand the magnitude of injuries, the complexity of bicycle accident injuries, and the financial hardships a cyclist can experience following an accident. We have a 40+ year history of helping those in need recover the best possible reimbursement for their losses and take special pride in handling bicycle accident cases and ensuring that bicycle accident victims are treated fairly when resolving their claims.

Tyson riding his bike from Santa Cruz to Yosemite

Tyson Wiles riding his bike from Santa Cruz to Yosemite.

Brad and Tyson pledge to aggressively seek the best possible outcome for their personal injury clients. They are the force you need to get the compensation you deserve.

Call or text us today and request a free case review.

All I can say is WOW! If I could give them 10 stars I would.

Timing is critical

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in California is two years from the date of injury. Hesitation to seek legal representation can be a costly decision. Not acting within this time frame, in most cases, may result in the inability to ask for or receive compensation.

Give yourself a fair advantage. Insurance companies are notorious for wasting no time in starting an investigation following an accident. It is entirely possible to have an adjuster show up on the scene. Seek legal advice before giving any statements or signing any documents requested by an insurance carrier.

A police report is more than a piece of paper, it is a valuable investigative tool. This report is an integral piece of evidence in determining who, or what caused a bicycle accident. In the court of public opinion, the police officer who arrives at the scene of a crash is a neutral, credible, and trained observer. Insurance adjusters rely heavily on its contents and if push comes to shove and the case finds its way to a courtroom the judge and jury are apt to believe a member of law enforcement. Always ask for a copy of the police report as soon as it is available.

Hit by an under-insured or uninsured motorist?

If you are a bicyclist injured by an uninsured or under-insured motorist, your own automobile insurance policy may cover your injuries despite the fact that you were not in your car at the time of the accident. The circumstances of each case may differ including the insurance policies involved, the type and severity of injuries, and whether or not there is insurance available.

Factors we consider when determining fault and causation

When someone deliberately causes harm to another person or property, they may be found liable for the actions.  The harm caused by negligent or careless behavior may be compensable.

Accidents occurring between a cyclist and a motor vehicle are likely if:

  • The driver is distracted, impaired, or unfamiliar with the area*
  • A passenger car or commercial vehicle turns right into the path of a cyclist
  • A vehicle fails to yield the right of way
  • A passenger, or driver, opens a car door directly in front of the bicyclist
  • Car drivers fail to obey traffic signs and signals
  • Drivers exiting parking lots or driveways fail to notice a cyclist

*Based on 2019 data,  tourism is a $1 billion industry in Santa Cruz. At any given time there may be numerous drivers, unfamiliar with the area, distracted enough attempting to find their way around town, to become a liability to bikers.

Other contributing factors

In bicycle-friendly areas, it is not at all uncommon for cyclists to crash into each other, and in walkable communities, it is possible for a pedestrian to cause a biker to become off balance.

Bikers are often victims of other things like:

  • Poor roadway design
  • Weather
  • Potholes
  • Debris in the road
  • Construction sites
  • Tree limbs
  • Objects falling from other vehicles

Common injuries in bicycle accidents

Personal protective equipment and quality helmets have gone a long way in mitigating injuries in a cycling accident. That being said, a cyclist is literally unprotected in a crash and vulnerable to a high risk of injury.  Some injuries we have seen following a bicycle accident include lacerations and broken bones, facial injuries, back, neck, and spinal cord damage. In addition, we often see damage to internal organs, soft tissue injury, cerebral hemorrhage, and sadly wrongful death.

The importance of experienced legal help

Insurance claim adjusters are good at their job, and their job is to spend the least amount of money possible for the carriers they represent. They act quickly and their tactics are convincing. Insurance claims representatives are not on your side, they have a vested interest in disproving your claim of damages and denying your claim for compensation. They are trained to gather evidence against a claimant. Do not allow your own statement to be entered into evidence.

Talk to a personal injury attorney before you talk to the insurance company!

There are very serious mistakes that can be made in the initial stages of the claim by simply “cooperating” with the responsible insurance carrier. Keep in mind, anything you say, and most probably will be used against you. No matter how innocuous it may seem, or how appropriate, at all costs refrain from saying.” I’m sorry”, or “My bad.” When in doubt, remember the best time to contact a personal injury is sooner than later.

A bicycle accident attorney can make a substantial difference in helping families receive the attention and respect they deserve from insurance carriers and facilitate navigation through the complexities of our legal system and negligence law.

We stop at nothing to uncover all the pertinent evidence to substantiate negligence, and we know how to connect all the dots.

We dig deep.  We stop at nothing to uncover all the pertinent evidence to substantiate negligence, and we know how to connect all the dots. Proving fault in the court of public opinion is far easier than doing so in a court of law. We must show how the responsible party failed to consider the victim’s safety, the lack of concern was the direct cause of the accident, and the injuries were caused by the collision.

When you contact Wiles & Wiles, Personal Injury Attorneys with concerns about your bicycle accident, whether you choose to become a client or not, we will answer all your questions.

We Are All In This Together

Biker safety is a collaborative community effort in Santa Cruz County. Cyclists can take advantage of these local resources focused on enhancing the overall biking experience:


Some of the common questions we get asked about bicycle accident cases

Personal injury attorneys take bicycle accident cases on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing until you get paid. And if we lose your case, you owe nothing. 

The vast majority of bicycle accident cases here in Santa Cruz County never go to trial. Most resolve by settlement before the trial date arrives. A case is most likely to go to trial when the facts are in dispute or when there’s a contested legal issue.

The more carefully you build your case, the more likely it is that you and the other party can agree on the strength of your evidence and reach an appropriate settlement. 

That depends. All cases are different. The shortest cases we’ve settled in Santa Cruz resolved in only a few weeks and without any formal litigation. Others required filing a lawsuit and may take years to settle. Most of our cases here in Santa Cruz fall somewhere in the middle. The more complicated your case, the longer you can expect it to take. You have some control over the length of your case because it’s up to you to accept or reject settlement offers.

Collision reports in California are available through the California Highway Patrol website. You would have to complete a form and drop it off in person or mail it with the required fees.

Yes. Every state has “statutes of limitations” that set a time limit on filing a bicycle accident injury claim. In California, you have two years to file a lawsuit against a private individual or company, and only six months to file a claim against a government-owned vehicle or employee.

You may be far better off with a bicycle accident attorney, especially in serious cases. For one, insurance companies may offer higher compensation if you are represented by an attorney. That’s because they know that an attorney understands the true value of the case, and they don’t want to risk the time and expense of a lawsuit by making an offer that is too low. Additionally, often the fact that you are represented by an attorney will trigger laws that allow you to reduce your medical bills significantly.  Some medical providers may even be barred from seeking reimbursement from you. We addressed this further in our “Do You Need an Attorney?” article.

First, make sure you speak to a Santa Cruz bicycle accident attorney first before you agree to even speak to the insurance adjuster. It would be ideal if you could avoid making a recorded statement at all, but you may be required to under the Rules of Civil Procedure. If that is the case, be prepared and well-informed. The insurance adjustor will be looking for information to weaken the claimant’s case. Be truthful, but do not give any answers that you do not have clear recollection of and that you may not be able to recall later. Make sure you are 100% confident in all your answers. If there is a question you cannot answer, do not answer it. Avoid specificities concerning time, place, distance, speed, etc. 

The value of your claim includes your monetary damages like costs for medical treatment, lost wages, paying for help you need around the home or transportation to medical visits, physical therapy, and other related general expenses. Keep in mind that in some cases, these expenses can continue for a lifetime and this must be accounted for.

You total these losses and then multiply by 1-1.5 for moderate injuries and up to 5 for severe cases to cover pain and suffering. 

California follows what is called a pure comparative negligence rule. That means the maximum amount of compensation you can receive is proportionately reduced by the percentage of fault you share. For example, if the crash caused $40,000 in losses, but a jury determines you were 25% to blame, you would only be entitled to a maximum of $30,000.

What They're Saying About Us in Yelp

Catherine M., Whistler, Canada
Yelp Review, 01/18/2021
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I was seriously injured in an accident on Hwy 17. More valuable that the settlement was being able to sleep at night knowing these two were helping me and looking out for my best interest.
Noelle B., Santa Cruz
Yelp Review, 9/9/2015
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I was getting bullied by the insurance people. This father and son team not only made sure I wasn't bullied any more, but they also got me the PT I needed and more. My case was certainly not a money maker for these guys, but they still gave me their best.
Marlene S., Freedom CA
Yelp Review, 04/06/2014
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Brad and Tyson are amazing. They were able to make us feel comfortable and feel like we truly picked the right people for the job.”
Wendy B., Capitola, CA
Yelp Review, 03/21/2015
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After they presented my case, I was awarded the maximum amount that was allowed. I can now move forward, leaving the accident behind me. I am grateful that my friend recommended them, and I highly recommend them to you!
Royal C., Salinas, CA
Yelp Review, 07/31/2019
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All these five-star reviews for Brad and Tyson are spot on. Knowledgeable, easy to get hold of, friendly, pleasant, highly experienced, I could go on and on. They do what they say they are going to do.
Adam N., Chico, CA
Yelp Review, 02/13/2019
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All I can say is WOW! Respectful, caring, helpful, intelligent, If I could give them 10 stars I would. I highly recommend them!