Injured through no fault of your own in a bicycle accident?
We're the force you need to get the compensation you deserve
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 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.
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
- 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: