What To Do After a Bike Accident in Fresno

Experiencing a bicycle accident firsthand highlights the risks involved. They occur suddenly, can cause significant bodily harm, and can also leave bicyclists facing medical bills and considerable pain.

What Are the Causes of Bike Accidents in Fresno?

Bicycle accidents can occur unexpectedly for several reasons. Some of the most common causes of a bike accident in Fresno include:

  • Defective Bike Parts: Product defects, including design flaws or manufacturing errors, can compromise a bike’s safety and lead to accidents. Goldberg & Loren will help explore legal options if a defective bike contributes to an accident.
  • Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a leading cause of bicycle crashes. When drivers fail to focus entirely on the road, they are more likely to miss changes in road conditions that could lead to accidents. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes, hands, or minds off the road constitutes a distraction.
  • Failure to Yield: Failure to yield or recognize cyclists can lead to bicycle accidents.
  • Impaired Driving: Impaired driving, often due to alcohol or drugs, significantly reduces a driver’s ability to react to changing road conditions. This increases the likelihood of preventable accidents.
  • Road Hazards: Road hazards such as potholes, gravel patches, or construction zones can also contribute to bicycle accidents by causing cyclists to lose control of their bikes.
What Are the Causes of Bike Accidents in Fresno?

What Injuries Can a Bike Accident Cause?

Bicycle riders are incredibly vulnerable to harm in the event of a crash, without the frame of a car to protect them from the incredible forces of a collision. As a result, even a low-speed crash can potentially cause moderate or serious injuries.

Bicyclists who are struck by a motor vehicle may suffer:

Back Injuries

  • Include strains, pinched nerves, herniated discs, etc.
  • May result in chronic pain lasting years or even lifelong.

Broken Bones or Fractures

  • Impact can cause severe fractures requiring surgery or casting.
  • Treatment may involve prescription medications and physical therapy.
  • Victims may suffer chronic pain or impairment.


  • Some accidents result in fatalities.
  • A surviving family can pursue a wrongful death claim for compensation.
  • Damages may include funeral expenses, medical bills, and loss of income.
What Injuries Can a Bike Accident Cause?

Disfigurement and Significant Scarring

  • Road rash, burns, and lacerations can cause lasting disfigurement.
  • May result in lifelong scarring.

Facial Injuries

  • Helmets primarily safeguard the skull, leaving the face vulnerable.
  • Common facial injuries include dislocated jaws, broken noses, loss of teeth, eye damage, nerve damage, and lacerations.

Head, Neck, or Spinal Injuries

  • Impact can cause severe lacerations, bruises, strains, or sprains.
  • Whiplash is common, causing neck pain, headaches, and dizziness.
  • Spinal cord injuries may lead to paralysis or death.

Other Bodily Trauma

  • Bicycle accidents can cause internal organ damage.
  • Signs like bruising or cuts on the abdomen require immediate medical attention.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • Leading cause of bicycle accident fatalities and disabilities.
  • Occur when the head violently collides with an object, leading to brain trauma.
  • Range from mild concussions to severe cognitive impairment.
Traumatic Brain Injuries

What Are California’s Bike Accident Laws?

In California, victims of bicycle accidents have the right to hold at-fault drivers accountable for their losses. California is a fault state, meaning that people are financially responsible for any accidents they cause on the road.

Injured drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists can file a claim against the at-fault motorist and recover compensation for their injuries.

As an injured cyclist, you have three options to pursue compensation.

  • You can file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance coverage.
  • You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in California civil court.
  • You can file an insurance claim under your own policy, as long as you have the appropriate coverage.

In many cases, bicycle accident cases begin and conclude as insurance claims. If your claim is unsuccessful or the insurance company refuses to provide an adequate settlement, you can escalate your case to a lawsuit. 

Possible Damages for Fresno Bike Accident Victims

Through a bicycle accident lawsuit or insurance claim, you can collect compensation from the person responsible for your accident. There are three categories of monetary damages that you may be able to collect in a California bicycle accident claim: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Possible Damages for Fresno Bike Accident Victims

Economic Damages:

Economic damages involve the financial losses that you sustained due to the accident. Common examples of economic damages in Fresno bicycle accident claims include the following.

  • Past and Future Medical Expenses: Emergency visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, outpatient procedures, prescription medications, in-home medical care, rehabilitation costs, etc.
  • Lost Wages: Loss of future earnings while you recover.
  • Diminished Earning Capacity: If you can no longer earn income at the same level as before the accident. For example, if you are forced into a lower-paying position or different career.
  • Property Damage: The repair or replacement of your bicycle and any other personal items damaged in the accident, such as a phone, helmet, clothing, etc.
  • Disability Accommodations: You may require live-in care, home modifications, adaptive medical equipment, etc. if you suffer a permanent impairment.

To recover economic damages, you must provide physical documentation of the expenses.

Non-Economic Damages:

Non-economic damages involve the pain and suffering that you endured as a result of your injuries.

  • Chronic pain
  • Disfigurement or scarring
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium for a spouse who loses companionship, support, sexual relations, etc.
  • Loss of opportunity
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Permanent disability
  • Unjust hardship

These losses are much more challenging to prove since they are not associated with an actual financial loss.

Non-Economic Damages

Punitive Damages:

Punitive damages are available in some bicycle accident cases but are rarely awarded. Instead, this type of compensation is typically reserved for cases that involve a defendant (at-fault party) who acted extremely negligent.

Punitive damages are then awarded with the intention of punishing the defendant and deterring others from committing similar harmful acts.

Goldberg & Loren understand how to effectively litigate for cyclists who have been struck by distracted, negligent, or impaired drivers.

Who Is at Fault for a Bike Accident?

In car-bike accidents, fault determination hinges on the specific details of the case.

Bicycle riders, like drivers of other vehicles, are expected to adhere to road rules. If a bicyclist disregards a red light or fails to yield to a driver with the right-of-way, they may bear partial or full responsibility.

However, drivers are also obligated to exercise caution and awareness. In many bike accidents involving vehicles, drivers are found liable for resulting damages.

To establish fault, key considerations include:

Was there negligence on the part of the bicyclist or driver? Negligence, defined as behaving less responsibly than an average reasonable person would, is vital.

Did negligence directly cause the collision? If a driver’s negligence directly led to the car striking the bicycle, they could be held accountable for the cyclist’s losses.

Police reports, eyewitness accounts, and security camera footage are valuable tools in determining fault in bike accident cases.

What Should You Do After a Bike Accident?

If you are injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to remain calm and seek help as soon as possible. Take the following steps to protect yourself and your right to compensation.

  • Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement
  • Seek medical attention and save all of the records that you receive
  • Briefly exchange contact and insurance information with the at-fault driver
  • Take photographs of evidence at the scene, such as visible injuries, property damage, and the position of all vehicles and bicycles on the road
  • Ask witnesses in the area for their contact information
What Should You Do After a Bike Accident?

What Compensation Is Available After a Bike Accident?

If you pursue a bike accident claim against a driver responsible for the incident, you should seek full compensation for all losses, which could include:

  • Damage to your bicycle or other property
  • Medical bills if the bike accident caused injury
  • Lost wages if you had to miss work due to a bike accident
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress resulting from the accident and/or injuries

In the unfortunate event of a fatal bicycle accident, the surviving loved ones of the deceased bicyclist may have the option to pursue a claim for wrongful death damages. [2]

Statute of Limitations for a Bike Accident Claim

In general, bicycle accidents have a Statute of Limitations of two years from the date of the accident under California law. However, reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Fresno can help ensure the specific deadlines are followed as there may be exceptions or nuances that could affect the timeframe for filing a claim.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you have the right to hold the at-fault party accountable for your losses. Contact Goldberg & Loren today to discuss your case with a bicycle accident lawyer in Fresno.

Statute of Limitations for a Bike Accident Claim


[1] Bieber, C. (2023, January 27). Bike Accident Causes, Injuries & Legal Options. Forbes Advisor. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/legal/auto-accident/bike-accident/

[2] Bieber, C. (2023, January 27). Bike Accident Causes, Injuries & Legal Options. Forbes Advisor.

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