Bicycle Accident Roadway Construction
The knowledgeable and experienced California bicycle accident lawyers at Bisnar Chase understand what it takes to represent seriously injured victims and their families. Bicycle accidents caused by roadway construction have the potential to cause severe injuries or even fatalities. Often, these are accidents that could have been easily prevented by adherence to safety procedures. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident caused by roadway construction, please contact our offices at (800) 561-4887 to find out how we can help you.
Why Bicyclists are more Vulnerable
There is no question that bicyclists are more vulnerable to the curve balls thrown by city streets, be it in the form of potholes and rough pavement or roadway construction zones that make it a lot more challenging for bicyclists to navigate safely through our streets. Since bicyclists have little to protect them other than a helmet and the clothes they are wearing, they are at risk of suffering serious injuries in a dangerous roadway construction zone that is not conducive to the safe passage of bicycles.
There is a higher probability of bicycles tripping over protruding metal. A bicyclist could lose his or her balance when the bike hits construction debris on the roadway or potholes caused by construction work. In many ways, bicyclists are more vulnerable to suffering major injuries or even fatalities in construction zone accidents.
What Dangers Do Bicyclists Face?
There are a number of hazards that bicyclists face in a roadway construction zone. Here are just a few examples of some of those dangers:
- Potholes: Heavy equipment used in roadway construction can have an impact on surrounding streets. Potholes or other damage caused to the roadway can present challenges particularly to bicyclists. Potholes can prove extremely dangerous for bicyclists causing them to lose balance and take a fall. These types of accidents often result in severe head injuries or bone fractures.
- Roadway debris: Along with roadway construction comes debris. When debris and other materials are not removed in a timely manner, they pose injury hazards to passers by, particularly bicyclists and pedestrians. Depending on the type of debris, bicyclists may trip or slip and fall and suffer major or even life threatening injuries.
- Struck-by incidents: Since bicyclists have no enclosure to protect them as those in passenger vehicles do, they face the danger of getting struck by objects or vehicles in construction zones. For example, a flying piece of equipment or debris could strike a bicyclist and knock him or her off the bike. Construction vehicles, if they don't have lookouts or other safety measures in place, could strike passing bicyclists.
- Uneven pavement: When construction is in progress, bicyclists could trip or lose their balance when the pavement is uneven. Sudden pavement changes, in particular, could present an extreme danger to bicyclists.
- Poor lighting: When a construction zone is not properly lit, bicyclists traveling when it's dark out may face a heightened risk of a crash.
Construction Companies' Responsibility
There are a number of things construction companies or contractors can do in order to alleviate these types of roadway hazards to bicyclists. In fact, they have a responsibility to take the necessary steps to ensure that bicyclists have safe passage when construction is ongoing. They should place advance warning and guidance signs.
The construction zone should be well-lit and equipped with reflectors where needed so bicyclists are forewarned about any dangers or obstacles. Barricades and channels should be placed to separate bicyclists and pedestrians from other types of traffic. Bicyclists should be adequately warned about surface irregularities particularly where there is uneven pavement. Construction companies should also pay attention to maintain areas where bicyclists can safely pass through construction zones such as temporary bikeways.
Steps to Take if You are Injured
What do you do if you have been injured in a bicycle accident in a roadway construction zone? It is important that you file a report and get a copy for your records so you have documentation that the accident actually occurred. Take photographs of the dangerous condition that caused your crash as well as of your injuries. Preserve your bicycle because it is an important piece of evidence. Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Get contact information for the construction site supervisor and any eyewitnesses who may have seen the incident. Contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney who will be able to fight for your rights every step of the way.
What is Your Claim Worth?
The value or worth of your claim is dependent on the nature and extent of the injuries and damages you have suffered. For example, if you've suffered just a few scratches or bruises, or if you escaped uninjured, then the value of your claim may not be much. However, if you suffered injuries that required hospitalization, treatment and caused you to take time off work, you may be entitled to much more compensation. If you've suffered catastrophic injuries such as amputations, traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, the value of your bicycle accident claim could be significant. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of surgery, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Quality Legal Representation
The California bicycle accident attorneys at Bisnar Chase will fight hard to ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected. Whether it's a negligent construction company, contractor, sub-contractor or governmental agency, we will financially pursue the responsible parties and hold them accountable for your accident and injuries. We do not charge our clients any fees until we have secured compensation for their losses. Call us at (800) 561-4887 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.