San Luis Obispo Bicycle Accident Lawyer

The San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyers at Ernst Law Group represent injured bicycle accident victims. If you were harmed in a bicycle accident in San Luis Obispo, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Obtaining the legal advice of an experienced, skilled San Luis Obispo bicycle accident lawyer who will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you need and deserve is advisable. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your rights and options.

san luis obispo bicycle accident lawyer

Steps to take after being in a bicycle accident

The immediate aftermath of a bicycle accident can be overwhelming, but staying calm and taking the following steps can help you protect your right to compensation.

1. Get to a safer location

Bicyclists are vulnerable to further injury in the aftermath of an accident. Immediately move yourself and your bicycle to a safer spot on the side of the road or sidewalk, away from the flow of traffic.

2. Keep on your safety gear

If you’re wearing a helmet or other safety gear, keep it on unless instructed otherwise by a medical professional.

3. Call 911 and ask for police and an ambulance

Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, it’s essential to have official documentation of the accident and your injuries. Both police and medical responders will create reports that can be used as evidence in your potential personal injury claim. The medical responders can also screen for any signs of injury that may not be obvious to you.

4. Tell your side of the story to the responding police officer

After the police arrive, they will take a statement from you and ask you questions about what happened. Answer their questions truthfully, but avoid speculating about the event or admitting fault. Anything you say will be incorporated into an official police report, which could be used to support or challenge your claim for compensation.

5. Gather evidence at the scene

If you’re physically able, take a few moments to gather your documentation of the scene while it’s still fresh. Take photos of all vehicles involved in the accident, your bicycle, any safety gear you were wearing, any contributing hazards, the road conditions, and any visible injuries. You should also write down the name and contact information of any bystanders who witnessed the accident.

6. Notify your insurance company

Although bicyclists aren’t required to carry motor vehicle insurance, your bicycle may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy. If you have this type of insurance, be sure to call the insurance company soon after your accident. They can let you know how your policy may apply to your bicycle accident and help you file a claim.

7. Visit urgent care or your primary care physician

Once you’ve left the scene of the accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, regardless of whether you think you’re injured. Some injuries can take days or weeks to manifest symptoms, and delaying your diagnosis or treatment can make it more difficult to link your injury to the bicycle accident.

8. Meet with a San Luis Obispo bicycle accident lawyer to understand your legal options

The best way to determine if you’re entitled to compensation is to discuss your case with a San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyer. An attorney can review your case and advise you on your rights, options, and next steps.

Know your rights

Motor vehicle drivers are often quick to blame bicycle riders for an accident. While bicyclists in California do have certain responsibilities, they also have rights. These rights may mean that an injured bicyclist is entitled to compensation for their injuries, even when other road users assume the bicycle rider is at fault.

For example, bicyclists may ride anywhere on the roadway as long as they’re moving as fast as the surrounding traffic. A bicyclist who is moving slower than traffic can also ride in the middle of the lane if the lane is too narrow for them to ride side-by-side with a vehicle safely.

And even when a bicyclist is required to travel on the right side of the roadway, they’re still permitted to make a legal left turn. There’s also the Three Feet for Safety Act, which requires motor vehicle drivers to leave at least three feet of space between their car and a bicycle when passing.

san luis obispo bicycle accident attorney

Make sure you file a claim on time.

It is essential to file your case within the statutory time. In California, generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims expires after two years. In certain cases, the statute of limitations may be six months; check with your attorney – if you do not file your claim within the allotted time, you will be precluded from filing.

What are possible damages you can claim?

The goal of a personal injury claim is to seek compensation in the form of damages from the party who caused your injury. Damages are any losses the injured person sustained as a result of the accident and may be economic or non-economic.


Economic damages are those that have a clear, easily calculable dollar value. Common examples of economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages during the initial recovery period, and future lost earnings due to the lasting effects of the injury.


Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate and reflect the intangible losses associated with an injury, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

What parties may be liable for your injury?

To recover damages for your injury on your behalf, our attorneys will need to identify the liable parties. More than one party may be responsible for an injury in a bicycle accident, including:

  • The driver(s) of the other vehicle(s) involved
  • A pedestrian or another cyclist
  • A municipality or government agency responsible for road or sidewalk maintenance
  • A manufacturer or mechanic of a faulty bicycle component
  • A third party that created a hazardous condition, such as a road construction company or a nearby business

As your attorneys, we’ll work diligently to identify all the parties who may be liable for your injury to maximize your potential compensation.

How our San Luis Obispo bicycle accident lawyers prove negligence

After identifying the liable parties, we’ll need to show that they owed you a duty of care and that they breached this duty through negligence, causing your injury.

Strong evidence showcasing the events leading up to the accident is the key to proving negligence. We’ll work to compile evidence such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, photos of the accident scene, and any available video footage. We may also call in other professionals to provide expert testimony.

We fight the insurance company to get you maximum compensation

Most bicycle accident claims are filed with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. These companies are usually more concerned with their profits than fairly compensating victims, so they may use aggressive tactics to delay or deny the claim.

Those tactics won’t work with our San Luis Obispo bicycle accident lawyers on your side. We accept nothing less than full compensation for our clients, and we’ll explore all available avenues to recover your damages.

Bicycle accidents are more frequent and more dangerous

It’s no secret that bicycle riders are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. Bicyclists can be easy to miss in traffic, and they don’t have the protection of airbags or seat belts like vehicle occupants. As a result, they’re more likely to be involved in an accident than most other road users, and the resulting injuries are often more severe.

Bicycle accident causes

Bicyclists are particularly vulnerable to accidents caused by the following factors:

  • Speeding or distracted drivers
  • Drivers who fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes
  • Drivers opening their car doors without looking
  • Drivers making turns without signaling
  • Dangerous roadway conditions, such as potholes or broken pavement
  • Defective bicycle parts

Often, a combination of factors, including bicyclist negligence, is responsible for a bicycle accident. However, even if a bicyclist is partially at fault, they may still be entitled to compensation.

What are common bicycle accident injuries?

Bicycle accidents are often caused by negligent motor vehicle operators who do not understand that bicyclists have the right to share the road with all other vehicles. An average bike weighs 20 to 30 pounds; a car weighs about 3,000 pounds. A fully loaded truck may weigh more than 80,000 pounds.

When a car crashes into a bike, severe injuries or death may occur. If a motor vehicle crashes into a bicycle, the cyclist may experience severe injuries or death. Common bike accident injuries include:

These injuries can lead to lifelong pain, disability, and substantial financial losses, and they deserve to be compensated.

What are the “do’s” and “don’ts” of dealing with insurance after an accident?

Our attorneys will handle most of the correspondence with the insurance company, but insurance adjusters may still attempt to contact you. If that happens, keep the following tips in mind.


  • Document all communications with the insurance adjuster
  • Stay calm and respectful
  • Refer all questions to your attorney


  • Sign any documents or accept a settlement without consulting with your attorney
  • Agree to be recorded during a phone call without your San Luis Obispo bicycle accident lawyer present
  • Admit fault or apologize for the accident

What’s the cost of hiring a San Luis Obispo bicycle accident lawyer?

You’re dealing with enough after a bicycle accident without worrying about how you’re going to pay for an attorney. Ernst Law Group will pursue your injury or wrongful death claim on a contingency basis, meaning you do not have to pay any fees unless we win your case.

Our fee comes out of a portion of the settlement or award, so you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket to get the quality representation you need.

Why work with Ernst Law Group

Ernst Law Group is a Plaintiff Trial Lawyer firm, meaning we focus on representing injured parties in civil lawsuits instead of defending insurance companies or large corporations. This allows us to provide compassionate, personalized service that always puts your best interests first.

We’ve been achieving successful outcomes for our clients for four decades, and we believe our results speak for themselves. Our attorneys have recovered more than $300 million in settlements and verdicts, including $10.23 million for a young bicyclist who sustained major brain damage after being hit by a car. We have also earned a number of awards, including recognition from Super Lawyers and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.

Our San Luis Obispo bicycle accident lawyer is ready to help

You are not alone in the battle to get compensation for your bicycle accident. Ernst Law Group is here to protect your rights and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

For a free case evaluation with California’s premier law firm, contact Ernst Law Group online or dial (805) 541-0300 today.


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