If you have ever tried to make an interstate road trip in a single day, you have probably experienced firsthand how difficult and dangerous it is to drive when you are tired. If it is difficult for a road-weary and sleep-deprived driver to operate a vehicle that is carrying just a few people and perhaps some suitcases, imagine how hard is to drive safely after seven or more hours on the road when the vehicle subject to your bleary-eyed decision-making skills weighs numerous tons and is carrying enough food to feed an entire city. All states, including California, have laws limiting how long truck drivers can drive without taking a break, but California has some of the strictest rules about trucking safety. The most recent version of the Federal Aviation Association reauthorization bill has upheld California’s right to impose its rules, which are stricter than federal regulations.
In the world of personal injury law, this means that trucking companies could be leaving themselves open totruck accident lawsuits if truck drivers who cause accidents turn out to have been driving in California for more than five hours without a break.
What the New Bill Means for California Trucking Safety Rules
The federal bill,House Bill 302, contains provisions to determine how often truck drivers must stop to rest, among other provisions. Currently, federal law states that the longest a driver can go without a 30-minute break is eight hours, while in California, the limit is five hours. Since the maximum length for a workday for a truck driver is 11 hours, it means that in California, truck drivers must take at least two breaks during each eleven-hour shift. FAA regulations must be revised every five years, so HB 302 will determine the rules that will be in place for the next five years.
Legal Controversies Surrounding Mandatory Rest Periods for Truck Drivers
California’s five-hour limit on driving without rest helps prevent truck accidents, but the discrepancy between the federal laws and the state laws causes confusion and sometimes lawsuits. When truck drivers from out of state reach California during their interstate trips, are they required to stop after five hours, or can they keep driving until they reach eight hours? Currently, states can override the federal rules. Truckers from other states have followed California law, taking a break after five hours, causing them to be late for deadlines set by employers in their home states. The truckers have filed class action lawsuits against the trucking companies that employ them, demanding their right to the breaks mandated by California law.
Contact Case Barnett Law About Commercial Vehicle Accident Cases
Regardless of their state of origin, truck drivers in California must take breaks every five hours. If you were injured in an accident caused by a truck that had been on the road in California for more than five hours, you almost certainly have grounds for a lawsuit. Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California if you have been seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle.
The cliché that the things that truly make your life enjoyable do not have a price tag is true. In fact, most people do not even realize how much their happiness depends on being able to walk without pain, drive without fear, or rely on the emotional support of a family member unless they have lost those things temporarily or permanently. If you have never suffered a serious injury in an accident, you might balk at the amounts that courts sometimes award to plaintiffs and assume that the plaintiffs or their attorneys are being greedy by requesting such large sums. In fact, sometimes courts use a mathematical formula to determine the amount of money to award for physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment. The amount awarded for pain and suffering incar accident lawsuits sometimes comes down to multiplying the economic damages by a certain number, depending on how much the suffering resulting from the accident has changed the plaintiff’s life.
The General Damages Multiplier
Courts and insurance companies sometimesmultiply the economic damages associated with a car accident (past and future medical expenses, property damage, and past and future lost income) by a factor of anywhere from one and a half to five. The idea is that long-term physical pain and emotional suffering resulting from an accident compound the damage caused by the accident. For example, if the accident left you with a phobia of driving, whereas you once used to enjoy driving, then that could lead the court to apply a general damages multiplier. Likewise, in a wrongful death lawsuit, the more the plaintiff depended on the victim financially and emotionally, the greater the general damages multiplier. People sometimes give the example of a personal injury lawsuit settlement worth three times the amount of the medical expenses, but this is just one example.
Providing Evidence of Pain and Suffering
In order to show how much the accident disrupted your life, you must give evidence of things you used to be able to do that you can no longer do because of your injuries. For example, were you an athlete and are no longer able to play your favorite sport? Were you an accompanist for your church choir, but because of hand injuries resulting from the accident, can you no longer play the piano? Did you used to enjoy ballroom dancing with your spouse, but you can no longer participate because the accident left you with chronic pain, thus leaving your spouse without a dance partner and a valued social outlet? All of these things can factor into a court’s decision when awarding non-economic damages.
Contact Case Barnett Law About Car Accident Cases in Orange County, California
If you have been injured in a car accident, you might feel like no one understands how much the accident has disrupted your life, but a skilled personal injury lawyer knows how to show evidence of your suffering.Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California if you have been seriously injured in a car accident.
In a car accident involving two personal vehicles, insurance companies assign fault to the driver of one of the vehicles. If someone in the other vehicle was injured, and the settlement amount offered by the insurance company is not sufficient to pay the injured party’s medical expenses, the injured person can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who was at fault. The plaintiff can recover damages in the legal case if the court determines that the plaintiff’s injuries are the direct result of negligence on the part of the defendant. When the driver at fault was driving a commercial vehicle, however, the defendant named in the lawsuit is often the company that owns the vehicle. Of course, it is possible that the true cause of the accident was something other than a driver’s negligence, for example, an unsafe road or one with inadequate signage to warn drivers of hazards. If you have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, the best thing to do is to contact a personal injury attorney who deals withcommercial vehicle accident lawsuits.
California Trucking Company Named as Defendant in Lawsuit After Highway Accident
On August 31, 2018, asemi truck on the interstate near Albuquerque, New Mexico experienced a tire failure and collided with a Greyhound bus, killing eight of the 49 people on the bus, including the driver. The truck was transporting produce from Fresno, California to Memphis, Tennessee, while the bus had stopped in Albuquerque on its way from St. Louis to Los Angeles. One of the surviving passengersgave birth to twins the day after the accident.
The families of two of the victims, one from Arizona and the other from Ohio, sued the California-based company that owns the semi truck whose faulty tires caused the accident. In order to determine the details of what went wrong with the truck in the moments before its tire blew out, officials are trying to find a recording device in the truck that might give some indication. While airplanes have a “black box” for just this purpose, commercial trucks usually do not.
Failure to Maintain a Safe Vehicle Constitutes Negligence
It is likely that the plaintiffs have a strong case against the trucking company. Federal and state regulations have strict safety requirements for trucks and truck drivers. They limit truck drivers’ daily and weekly work hours and require drivers to take breaks during the workday. They also require frequent inspections of various parts of the truck, including its tires. If it is determined that the driver did not inspect his tires when required, or that he inspected them but failed to repair the unsafe tire, the trucking company will be required to pay damages to the plaintiffs’ families.
In California, personal injury attorneys see a number of bus accident types, including:
School bus accidents. These accidents are one of the most difficult types of bus accident cases that attorneys handle, as they often involve young children who were injured or killed.
Municipal transit bus accidents. Public transportation is an inexpensive way to get around, but when cities fail to maintain their buses or employ poorly trained drivers, accidents and injuries can be the result.
Freight bus accidents. These commercial vehicles are designed to carry cargo but, when overloaded, they have the potential to become unpredictable and dangerous.
Private, commercial, or charter bus accidents. Buses hired for tours, parties, and other excursions can be just as dangerous as public buses when improperly maintained or operated.
When passengers step onto a bus, they have every right to assume that it is being maintained and operated in accordance with federal safety regulation—regardless of whether the bus in question is a school bus, city bus, freight bus, or party bus.
Other common bus accident case types include:
Bus breakdown injuries
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Thanks to human error and poor driving practices, when buses and other vehicles share the road, accidents are bound to happen. Unfortunately, many bus accidents could have been avoided had the bus’s owner or driver taken the proper safety or maintenance precautions. Some of the most common bus accident causes related to bus owner or driver error include:
Drunk or drugged driving. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can slow a driver’s reaction time and put everyone on the road at risk.
Drowsy driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits commercial drivers to 11 hours of driving time per day to prevent fatigue, which can be as impairing as consuming alcohol.
Distracted driving. Bus drivers may drive for a living, but they are just as susceptible to distractions like talking or texting on their cell phone, eating or drinking, or using a navigational system as the average motorist.
Inadequate bus maintenance. Even though the FMCSA requires commercial bus drivers to inspect the vehicle regularly and make repairs in a timely fashion, it does not always happen.
Operating the bus during dangerous weather conditions. Even well-trained and experienced commercial bus drivers are wise to wait for severely inclement weather to pass.
Injuries Associated With Bus Accidents
Buses lack many of the safety features—such as seat belts and airbags—found in personal passenger vehicles. When a bus accident does occur—the injuries can be potentially devastating. Common injuries associated with bus accidents include:
Bus accident victims who were injured through no fault of their own can pursue compensation for a wide variety of economic and non-economic damages related to the crash. Available damages may include compensation for:
Medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident
Ongoing medical treatment for accident-related injuries
Wages lost while recovering from injuries
Loss of earning potential if the injuries are permanently disabling
Physical pain and suffering
Mental and emotional distress
Scarring or disfigurement
Diminished quality of life
Loss of enjoyment of life
Criteria for Hiring an Attorney
It is wise to consult an attorney after being injured in an accident involving large commercial vehicles, such as a bus. This is because these types of accidents have the potential to cause extensive physical injuries and property damage. If the following statements apply to your case, it might be time to talk with an attorney:
The bus accident happened less than 18 months ago.
Medical expenses, property damage costs, and lost wages total more than $2,000.
Another person’s negligence caused the accident.
If you were driving a vehicle (rather than riding on the bus), it sustained notable damage in the accident.
You went to the hospital or saw a doctor immediately following the bus accident.
You have seen your doctor regularly since the accident and followed all of his recommendations for treatment.
Your injuries included broken bones or required surgery.
The at-fault party has insurance.
Understanding Your Options: Settlement Versus Courtroom Trial
If you were injured in a bus accident that wasn’t your fault, Case Barnett Law is prepared to do whatever is needed to ensure you receive the largest settlement possible—regardless of whether that is achieved during a vigorous negotiations process or by taking your case all the way to court. A courtroom trial can be lengthy, expensive, and stressful, but sometimes it is the only way to get victims the justice—and the compensation—they deserve. Here at Case Barnett, we will never push you to accept a settlement that isn’t in your best interest to avoid going to trial.
Do you have questions about your bus accident case? Contact Case Barnett Law to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.
Contact Case Barnett Law About Commercial Vehicle Accident Cases
Commercial vehicle companies are required by law to uphold high standards of safety for their vehicles; to do otherwise is negligence.Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California if you have been seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle.
You have probably seen co-workers and party guests show up at work and parties, respectively, sporting bandages, and then proceed to tell stories about the freak accident that resulted in the injury. Freak accident stories are quite entertaining, as long as the injury is minor, and the weirder the circumstances of the accident, the better. Sprained your finger lifting a baby out of a bouncy seat? Priceless! Bit your tongue in a tragic singing accident and had to get four stitches? Dinner party anecdote gold! Caught 20 crabs in a single fishing trip, and the smallest one pinched your thumb as you threw them into the pot to cook them? You will be a local legend!
On the other hand, accidents that are serious enough to get you admitted to the hospital or keep you out of work for an extended period are not simply harmless fodder for shooting the breeze. It is important to find out if any of the circumstances that led to the accident could have been prevented because any party that ought to have prevented the accident could be a defendant in apersonal injury lawsuit.
A Personal Injury Lawyer can Help You Determine Who is Liable
Imagine that you are finishing a canoeing trip with friends. You are getting out of the canoe, when it capsizes. As it overturns, you get injured when you crash into a post sticking slightly out of the water, part of a broken dock, which you could not see when you went to get out of the canoe. It is a freak accident, to be sure, but was it anyone’s fault? Do you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, such that the liable party could be required to compensate you for your medical expenses? Is the owner of the dock liable for letting the dock fall into disrepair, such that the post caused your injury? If so, it is a premises liability lawsuit. Did the canoe manufacturer fail to make the canoe stable enough? If so, it is a product liability lawsuit. Did the friend who was in the canoe with you when it capsized fail to stabilize the canoe? A personal injury lawyer can help you parse which parties had which responsibility to prevent the accident and determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Why File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you were injured in a preventable accident, a personal injury lawsuit can help you get compensation for medical expenses and lost income related to injuries suffered in the accident. If it is a product liability lawsuit, a successful lawsuit could also lead to stricter safety regulations about the product.
Contact Case Barnett Law About Personal Injury Cases
Discussing your accident with a personal injury lawyer could be your first step to recovering financially from a serious injury.Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California if you have been seriously injured in an accident and think that you might have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
In small doses, electric shocks do not cause injury; curious minds might even find them intriguing. If a car door gives you a mild electrical shock when you go to close it, it does not hurt very much. Electricity is also the reason that the Van de Graaff generator is one of the most popular exhibits at any children’s science museum. In higher amounts, though, electric shocks can cause serious injury or even be fatal. When electrocution accidents are caused by dangerous conditions in workplaces and other public places, the property owner may be legally liable for causing the accident. In fact, manyelectrocution accidents can be avoided if workers and employers exercise proper caution and follow safety protocols.
Electrical Hazards at Work
In the United States, about 4,000 people suffer injuries because ofelectrical hazards in the workplace each year. About 300 people per year die from electrocution accidents at work.
Electric shocks are not the only type of accident that can result from electrical hazards in the workplace. They can also cause fires and explosions.
Electrical Accidents are Preventable
Many electrical accidents can be prevented if employers make efforts to keep electrical equipment safe and high voltage areas isolated and if workers are careful with electricity. Here are some ways to avoid electrical accidents:
Workplaces should display signs warning workers and visitors of electrical hazards.
Hurrying is a major cause of workplace electrocution accidents. Workers should not rush to finish their work quickly when working with electricity. Likewise, employers should not put time pressure on workers when they are working in the presence of electrical hazards.
Proper safety training is key when there are electrical hazards in the workplace. In some occupations that require working with dangerous levels of electricity, knowledge of electricity safety protocols is part of the requirements for certification. Even for workers who are knowledgeable about electrical hazard safety, and especially for those who have not gone through a certification process that requires safety standards but who may be working in hazardous areas, ongoing training about electrical hazards and proper safety measures is key.
Anyone who might be exposed to high levels of electricity, whether a worker or a visitor, should wear proper protective gear.
Turn off all electrical equipment before a person touches it, for example, to clean it. If possible, you should wait a few minutes after turning it off and before touching it.
Because aluminum is a conductor or electricity, you should not use aluminum ladders near electrical wires or electrical equipment. Instead, use a fiberglass ladder, since fiberglass is an insulator.
If you will be using electrical equipment, make sure that the area is dry. Do not use electrical equipment near water, since water can conduct electricity.
Contact Case Barnett About Electrocution Accidents
If you have been injured in an accident involving electrical hazards, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California for a consultation about your case.
In 1995,Christopher Reeve, the actor who had played Superman in several movies, was injured in a horseback riding accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. The world was shocked to see the once-athletic Reeve confined to a wheelchair, but he made many public appearances after his catastrophicspinal cord injury. He spent the rest of his life raising awareness about the need for research for new treatments for spinal cord injuries, and after his death in 2004, his widow Dana continued her husband’s campaign. Spinal cord injuries are devastating; even a celebrity as wealthy as Reeve could not pay to restore his ability to walk. Research on the treatment of spinal cord injury is ongoing, however, and in the last few years, medical scientists have been at work on developing promising new treatments to repair damaged nerve tissue and to find other means to restore the function of the limbs of people with spinal cord injuries. Currently, though, as with many complex medical problems, the most effective treatments are beyond the financial means of most people.
New Horizons in Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Research
Currently, no treatments exist that can restore people with severe spinal cord injuries to their former state of health before the injury. Many treatments exist, though, and research continues to find a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. Here are some of the most promising current research trends.
Neuroregeneration: Most of the cells in the body, including the axons (an appendage of nerve cells) of the peripheral nervous system, can regenerate themselves, but the axons of the brain and spinal cord cannot. Research aims to treat the injured spinal cord with antibodies that target myelin, a coating on the axons of the spinal cord that prevents the axons from regenerating. The goal is to enable the spinal cord to repair itself, restoring sensation and voluntary movement.
Stem cell transplants: Stem cells can differentiate to become cells of the various tissues of the body. Research aims to transplant stem cells to the spinal cord and enable them to regenerate functional spinal cord tissue. Embryonic stem cells show promise in this regard, but because of the ethical concerns surrounding their use, researchers are also experimenting with transplants of stem cells that are present in adults, such as neural stem cells (which become nerve cells), mesenchymal stem cells (which naturally differentiate into bone, muscle, and fat) and induced pluripotent stem cells (adult stem cells that have been altered so that they can function like embryonic stem cells, which can differentiate into virtually any type of cell).
Medical devices: While not actually repairing the spinal cord, devices such as exoskeletons and brain-computer interfaces may help people with spinal cord injuries regain the use of their limbs.
Contact Case Barnett About Spinal Cord Injury Cases
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, being able to pay for treatment can save your life or vastly improve its quality.Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
When you are a child, it is fun to stop in front of a railroad crossing. You hear the bells and see the gates come down and then watch from your parents’ car as the train zooms by. You count the cars from the engine all the way to the caboose, and by the time the train has passed and you can safely cross the track, you feel as though you have been party to a special occasion.
When you are a busy commuter, having to stop to wait for a passing train is an annoyance. You count the minutes until you can finally continue your drive to work. Of course, these instances only apply when the railroad crossings are safely constructed and operated. If railway crossings are not properly constructed and operated, the resulting railroad crossing accidents can be devastating. The causes of railway crossing accidents are many, but if they are because of a flaw in the railway crossing, then the injured party could have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Rules and Regulations Governing Rail Crossing Safety
TheCalifornia Public Utilities Commission is in charge of making sure that the railway crossings in California are safe and properly maintained. A railway crossing is an intersection where a railroad crosses another railroad or a public road. These are some of the safety requirements for railroad crossings in California:
The minimum overhead clearance above railroad tracks where freight trains travel is 22 and one half feet. If a railroad track ends inside a building, then the minimum overhead clearance inside that building is 18 feet. The freight cars on these tracks cannot be taller than 15 feet; taller freight cars must bear permanent labels that say “excess height.” For railroads built only for commuter passenger trains, the minimum overhead clearance is 14 feet.
The minimum clearance between the center lines of two parallel tracks must be at least 14 feet. Certain types of tracks require an even greater clearance.
It is illegal to place any items on the ground or on the platform within eight feet of a railroad track. A visible marker should indicate the eight-foot mark beyond which one cannot place any items.
When a railroad crosses above a public street or road where vehicles operate, there should be a 15-foot minimum overhead clearance. When a road open to vehicular traffic crosses above a railroad track made for freight trains, the minimum overhead clearance is 22 feet six inches.
Were There Violations of Safety Standards at the Site of an Accident?
If you are involved in a train accident, you should always document whether the minimum clearances were being observed and whether the required markings were present. If they were not, and you were injured in the accident, then you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact Case Barnett About Railroad Crossing Accidents
If you were injured in a railroad accident, you may be entitled to compensation.Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California to discuss your case.
It is hard to think clearly after a car accident, even if at first it seems that no one was injured and the accident was not very serious. In the moment, the first thing that you might think about is how mad your boss will be if you are late to work or how upset your spouse will be if your already high car insurance premiums get even higher. It is important to think about your health first, though. Manypersonal injuries that result from accidents do not start showing symptoms immediately. Back or neck pain resulting from the collision tends not to show up until a few days later, but it can last a long time and be difficult to treat. In order to have as much documentation as possible to show your insurance company and, if necessary, your lawyer, take the following steps immediately after you are involved in an accident.
If You Go to the Emergency Room
If the police who report the accident recommend that you go to the emergency room to have your injuries evaluated, do not refuse just because it is an inconvenience to spend a big part of the day in an emergency room waiting to be seen by a doctor. Ask the nurses in the emergency room totake photos of any injuries you have sustained, if any of your injuries are visible. When you do see the doctor, ask for a written recommendation about how many days, if any, you need to miss work. This will be valuable information in your legal case when it comes to proving lost wages. You will have written proof that your injuries sustained in the accident were the reason you missed work; the other side will not be able to argue that you simply chose to take a certain amount of time off of work.
A Doctor’s Expert Opinion
Unless your primary doctor is nearby and you can easily see him or her without an appointment, the emergency room physician is usually the first medical professional who will do a full evaluation of your injuries after the accident. Emergency room doctors must provide a detailed report when they release you from the hospital. Ask the doctor to include his or her assessment of exactly what caused your injuries, such as the angle from which the other car hit your car. Also ask the doctor to include written instructions about future treatment you will need.
Make an appointment with your regular doctor as soon as you can after being released from the emergency room. Have your primary care doctor review the emergency room doctor’s notes and make any further recommendations in writing, including referrals to a specialist. Reports from physicians are some of the strongest evidence you can use in court in a personal injury case.
Acetaminophen, which goes by the brand name Tylenol in the United States and the names paracetamol and Panadol in other countries, is one of the most widely consumed over-the-counter drugs. It is the only widely available over-the-counter painkiller that does not belong to the category of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Popular over-the-counter NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen sodium (Aleve). While millions of people routinely take acetaminophen to relieve minor pain and do not suffer any adverse effects, taking an overdose of acetaminophen can cause acute liver failure and has even led to several deaths; thus, it has been at the center of severalproduct liability lawsuits. What is most alarming in these cases is that, sometimes, the doses at which the patients suffered adverse consequences were not very much higher than the recommended therapeutic doses. So far, there is no agreement on the best way to preventaccidental overdoses of acetaminophen.
How do Acetaminophen Overdoses Happen?
Acetaminophen is metabolized in the liver. The current recommended dose is not to exceed four grams of acetaminophen per day. That is equivalent to eight tablets of Extra Strength Tylenol in a 24-hour period (usually two pills every six hours). Some acetaminophen-containing OTC drugs, such as Excedrin Migraine, contain almost that much acetaminophen in a single dose, and thus, they are intended to be taken only once per day. At higher doses than that, liver damage can occur. Symptoms of overdose include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain; in many cases, the patient does not seek treatment until the liver damage is advanced, mistaking these symptoms as simply part of his or her illness. One of the reasons that acetaminophen overdoses are as frequent as they are (about 150 cases per year in the United States) is that acetaminophen is an ingredient in many common OTC medicines, including Nyquil and Theraflu. If you take the recommended dose of several of these medicines, you may be taking more acetaminophen than you realize.
For example, Marcus Trunk suffered a wrist injury at his construction job in 1995, and he took Extra Strength Tylenol every day to relieve the pain from his injury while recovering. Shortly thereafter, he developed flu-like symptoms and began taking Theraflu, while continuing his regimen of Extra Strength Tylenol for his injury. Within a few weeks, he had died from liver failure at the age of 23.
How to Prevent Acetaminophen Overdoses
Manufacturers have begun to label acetaminophen-containing OTC medicines more clearly, so that patients do not unwittingly take higher doses than recommended. Consumers should also read the labels on OTC medicines carefully to be sure of how much of each active ingredient they are taking. Some countries have lowered the maximum recommended dose as a precaution. Some even restrict the amount of acetaminophen one person can buy within a certain period of time, much the way the United States restricts the sale of certain cold and cough medicines with considerable potential for abuse.
Contact Case Barnett About Product Liability Cases
Have you suffered illness or injury because of a faulty or improperly labeled over-the-counter medicine?Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California for a consultation to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
As the old saying goes, accidents happen. Most accidents really are no one’s fault. In such a bicycle-friendly state as California, it is not a surprise thatbicycle accidents are fairly common occurrences. In order for a plaintiff who has been injured in a bike accident to have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, he or she must prove that the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence. For example, if the bike collided with a car, was the driver of the car violating any of California’s laws about sharing the road with bicyclists? If the bike unexpectedly tipped over while the plaintiff was riding it, was it because of a defect in the manufacture of a bike? The burden of proof in any lawsuit rests with the plaintiff, so be prepared to make a case that you were riding your bike according to its intended use and that you had fitted it properly to your body. Even better, making sure that you are buying the correct bike for the places you plan to ride it and that you have adjusted it to fit you well can go a long way in preventing accidents.
Different Types of Bicycles for Different Terrain
To the untrained eye, bikes look quite similar, but once you actually ride one, you notice the differences. Different tire thicknesses and handlebar positions can make for adifferent riding experience. For example, many of the bikes that you see traveling at a leisurely pace on California’s beach boardwalks arebeach cruisers. These bikes are structured so you ride in a normal sitting position; thus, they are steady and easy to steer; their wide “balloon tires” further add to their stability and provide plenty of traction for safe braking. The disadvantage of beach cruisers is that they can not go very fast; if you try to keep up with vehicular traffic on a beach cruiser, you are asking for trouble.
On the other end of the spectrum are road bikes, which are similar to the racing bikes of competitive athletes. Road bikes have “dropped” handlebars, so you have to lean forward to ride them. They also have narrow tires, which allow for more speed but less stability. Most road bike tires are not recommended for riding on wet surfaces. Bike manufacturers are explicit about which conditions are safe for riding each type of bike.
Adjusting Your Bike for the Safest Ride
Most parts of a bike frame do not move, but you can and should adjust the handlebars, pedals, and saddle to fit you. Adjusting these parts not only prevents accidents but also prevents strain injuries from normal riding. Have an employee of the bike store adjust your bike unless you are a very experienced rider and can do it yourself.
Contact Case Barnett About Bike Accident Lawsuits
Sometimes bicycle accidents happen even if you are doing everything you can to observe safety practices. Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California to see if your bicycle accident is the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.