We often think of riding a bike as a harmless and enjoyable recreational activity — particularly in a state like California that’s filled with so many wonderful places to cycle. Bicycle use is also booming in large urban areas, thanks to the popularity of new bikesharing services and the practice of commuting by bike.

Unfortunately, a peaceful bike ride can quickly turn tragic, due to the negligence of other road travelers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 840 bicycling deaths in the United States in 2016. As the popularity of biking grows, and the dangerous practice of distracted driving grows along with it, roads are becoming more dangerous for cyclists.

If you or a loved one has had the misfortune of being injured while cycling, it’s important to understand that legal help is just a phone call or email away.

By finding an experienced bicycle accident attorney, you can be compensated for any injuries you’ve suffered, and begin recovering from the harm inflicted by another person’s negligence.

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident

All too often cars and trucks fail to adequately share the road with cyclists. In some cases, this reckless behavior can lead to devastating injuries with lifetime consequences.

If this happens to you, it’s important that you take immediate steps to protect yourself. First, ensure that everyone is safely out of danger. If you’re in an unsafe location following the accident (such as in the middle of the road), quickly move to the side. Then, call 911 and ask for assistance.

It’s also important to exchange information with the other party: Driver’s license, insurance, etc. Write down the make and model of the car and gather any witness statements or witness contact information.

Documenting any evidence is also crucial. Take photos and videos of the scene. Write down any relevant details: road conditions, speed limits, inclement weather etc.

You’ll also need to document your medical treatment, both on the scene and in the days and weeks ahead. Keep a detailed account of medical expenses, lost wages, transportation costs etc.

These records will help form the foundation of any legal case you wish to pursue, and can help ensure that you are adequately compensated for your injuries.

Choosing an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicycle accidents, like many personal injury cases, can often be quite complex, as each side attempts to determine responsibility, interpret evidence and agree on fair compensation.

Finding a California law firm that specializes in bicycle accident litigation is the best way to ensure that you’re treated fairly — and that you receive satisfactory compensation for your injuries.