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Sonora Bicycle Accident Lawyer


Sonora, California, had a population of 4,844 as of 2019. It is the county seat of Tuolumne. The city was founded by miners from the Mexican state of Sonora during the Gold Rush, and that is how it got its name. It was a booming gold mining town, but as the value of the mineral decreased and “gold fever” dissipated, the size and population of the city steadily decreased.

Though the population is small, Sonora is an avid biking town. Sonora Cyclery, located at 13867 Mono Way, is a full-service bicycle shop specializing in repairs and sales. The small business is an excellent resource for Sonora bicyclists – the owners and staff are passionate advocates for expanding recreational cycling opportunities for Sonora residents.

Any time a bicyclist is riding near vehicle traffic, the risk of an accident exists. Crashes between bicycles and vehicles can cause devastating injuries to the cyclist. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle versus car accident, contact our skilled and experienced Sonora bicycle accident lawyers for assistance at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.

Dragoon Gulch Trail

One of the best ways to avoid being hit by a car while on a bike is by riding in areas without vehicle traffic. Sonora has a great space to enjoy a leisurely ride through the woodlands – the Dragoon Gulch Trail. This nature area provides just over three miles of trails that travel alongside a creek and offer fantastic city and mountain views. The trails are multi-use and vary in level of difficulty.

Bicyclists Have Road Rights Too

Of course, it is not always possible to avoid riding in areas with vehicle traffic, especially if you enjoy long bike rides or are a bicycle commuter. When riding on the roads, the California Vehicle Code lays out regulations for bicyclists. In general, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicle motorists.

Vehicle drivers have an extra duty of care to be on the lookout for bicyclists.

Keep Three Feet

California Civil Code § 21760 requires that motorists keep a buffer of at least three feet between their vehicle and a bicycle when attempting to pass. This section of the code is known as the “Three Feet for Safety Act.” If the motorist cannot maintain at least a three-foot space, they must slow their vehicle to a prudent and reasonable speed and only pass if it is safe. They must never risk the cyclist’s safety. If an accident occurs caused by a motorist violating this rule, that driver can be held financially responsible for any damages caused to the cyclist. If a personal injury claim is necessary after a bike accident, a skilled bicycle accident attorney can ensure that all potential damages are included before any settlement is reached.

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below highlights the Three Feet for Safety Act.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident

Depending upon the severity of physical injuries sustained, the following things should be done by the cyclist or an advocate for the injured cyclist after a bike accident:

  • Get the vehicle driver’s full name and contact information.
  • Get the vehicle driver’s automobile insurance information.
  • Take photographs of any damage to the bike, the involved vehicle (including license plate), and any visible injuries.
  • Take pictures of the scene – including street signs, stop signs, bike lanes, and traffic lights.
  • Get names and contact information from any eyewitnesses.
  • Seek immediate medical treatment.
  • Contact an experienced Sonora bicycle accident attorney for guidance.
Bicycle Accidents – Common Injuries

Because they are so physically vulnerable, bicyclists are often seriously injured when hit by a car. Below are injury types that are commonly seen after a bicycle versus car accident:

  • Concussion/traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal injuries
  • Joint injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Road rash
  • Lacerations
  • Limb amputation
  • Paralysis
  • Nerve damage
  • Wrongful death
Bicycle Accidents – Potential Damages

If a negligent motorist hits a cyclist and causes injuries, California law provides a civil remedy. The cyclist can seek monetary compensation from the at-fault motorist for damages. Those damages could include medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. There are a few additional categories of potentially recoverable damages. Ensuring that your claim accounts for all economic and non-economic damages is one of many good reasons to consult with a skilled Sonora bicycle accident lawyer.

Bicycle Accidents – Time Limits

The California personal injury statute of limitations is two years. That means that a case must be settled, or a lawsuit must be filed before the second anniversary of the subject incident. If a government or public agency is a defendant, the time you must act is much shorter – only six months. Failure to file a claim on time can destroy your entire case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to protect your legal rights and maximize the value of your claim.

Sonora Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Consulting with an experienced Sonora personal injury lawyer after a severe bicycle accident is crucial to ensure your legal rights and your injury claim value are maximized. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent motorist, call us for free and friendly advice at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400, or send your inquiry via our online form.

Editor’s Note: 11.9.23 Photo: by Patrick Hendry via Unsplash mm [cs 898] cha