Bike Accidents

Bike Accidents

Image of a bike accident, John F. McCarthy is a Central Coast bike accident attorney.

You were in a bike accident. Seems unreal, right?

You are riding along when suddenly you feel the full force of a Honda Accord slam into you.  You go up and over the hood, roof, and fall down the backside of the car.  You are shocked.  You have no idea how it happened.  One second you are riding along.  The next second you are on the ground.  You do not feel any pain…yet.  You look around to see your bike.  It is a twisted heap about 30 yards down the road.  You collect yourself and try to get up.  But, suddenly you feel a sharp pain down your leg.  You look down and it is obviously broken.  Witnesses rush to your aide.  The Accord driver stops and comes back.  He was only making a right turn.  He did not see you he says.  There are not usually bicyclists on this road he says.  Somehow, someway, this has to be your fault.  A bystander calls 911, and you are rushed to the hospital.  If you have been riding bikes for long enough this has either happened to you, or someone you know. 

All it takes is one second of inattentive driving and a bicyclist can go from an afternoon ride to the Emergency Room… or the morgue. 

A bike accident is less common than a car accident with two or more cars colliding. It is a traumatic experience, getting struck by a car while in the safety cocoon of your automobile. It is an even more traumatic experience getting hit by a car while on a bicycle.  You are mostly defenseless against a giant metal automobile. If you see it coming, and that is a big if, you might have a second or two, to brace yourself for impact and tuck and roll as best as you can.  If you are like most people hurt while riding their bicycles, you probably never saw the car coming. 

There are some shocking statistics:

  • About 742 cyclists die in fatal bike accidents each year in the United States.
  • 857 bicyclists died in fatal bike accidents in 2018 in the United State.
  • 155 California bicyclists lost their lives in bike accidents in 2018.  145 lost their lives in California bike accidents in 2017. 
  • 11,116 California bicyclists were injured in bike crashes in 2017.
  • About 144 California cyclists die each year in bicycle accidents.
  • The five deadliest counties for bicyclists, from most deadly down are:
    • Los Angeles
    • Sacramento
    • Orange
    • San Bernardino
    • San Joaquin
  • 78.6 % of California bicycle accidents happen during daylight hours.  15.1% took place at night with street lights present.  1.7% occurred at night where no streetlights were present. 
  • Dusk and dawn accounted for 3.8% of accidents. 
  • About 12% of deaths occur in September and about 5% occur in March. 
  • On average about 20% of cyclists killed have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. 

There are some things you can do to stay safer:

  • Do your best to avoid highways and busy roads;
  • Use bike lanes whenever you can;
  • Use headlights, taillights and reflectors on your bike;
  • Wear reflective clothing; and 
  • Always wear a helmet.

You can learn more about bike laws to follow on our other pages.   

If you have already been in a BIKE accident:

  • Stay as calm as possible;
  • Seek medical attention if you need it (you probably do);
  • Try to get contact information for any witnesses;
  • Do not apologize, or say anything else that could be an admission of liability;
  • Do not talk to insurance companies until you have talked to a lawyer. 

You can learn more about what to do if you get into a bike accident on our website. 

Insurance companies make their money by collecting premiums, and then paying out as little as possible on claims.  They are not on your side.  Insurance adjusters are trained to question people so that people make it sound like everything is perfectly okay, even when things are not perfectly okay.  They will ask you questions like, “Are you doing well today?”  It is human nature to say, “Yeah.” in response to a question like that, even if you just got hit by a car, on your bike, and you are overwhelmed with pain. 

If you have been in a bicycle accident, or someone whose wrongful death was caused by a bike accident, you need experienced lawyers, who understand bikes, and care about you and your case.  John represents bicyclists because he loves bicyclists.  John regularly hikes and mountain bikes. John typically works with attorney Clayton Griessmeyer on bike accident cases.  Clay commutes almost everyday to work on his bike.  John and Clay have record setting settlements and verdicts on behalf of their clients including a $15,000,000 verdict for the family of a bicyclist who was killed by an inattentive driver. 

Attorney John F. McCarthy offers free case evaluations to all bikers, free consultations to bicyclists he thinks he can help, and discounts to people who donate to bike causes.  John and Clay take every bike accident case on a contingency fee, which means they don’t get paid unless their clients get paid.  The longer you wait the harder it is to track down information and witnesses.  If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured, or killed in a bike accident, don’t delay, give us a call today.  See why we are recognized as “Super Lawyers” and some of the Top Bike Accident Attorneys in California and beyond.



Your responses will go straight to John’s inbox. John will review and respond by the end of the business day. If John thinks he can help, he’ll email you a link to schedule a free consultation with him. If John doesn’t think he can help, he’ll email you resources to help you understand the law, find a qualified lawyer to help you, and take steps to protect your rights. No waiting around.

McCarthy Law Monterrey Locations

McCarthy Law

From our offices in Monterey, California and Fresno, California, we serve clients throughout the California Central Coast, including but not limited to: Fresno County, Kern County, Madera County, Merced County, Monterey County, San Benito County, San Joaquin County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz County, Stanislaus County, and Tuolumne County.