I’ve been an avid cycler for more than 20 years now. My interest in it started when I went to U.C. Santa Cruz as a young man and needed to bike up the long hills to get to and from school every day.
It started out as just being too poor to afford a car, but I soon noticed how incredibly fit I was in comparison to the other students who either stayed on campus or just drove. I also loved the commute to and from school – the wind in my hair, the little interactions with nature that weren’t available to people stuck in their cars.
It didn’t really register that cycling had become my ‘hobby’ until I caught myself spending yet another paltry paycheck from my restaurant job on my bike rather than wasting it on alcohol and snacks like my roommates were. Before I knew it, I had begun taking long rides into town or the hills just because I enjoyed it so much rather than out of necessity.
There was only ever one time I ever took longer than a week break from cycling, and that was when I had my accident. I was still living in Santa Cruz after graduating, going on daily rides thinking about what I was going to do myself next.
This particular late spring day was particularly gorgeous, the last vestiges of a storm rolling through leaving the sky a picturesque cumuliform cloudscape. I got a late start thanks to work that day and wanted to get up on the hills so I could take some photographs of the sunset, which promised to be particularly beautiful that evening.
The ride started normally enough – the streets were still wet from the storm, but not so wet that it would cause any problems for the pricey wheels and brakes I had installed to assist in my usual hill rides. Luckily, I had learned from a couple of falls in the early days that helmets were non-negotiable when going at speeds above 30 miles per hour.
I reached the base of the hill, where Bay Drive meets High Street, and began to cross over towards the school, when disaster struck. In those days it was just a stop sign rather than a stoplight, but I’d never run into trouble before. I saw the car coming, noticed that it wasn’t slowing down enough to stop before crashing into me, and began emergency maneuvers to avoid being hit.
I was so close, too! I had managed to stop, turn around and get moving the opposite direction when I felt the sudden jerking of the back tire. The impact spun me right back towards the car, smashing me into the side view mirror, then, with my legs tangled in the frame of the bike, dragged me across the intersection before the back wheel of the bike got loose.
I had broken my collar bone and torn a ligament in my leg and was now out one bicycle with roughly $10,000 worth of upgrades installed. The owner of the car sped off once he saw me sit up, but I was lucky that other people had gotten his license plate number.
Being young and dumb, I didn’t know what to do at this point. Had I known then what I know now, I would have immediately called a personal injury lawyer and taken the idiot to court.
Personal injury lawyers get a bad rap, but medical bills aren’t cheap and if you get into a slip and fall, auto, motorcycle or bicycle accident and the other party is at fault, it can save you from ruinous bills and make sure you can live comfortably until you’re back on your feet. In the end, I tracked down the owner of the car and had words with him until he agreed to pay his fair share, but looking back that could have gone very badly for me.
If I were to get into an accident today during my routine rides, I would get in contact with Villasenor Law Offices, a local San Diego firm that specializes in dealing with insurance companies in providing the payouts his clients deserve. Villasenor has over three decades worth of experience in personal injury litigation and trial experience, so you can depend on a level of experience unavailable to most lawyers in the field. Call today:
Villasenor Law Offices
12396 World Trade Dr Suite 211, San Diego, CA 92128