Hit by a Car on Your Bike? Your Rights as a Cyclist in Chico, CA

March 4, 2024


Cycling is a popular mode of transportation and recreation in Chico, CA, with many residents choosing to ride their bikes for exercise, commuting, or leisure. However, cycling can also be a risky activity, especially when sharing the road with vehicles. Accidents involving cyclists and cars can result in serious injuries and damages, leaving cyclists in a vulnerable position. If you have been hit by a car while riding your bike in Chico, CA, it’s essential to understand your rights as a cyclist and the legal recourse available to you. In this blog, we will discuss the rights of cyclists involved in accidents with vehicles in Chico, CA, and how you can protect yourself and seek compensation in the event of a bike-car collision.

1. California Bicycle Laws

In California, cyclists are considered vulnerable road users, and motorists are required to share the road with cyclists and give them the same rights as other vehicles. California Vehicle Code (CVC) provides specific laws and regulations that govern the conduct of cyclists on the road and establish their rights and responsibilities. Under CVC, cyclists are entitled to ride on the road, use bike lanes, be treated as vehicles, and have the right-of-way in certain situations. It’s important for cyclists to be aware of their rights and responsibilities under California bicycle laws to ensure their safety and protection while riding on the road.

2. Fault and Liability in Bike-Car Accidents

In the event of a bike-car accident in Chico, CA, determining fault and liability can be complex and require a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the collision. Liability in bike-car accidents is often based on negligence, which involves proving that the at-fault party failed to exercise reasonable care and caused the accident as a result. Motorists have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and share the road with cyclists, while cyclists must follow traffic rules and ride defensively to avoid accidents. If a motorist’s negligence causes a collision with a cyclist, the motorist may be held liable for the cyclist’s injuries and damages.

3. Seeking Compensation for Injuries

If you have been hit by a car while riding your bike in Chico, CA, and sustained injuries as a result, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. California law allows injured cyclists to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover damages for their injuries and losses. It’s important to gather evidence, such as eyewitness statements, police reports, medical records, and photos of the accident scene, to support your claim and establish the extent of your injuries and damages.

4. Dealing with Insurance Companies

When filing a personal injury claim for a bike-car accident in Chico, CA, you will likely be dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. Insurance companies have a vested interest in minimizing their liability and payouts, and may try to deny or reduce your claim by disputing liability, downplaying the extent of your injuries, or offering a low settlement amount. It’s important to be cautious when dealing with insurance companies and seek legal advice from a qualified personal injury attorney to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

5. Legal Recourse and Representation

If you have been hit by a car while riding your bike in Chico, CA, and are seeking compensation for your injuries and damages, it’s crucial to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in bicycle accidents. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate the legal process, advocate for your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary. By enlisting the help of a skilled attorney, you can increase your chances of securing a fair settlement and receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

6. Safety Tips for Cyclists

While accidents involving cyclists and cars can happen, there are steps that cyclists can take to minimize the risk of being hit by a car and ensure their safety on the road. Some safety tips for cyclists in Chico, CA, include wearing a helmet and other protective gear, obeying traffic laws and signals, using lights and reflectors when riding at night, staying visible to motorists, riding defensively and predictably, and avoiding distractions while cycling. By following these safety tips and being mindful of their surroundings, cyclists can help reduce the likelihood of accidents and protect themselves while riding on the road.

7. Advocacy and Community Support

In Chico, CA, there are various advocacy groups, organizations, and resources available to support cyclists and promote safe cycling practices in the community. Groups such as the Chico Velo Cycling Club, Safe Routes to School Chico, and the Chico Bicycle Advisory Committee work to educate cyclists, motorists, and policymakers on bike safety, advocate for improved bike infrastructure, and promote cycling as a sustainable and healthy mode of transportation. By getting involved in advocacy efforts and community initiatives, cyclists can help raise awareness of bike-car safety issues and work towards creating a safer and more bike-friendly environment in Chico.


If you have been hit by a car while riding your bike in Chico, CA, it’s important to understand your rights as a cyclist and take appropriate steps to protect yourself and seek compensation for your injuries and damages. By being aware of California bicycle laws, knowing how fault and liability are determined in bike-car accidents, seeking compensation for injuries, dealing with insurance companies, seeking legal representation, following safety tips for cyclists, and engaging in advocacy and community support, cyclists can navigate the aftermath of a bike-car collision and advocate for their rights and safety on the road. Cycling is a rewarding and enjoyable activity, and by taking proactive measures to ensure safety and protection, cyclists can continue to enjoy the benefits of riding their bikes in Chico and beyond.

Need a Law Firm in Chico, CA?

Welcome to The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc., where we proudly apply over 35 years of legal experience. After completing law school in just two and a half years, Max G. Arnold dove into personal injury law, determined to help those in need fight for their rights. He knows the best strategies to use to help personal injury victims win cases with integrity. The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc., now partnered with son Barrik Arnold and Brian Michael Pratt, tout a detailed understanding of all of the legal obstacles that you may face and uses their unique experience to help individuals get what they deserve. We have three offices in Chico, Redding, and Santa Rosa, California. Schedule an in-person case evaluation today.

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