How To Get The Settlement You Deserve
California has some of the best locations for bike enthusiasts to take to the roads. But, as you may already know, riding your bike in Los Angeles or other congested metro areas can be a bit more of a challenge.
As a cyclist, you need to be careful, and even the most skilled bicycle rider can be a victim of a careless driver. One hundred people get killed, and hundreds of thousands are injured in bike accidents every year. If you or a loved one was involved in a recent accident, you should consult with an experienced attorney from Grey Law.
OUR ATTORNEYS REPRESENT ALL BICYCLISTS IN CALIFORNIA
Our personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles have over 35 years of extensive experience handling claims and lawsuits on behalf of injured bicyclists. We can help you recover maximum and just compensation for your injuries. Any accident is frightening, and the injuries involved may be excruciatingly painful. There are many different injuries that a person may suffer due to a bicycle accident, including:
- Head injury
- Fractured bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Acetabular fracture (broken pelvis)
- Ankle fractures
- Fractured collarbone (clavicle)
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wrongful death
BICYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers the following statistics:
- Nearly all bicycle deaths get caused by accidents between bikes and motor vehicles.
- 45% of accidents involving a bicycle and car occur at an intersection.
- Over 20% of all biking fatalities in the U.S. are of children age 5-15.
- Bicycling results in more emergency room admissions than any other sport or activity
- The most common cause of death from a bicycle accident is head and brain injury.
- Bicycle accidents that do not occur amid car traffic commonly happen in bike paths, driveways, and parks.
- In Los Angeles, cyclists may ride on sidewalks unless they exhibit “willful” or “wanton” behavior.
- Los Angeles has 1,200 miles of bikeways, but many are along busy thoroughfares on which cars and bikes compete for space.
- At the turn of the century, Los Angeles was the bicycle capital of the nation, and portions of the route taken by the Pasadena Freeway had been a bikeway.
- Just 0.6% of Los Angeles’ 28,000 miles of street lanes are for bikes, compared to cities like Portland with about 6% of its 3,949 miles of street lanes.
- In 2006, 28 people in Los Angeles County got killed on bikes, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.
CALIFORNIA BIKE ACCIDENT LAWS
It’s so important to know about California’s bike laws before getting on the road. Whether you’re in high traffic or calm areas, bike riders have the same rights and responsibilities as those operating a motor vehicle. To coexist, everyone has a duty of care to abide by the law. We outline a few fundamental rules to follow and help you understand how an accident might have occurred.
Bicyclists travel at slower speeds compared to cars, trucks, or motorcycles. When possible, you should try to ride your bike in a designated lane or close to the right side of the road. You have a legal right to change lanes in the following circumstances:
- Passing another cyclist, driver, or pedestrian traveling in the same direction
- Avoid dangerous road conditions or unexpected hazards
- The lanes ahead are too narrow
- You intend to take a turn or approach an intersection
Are you familiar with the Three Feet for Safety Act? Drivers must remain three feet away from a cyclist. If road conditions or traffic make it difficult to keep a safe distance, the driver is required to slow down and pass the cyclist when it’s safe to do so.
Los Angeles Municipal Code for Cyclists on Sidewalks
- Bicyclists cannot ride on a sidewalk, bike line, or boardwalk should it jeopardize pedestrians’ safety or property unless permitted.
- No individual can ride or operate a bicycle on Ocean Front Walk between Marine Street and Via Marina within Los Angeles unless permitted on the bike path.
- Motorized bikes, per Section 406 of California Vehicle Code are considered motor vehicles.
Failing to abide by state or local laws can result in fines, penalties, or a lawsuit should someone get hurt.
TIPS IF YOU ARE EVER IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT
Riding your bicycle is a safe, healthy, and cherished way of life, but we have a long way to go to create a fully bicycle-friendly community.
- Ride with a cell phone, personal identification, emergency contact, and pen.
- Call the police or an ambulance immediately. If you are unable to do so, ask someone to help.
- Always wait for the police to arrive and file an official accident report. A police report provides documentation detailing the incident, including the identity of witnesses.
- Leave your bike in the same state it was after the accident, if possible. Take pictures of the bike and the scene of the accident, if possible.
- Obtain the contact information of any witnesses.
- Immediately seek medical attention.
- Never negotiate with the driver of the vehicle, regardless of who may be at fault. Get the driver’s name and insurance information, along with the names of any passengers.
- Give no written or recorded statements to anyone.
TYPES OF BICYCLE ACCIDENT INJURIES
While riding a bike is a great, eco-friendly alternative to getting around town, it is also a high risk for riders. No one expects to be involved in an accident or become injured when they ride a bicycle, but it happens. Some injuries are minor, and some can change the rest of a person’s life. Several types of bicycle accident injuries can occur, including but not limited to:
- Emotional trauma
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Eye and face injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- And much more
If you were a victim of a bicycle accident, you might be eligible to file a claim. Our team will be able to recover compensation for your damages, so you do not have to pay out-of-pocket for your losses.
DETERMINING FAULT IN A BIKE ACCIDENT
Because bicyclists have to share the road with drivers, this poses a threat to their safety when drivers are not careful. While it may appear to most people that the driver is automatically at fault for the accident, that is not always the case. At Grey Law, we specialize in determining fault in a bike accident. These types of cases are complex, and you must pursue a claim to ensure that you get compensated for your losses. We will do everything it takes to determine who was at fault.
RELATED ARTICLES ABOUT BIKE ACCIDENTS IN LOS ANGELES
BIKE ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY ROAD HAZARDS AND VEHICLE DRIVERS
Bikes are more susceptible to accidents caused by road hazards because they are not as durable as four-wheeled vehicles. A merely small piece of glass can burrow in your tire and cause it to deflate, or you may find the need to change your bike tube after frequent use. Whatever the reason, there are common road hazards you should be aware of as a bicyclist.
BICYCLE ACCIDENTS INVOLVING AN OPEN CAR DOOR
As you cycle through city streets or neighborhoods, look out for open car doors. Getting thrown from your bike can lead to minor to severe injuries due to a driver’s negligence. Dooring is when a cyclist crosses paths with a driver opening their car door. There is little to no time to break.
Drivers are lawfully required to check their surroundings before stepping out of the vehicle. This article provides a guide for determining liability and preparing your case if you decide to take action.
Cyclists are more exposed when they are on the road. Unlike a car, there are fewer buffers between you and another oncoming vehicle. Though California has a strict policy on hit-and-run accidents, they still happen frequently and may require legal counsel for compensation on damages caused.
BIKE ACCIDENTS: COLLISIONS WITH CARS AT INTERSECTIONS
Bicycle accidents involving four-wheel vehicles make up 11 percent of all cyclist accidents. However, nearly 50 percent of the time, it happens at an intersection. Either the cyclist or driver may be at fault. It depends on who had the right of way at the stop sign. This article covers the best way to avoid intersection accidents, including rules regarding right-of-way passage on the road.
BICYCLE ACCIDENTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What would happen if I am injured while riding a bicycle without following proper rules?
Bicyclists enjoy the same rights as other road users. As such, bicyclists must be responsible road users, following all the bicycle safety requirements stipulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The requirements include:
- Wearing correct fitting riding gear
- Riding with both hands on the handlebars unless indicating a turn
- Driving with the flow of the vehicles
- Obeying road signs and markings
- Abstinence from using mobile phones or wearing headphones while riding
- Riding on the road as opposed to the sidewalk
If the defendant can prove to a court that the accident occurred when you broke these laws, the judge may refuse your claim.
What is the Maximum Time I Can Take before Filing a Case?
An adult bicyclist who is injured has up to two years to file a complaint. A minor bicyclist has up to two years after their eighteenth birthday to file a case. Any period beyond this will render the case obsolete. The best advice is to act quickly and hire legal representation before time runs out.
What Should I Do If I Got Injured Because of a Danger Caused by a Bad Road?
If you got injured because the road you were riding on had an unmarked danger – say unannounced road maintenance or an unreported pit, or even poor signage you can sue the government body responsible for maintaining that section of the road.
Injured bicyclists have two years. If they need to sue the government, they have up to six months to issue their claim.
What Should I do when a Vehicle Hits Me and Speeds Off?
There are frequent reports on bicyclists hit by vehicles that speed off in Los Angeles. Most cyclists who get injured by a hit-and-run driver fail to get justice because they’re resigned to fate. Their primary reasoning being that the perpetrator sped off. Frequently, however, if you ask around, there might be someone who saw the car or the driver or even the particular way its brake lights were hanging. If you manage to get any of these, call the police immediately for tracking of the driver.
Consult a personal injury bicycle accident lawyer who is familiar with hit-and-run drivers.
Which Damages Can I Claim After an Accident?
You can get compensated for:
- Medical treatment
- Bicycle repair or loss
- Loss of capacity to make an income in the future
- Psychological effects of the accident
If you or your lawyer fail to prove fault in court, you could lose your chance at compensation.
CONTACT A LOS ANGELES BIKE ACCIDENT LAWYER
Bicycling accidents can occur in numerous ways. About one-third of bicycle accidents involve a collision between a cyclist and a motor vehicle. Cycling accidents frequently result in serious injury to the cyclist. If you or a loved one have been in a bicycle accident, contact attorneys at Grey Law. Our dedicated team will help you get the compensation you deserve for the damages you suffered. You may be able to file a bicycle accident claim and receive monetary compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys will investigate all aspects of your accident to find out who is liable. Contact us today at 323-701-1183.