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Determining Fault in a Bike Accident

Speak to a Los Angeles Bike Accident Attorney and Get the Justice You Deserve

Due to the beautiful weather found in California, more people are riding bicycles to work, school, and for fun. Unfortunately, this also means bicyclists have to share the road with automobiles, which often leads to accidents. While at first glance it may appear to most people that the driver of the automobile is automatically at fault for the accident, that is not always the case. However, these cases are often very complex and involve a number of factors. If you are involved in a bike accident, it is best to consult with a cyclist collision accident lawyer in Los Angeles.

Who Is At Fault In These Accidents?

California law requires anyone who is operating an automobile, bicycle, or any other type of transportation on a public street, to obey all local and state traffic laws. Determining fault in these accidents is often left up to the police officer who investigates the collision. When doing so, the officer will take into account such factors as if stop signs, traffic signals, turning laws, and lane restrictions were obeyed. If you believe your collision was due to the other driver’s negligence, schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation at a trusted law firm.

Do The Laws Favor Bicycles Over Automobiles?

While many people assume California’s road laws are slanted to favor bicyclists, that is not the case. No matter what form of transportation is being used, the operator is required to obey all traffic laws. Therefore, when deciding the question of fault and liability in these instances, it simply comes down to the facts pertaining to the accident. However, since even the slightest detail can determine who was at fault in these collisions, it is best for you to speak with a lawyer that is experienced in handling accidents that resulted in cyclists falling off their bike.

Do Most Traffic Accidents Involve Bicycles And Automobiles?

While it may seem that way, statistics show there are actually much fewer bicycle/automobile accidents than there are ones involving strictly automobiles. However, due to the fact that bicyclists are often severely injured in these accidents, they usually receive far more publicity. If you have found yourself seriously injured while riding your bike on a California street, contact an attorney to discuss the details involved with filing a lawsuit.

Why Do These Accidents Occur?

Just like accidents involving only automobiles, a variety of factors come into play regarding why these accidents occur. In many cases, drivers were distracted from using cell phones, eating, applying makeup, or other tasks that should not be done while behind the wheel. In other instances, drivers may have been speeding, driving impaired, or not obeying necessary traffic laws. While there are instances where a bicyclist may be at fault in these accidents, most collisions tend to show the automobile driver acted in a negligent and careless manner, resulting in a collision. If you were riding a bicycle, you fell off and sustained serious injuries through no fault of your own, speak with a bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss what would be involved in filing a lawsuit.

What If A Cyclist Was Not Wearing A Helmet?

Even though California law requires all bicyclists to wear a helmet, many ignore this law. However, this will have no bearing on whether the cyclist was injured, since circumstances will dictate that the automobile driver’s negligence would have caused the injuries no matter what the cyclist was wearing.

What Must A Cyclist Prove In These Cases?

To win a lawsuit based on the impact the collision had on your physical and mental health, a cyclist and their appointed personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles must be prepared to prove several points, which includes the following:

  • Defendant is legally obligated to operate vehicle in a safe manner
  • Defendant failed to meet their obligation, thus causing the accident
  • Defendant’s failure to meet obligation caused cyclist to be injured
  • Defendant’s actions were clearly the cause of injuries sustained by the cyclist

While an injured cyclist may believe these facts will be obvious to everyone, it is nevertheless extremely important to have the necessary evidence available to prove these key details. Therefore, always be sure to hire the services of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.

What If The Cyclist And Automobile Driver Were Equally At Fault?

Even if a police officer determines the cyclist and automobile driver were equally at fault for the accident, that does not mean the party who was negligent is automatically relieved of their legal obligations. Under California’s doctrine of pure comparative negligence, even if one party was acting in a reckless manner, the case will ultimately come down to which driver’s negligence initiated the chain of events that led to the collision and subsequent injuries. To determine this, a jury trial or arbitration is used to issue a ruling in these cases.

How Can An Attorney Help Me Win My Case?

Regardless of whether or not you were wearing a helmet while riding your bike, or even if you violated a traffic law, a skilled bicycle accident lawyer with a track record of success in these cases can offer a tremendous amount of assistance in helping you gain financial compensation for your injuries. For example, since lawyers who specialize in these cases are always aware of recent law changes, they can use this to your advantage.

Along with this, your attorney can also rely on the expertise and testimony of accident reconstruction experts and accident investigators, all of whom can closely analyze various details of the accident. In doing so, they can offer testimony during a trial that can sway a jury in your favor. You should never wait too long after your bike accident to get help.

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