THE LOS ANGELES BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Our attorneys represent cyclists who have been injured by negligent actions of a driver or another party.
We provide services to the entire State of California including: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside,San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Sacramento counties. Call for a free consultation: 213-891-0777.
Cases We Can Help With:
Our attorneys can help you or your family members with all types of bicycle-related injuries. If you are unsure whether you have a case, the best thing to do is give us a call and tell us about what happened. Here are some of the types of cases we can help with:
- Driver negligence
- Drunk driving
- Driver failing to yield
- Defective bike path
- Defective bicycle / parts
Protecting Your Interests Is Our Top Priority
Our attorneys are always on your side. We understand that getting you money for your injuries as soon as possible is very important. We will do everything possible to make sure you get it as quickly as possible without compromising the total value of your case.
Bicycle Accident Statistics In California
According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 700 people are killed each year in bicycling accidents, while as many as 50,000 others suffer serious injuries. Unfortunately, despite efforts from law enforcement and public safety officials to increase bicycle safety and to raise awareness of regulations concerning bicycles and motor vehicle traffic, California continues to lead the nation in bicycling accidents, second only to Florida in terms of bicyclist fatalities. Sobering facts about bicycling accidents from the NHTSA include the following:
- Children under the age of 15 account for more than ten percent of all bicycling accident injuries;
- The average age for bicyclist fatalities is 45;
- Visibility is likely a factor in most bicycle accident, as the most common types of motor vehicles involved are light trucks and SUVs;
- The most common time for fatal bike accidents to occur is weekdays between the hours of 3:00 and 8:00 p.m., and weekends between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and midnight;
- Alcohol was a factor in roughly 35 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involving a bicyclist fatality.
Despite public awareness as to the dangers and increased traffic checkpoints, alcohol continues to increase the risk for potentially deadly accidents, whether it is used by drivers or bicyclists. The NHTSA report that roughly one fourth of all bicyclists killed had some alcohol in the system, while one fifth had above the legal limit of more than 0.08 percent. While you cannot control the behavior of other drivers, avoiding alcohol use and increasing visibility through the use of bicycle headlights and taillights are two ways in which bicyclists can protect themselves against serious accidents and injuries.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicyclists have little to protect them in the event of crashes or collisions with motor vehicles, and when accidents do occur, their injuries tend to be severe, potentially disabling, and in some cases, life threatening. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) advises that among the most common types of bicycle accident injuries are the following:
- Road rash and severe cuts and lacerations;
- Broken bones and fractures, particularly in the feet, legs, arms, ribs, and pelvic region;
- Musculoskeletal disorders, such as muscle and tendon sprains, and joint dislocations;
- Abdominal injuries, including ruptured spleen, hernias, and internal bleeding;
- Face and eye injuries, including contusions and dental fractures;
- Head injuries, such as skull fractures, concussions, and traumatic brain injury.
According to the AAFP, head injuries occur in as many as half of all bicycle accidents, and are responsible for roughly 60 percent of bicyclist fatalities. Bicycle helmets can help to significantly reduce this risk, but are only used by less than a quarter of all bicyclists. In addition to helmets, other safety gear that can help to reduce your risks of serious and potentially disabling injuries if involved in an accident includes protective glasses, gloves, padded bicycle shorts, and appropriate footwear.
How Do Most Bicycle Accident Injuries Occur?
While more than 700 deaths occur each year as the result of bicycle accidents, bicycling fatalities make up only a small percent of motor vehicle accidents. According to the website PedBikeInfo.org, a program of the U.S. Department of Transportation, bicycling is a healthy, environmentally friendly, and fun activity and remains one of the safest means of travel. A bicyclists risks for accidents and injuries varies based on the time of day, the location at which they are riding, the age and experience of the biker, as well as other factors, such as the use of alcohol. While road conditions, rider inattention, and obstacles in the roadway can cause a bicyclist to crash or collide with other objects, the biggest threat most cycling enthusiasts face is from other motorists.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles offers guidelines for both bicyclists and other drivers when sharing the road. Bicyclists have rights the same as any other road user, and motorists need to use particular caution when around cyclists in terms of the following:
- Respecting right of way;
- Before making turns;
- When merging into bike lanes;
- Before opening car doors around or near moving traffic.
When accidents do occur, they are treated as any other type of roadway accident, and the driver and their insurance company can be held liable for any damages that result.
What You Should Do If You Are Involved In A Bicycle Accident
If you are involved in a bicycling accident, it is important to notify law enforcement or the state highway patrol and to seek medical attention immediately for your injuries. The police will collect driver information, such as name address, and driver’s license and insurance numbers, at the scene if you are unable to do so yourself. They should also make note of any witnesses, and the exact location at which the accident occurred.
In the days following your accident, you will likely be contacted by the insurance company for the at fault driver. It is important to realize that these companies are not on your side, and in fact have a strong financial motive for disputing or denying your claim. They may also attempt to settle your claim quickly, for far less than what you deserve. Once you agree to a settlement, you will be forfeiting your rights to any future compensation.
Before making any statements that could be used against you or signing any settlement documents, speak to our experienced bicycle accident lawyer first. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources you need to ensure your accident is thoroughly investigated, while collecting information from your doctor about the extent of your injuries so that you can get the maximum amount of compensation you need to recover.
The type of compensation and the amount will depend on your case. Here are some types of compensation available to bike riders:
- Property Damage (bike and equipment).
- Missed work / work opportunities.
- Bodily Injuries (permanent injuries, scarring, fractures, disability).
- Medical Expenses
- Loss of Consortium (companionship and services to the spouse including love, care, assistance, moral support and more).
- Death of a Loved One (family members such as a surviving spouse, domestic partner or children can be compensated for loss of a loved one.)
- Aggravation of a Preexisting Condition.
- Punitive Damages – exemplary damages intended to prevent similar conduct of negligent party from ever happening again.
Why Speak to a Lawyer?
It is well known that the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area is home to many frustrated and inattentive drivers due to overcrowded roads. Unfortunately, some of this frustration and lack of attention eventually results in bicycle accidents and injuries. Such injuries often last for prolonged periods of time, long after your initial treatment and recovery.
Most people don’t realize they can get more money for their injuries than they expect. Of course, nobody wants to be greedy, but when it comes to our personal health, it is imperative that we get the best possible care and cover all expenses. Without an attorney, it is difficult to get the maximum compensation you require to continue your life the way you were prior to your injuries.
We’re Here to Help
Do you know what you are entitled to? Speak with our attorneys to find out what you can recover. It only takes a few minutes of your time and can result in thousands of dollars in successfully recovered compensation.
Since bike accidents can take a lot out of your physical and emotional health, you need to work with attorneys who understand what you’ve been through and can help make your life easier post-injury. You have enough on your mind after a bicycle injury; the last thing you need to worry about is paying your hospital bills and recovering lost wages.
If you have any questions about your bicycle accident, please call us to see how we can help: (213) 891-0777.