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Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Los Angeles County is one of the most bicycle-friendly counties in the United States, where thousands of people use bicycles for recreational as well as transportation purposes.
Los Angeles county is one of the most bicycle-friendly counties in the United States, where thousands of people use bicycles for recreational as well as transportation purposes. Every year more bike lanes are created, which in turn creates more bicyclists, but unfortunately, thereby also increasing the number of bicycle related accidents. Although some motor vehicle drivers do not seem to believe so, bicyclists have the same rights as any motor vehicle driver. Over the years the number of bicycle related accidents has been increasing and the numbers of injuries and/or deaths caused by these accidents is staggering.
“In 2018 there were 857 bicyclists and other pedal cyclists who died in traffic crashes nationwide, an increase of 6.3% from the 806 in 2017 (NCSA, 2020). In addition, approximately 47,000 bicyclists were injured. Bicyclists accounted for 2.3% of total traffic fatalities and 1.7% of total people injured. Of the bicyclist fatalities during 2018:
- Teens 15 to 19 years old had the highest fatality rates among those under 20 years old (2.51 fatalities per hundred thousand population), followed by 10- to 14-year-olds (0.91 fatalities per hundred thousand population);
- The average age of cyclists killed was 47, and 35 for cyclists injured;
- Cyclists 25 to 64 represented 65% of all bicycle fatalities;
- 86% of the bicyclists killed and 81% of those injured were male; and
- 20% of bicyclists killed had BACs of .08 g/dL or higher, with alcohol use by either bicyclist, driver, or both reported in 37% of fatal crashes.
The majority of bicyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas (79% in 2018), and at non-intersection locations (60% in 2018) (NCSA, 2020). The proportion of urban bicyclists fatalities in the last 10 years has increased from 69% in 2009 to 75% in 2018.” (NHTSA report).
The number of deaths resulting from a bicycle related accident in California is especially alarming. In an average year, about 11,000 bicyclists get injured and about 160 bicyclists die across California.
Was Injured in a Bicycle Accident: What Should I Do Next?
Taking the right steps promptly after a bicycle accident can make a significant difference in your recovery and potential legal actions. Your health and well-being are paramount, and seeking immediate medical attention for any injuries is the top priority.
However, beyond addressing your immediate medical needs, there are crucial actions to take to protect your rights and interests. Bicycle accidents can result in various complications, from physical injuries to legal complexities. Thus, being well-informed and proactive in this situation is of utmost importance.
Report the Incident: Contact the appropriate authorities, typically the police, and report the bicycle accident. Their accident report can be valuable for insurance claims and any potential legal actions.
Consult attorney: Seeking advice from a seasoned Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer with expertise in bicycle accidents is of most importance. We can provide insights into your rights, evaluate the strength of your case, and take all crucial steps in pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages.
Gather Information: Collect contact and insurance details from the involved parties, especially if a motor vehicle was part of the accident. Additionally, if you’re able at that moment, take down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Document the Scene: If it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the accident scene. Capture the position of vehicles, road conditions, traffic signals, and any relevant signage.
Preserve Evidence: Safeguard any evidence related to the accident. This may include damaged clothing, your bicycle, or any medical records and bills.
You don’t have to face these challenges alone. Seeking assistance from bicycle accident lawyer Los Angeles who specialize in these kinds of accidents – an attorney from Bojat Law Group, can provide you with the guidance and support you need during this difficult time. Our commitment is to protect your interests and help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Your well-being is our top priority, and we’re here to stand by you every step of the way.
Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Injuries that are the result of bicycle accidents tend to be more severe than most other traffic accidents, simply because bicyclists are very poorly protected from an accident with motor vehicles and crashes in general. In many instances bicyclists are thrown over the handlebars and have very little control on how they land. In other instances, they are struck head on or “sideswiped” by a motor vehicle, which no doubt creates the most severe injuries and in many cases deaths of bicyclists. Although all California bicyclists are required to wear helmets and this law has certainly saved many bicyclists, there are still many bicycle-related injuries that helmets cannot prevent. The most common bicycle accident injuries are:
- Head and Neck,
- Brain Injuries,
- Spinal Cord Injuries,
- Facial Injuries,
- Broken and Fractured Bones,
- Dental Injuries,
- Joint Dislocation
How to Avoid a Bicycle Accident?
Although most bicycle accidents are created by someone other than the bicyclist, there are still many accidents that could have been avoided with a little more caution from the bicyclists themselves. The following are some helpful tips on how to avoid a bicycle accident.
Always Wear Your Helmet – It’s the law in California and wearing it can be the additional factor that saves your life.
Avoiding Riding Your Bicycle at Night – Visibility for bicyclists is very limited at night compared to other motor vehicle drivers, simply because of lack of adequate lighting on bicycles versus automobiles. Additionally, other motor vehicle drivers do not see as well at night. These two factors result in you not seeing what is ahead of you, or another motor vehicle driver not seeing you, both of which can cause a serious bicycle accident.
Learn Hand Signaling – Using hand signals will not only save you from being involved in a bicycle accident, but it will also save you from not being cited by the Police, as using hand signaling is the law.
Avoid Wearing Dark Colored Clothes – The point is for you to be visible to other drivers. You may see them but many times they cannot see you. To be more visible, wear bright colored clothes and avoid a bicycle accident.
Obey Traffic Rules – It’s the law! In California a bicyclist must obey the traffic rules as any other motor vehicle driver.
Do Not Ride on Sidewalks – It is against the law to ride your bicycle on a sidewalk. You may be issued a citation as sidewalks are intended for pedestrians.
Ride in the Same Direction as Other Traffic – Many bicyclists believe that they may ride in either direction of the traffic, which is wrong. Bicyclists must ride in the same direction as the traffic and not against it.
Avoid Riding Recklessly – Remember, you are only protected by your helmet and if involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, you will receive serious injuries as vehicles weigh tons of pounds. The odds are already against you, thus do not make them any worse by riding recklessly.
Proving Damages in a Bicycle Accident
As bicycle accidents result in some of the most severe injuries caused in all traffic accidents, it is important to know which damages you are entitled to and how to get compensated for those damages. Personal Injury damages refers to the amount of money the injured party will receive as a result of the injuries caused by a negligent, intentional or reckless act of another. These damages are generally divided into two groups: special damages and general damages.
Special Damages are generally easier to calculate, as they are those financial losses suffered by the injured party as a result of the accident. They include:
Medical Expenses – This includes all medical bills incurred by the injured party as a result of the accident. These are bills generated by an ambulance, hospital, chiropractor, orthopedic surgeon, radiological facility, physical therapy, and any other medical bills generated as a result of the accident.
Loss of Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity – This includes all monies not earned, but would have been earned if the accident did not happen. In addition, these damages include compensation for all money that the injured party cannot earn in the future as a result of the accident.
Repair and Replacement of Damaged Property – In a bicycle accident, this would be the value of the bicycle if it was completely destroyed by the accident. If not, then the amount of money it would cost to repair it, unless that amount is higher than the fair market value of the bicycle.
General Damages on the other hand are usually a little more difficult to calculate, although not difficult to prove. Most common types of general damages are: Pain and Suffering, Physical Disfigurement, Mental Anguish, Physical Impairment and Lowered Quality of Life.
There is another aspect that should be taken into consideration after a bicycle accident. If your bike accident happened on someone else’s property, it should be investigated what led to the incident. Whether it’s the result of poor driving conditions, ongoing renovations, or inadequate maintenance, you may have the option of pursuing a lawsuit against the property owner. A Los Angeles premises liability attorney is at your service to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident and determine whether the property owner bears any liability.
Proving Negligence in a Bicycle Accident
Proving negligence in bicycle accident cases centers on establishing that someone failed to uphold their legal responsibility to act reasonably and safely while sharing the road with bicyclists. This concept of “duty of care” is essential in holding parties accountable for their actions or omissions. To successfully prove negligence, it’s crucial to demonstrate that the responsible party breached this duty of care. This often involves showcasing specific actions or behaviors that deviated from what a reasonably prudent person would do under similar circumstances. For instance, it could involve a driver’s failure to yield to a cyclist at an intersection or their distraction while behind the wheel. Moreover, there must be a clear connection between this breach of duty and the injuries sustained by the bicyclist. It should be evident that the negligent actions directly contributed to the physical injuries, medical expenses, damage to the bicycle, lost income, and emotional distress.
Proving negligence in bicycle accidents requires a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the incident, gathering evidence, and often involves expert testimony. Seeking legal help from experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles in handling bicycle accident cases can be instrumental in building a robust case and pursuing just compensation for the injuries and losses endured.
Choosing a Los Angeles Accident Attorney
The devastating consequences resulting from bicycle accidents underscore the critical need for a dedicated bicycle accident attorney in Los Angeles. In such distressing situations, it is paramount to have a legal advocate who not only represents their clients but also stands firmly by their side, championing their rights and interests through the whole process Bicycle accidents often stem from the negligence and recklessness of drivers who fail to exercise due caution and responsibility on the road. In these instances, it becomes imperative to hold both the at-fault drivers and their insurance companies accountable for their actions and omissions.
An experienced and compassionate Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney understands the profound impact these incidents can have on individuals and families. Our unwavering commitment is not just about seeking compensation; it’s about ensuring that justice is served and that the responsible parties are held accountable for the harm they’ve caused. If you or your loved ones have suffered due to a bicycle accident, do not hesitate to reach out for assistance from the best bicycle accident attorney Los Angeles. At Bojat Law Group, we are here to advocate for you, ensuring that your rights are upheld, and you receive the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve.