Los Angeles is a congested metro area and this poses a great challenge for bicycle riders. Even if you are a skilled cyclist, you may end up being a victim of a careless driver. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in which another person was at fault, you may be eligible for compensation. A bicycle accident can result in serious injuries which could lead to financial burdens because of the medical bills and possible loss of wages if you can’t go to work. However, for you to receive the financial support that you deserve, you must take the right actions to secure your rights. Therefore, it is vital to consult an experienced bicycle accident attorney who will fight the battle for you and help you recover full and just compensations for your injuries.
At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we have a team of experienced and dedicated bike accident lawyers who understand these matters and are ready to provide the necessary legal help. Call 424-231-2013 now for a free case evaluation.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicyclists accounted for 2% of all traffic accidents in 2014. Most bicyclist deaths occurred between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. 71% of these accidents occurred in urban areas. In 2012, California had the most bicycle fatalities in the entire country. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center also indicates that in 2006, there were 732 bicyclist deaths and 726 deaths in 2015. Bicycle accident injuries were 44,000 in 2006 and 45,000 in 2015. This, therefore, means that there was a 2.3% increase in bicyclist injuries between 2006 and 2015. Only a fraction of bicycle accidents are reported to the police and this implies that the numbers could be much higher.
Common Injuries Sustained in Bicycle Accidents
The severity of injuries in bike accidents is determined by various factors such as the speed of the parties involved, the road condition, location of the collision, and the presence or absence of protective gear.
Accidents can be fatal even at lower speeds and this can lead to closed-head injuries and concussion. This is because, during a crash, bicyclists are usually hit over their handlebars and in this way, they have no control over how they land. This is why it is necessary to always wear a helmet whenever you go out riding, even if it’s for a short distance.
When struck by a motor vehicle while cycling, you could face a traumatic brain injury. Minor brain injuries can temporary injuries while serious ones can have adverse, permanent effects that may last a lifetime. Some of these effects include decreased mental capacity, chronic fatigue, and memory loss. A brain injury from a bicycle accident can destroy your physical and mental health.
A bicycle accident can cause damaged vertebrae and even paralysis. When a cyclist is hit, he or she can fall on his/ her back, head or neck in which they can suffer spinal cord injuries. This is especially due to the fact that bicycles don’t have roll cages or barriers.
In a bicycle crash, chances are that you will hit the ground or another object on the ground and this could result in a bone fracture or even several fractures. Having a broken bone is traumatic and even worse it can take months to full recovery in which there is a probability that you may never feel or walk the same again.
Other serious injuries that could be as a result of bicycle accidents include damage to internal organs, internal bleedings, and deep abrasions known as ‘road rash’. Even worse, a bicyclist could die in a crash if the motor vehicle involved was at a high speed. Wrongful death can occur even if the victim had the right protective gear.
These injuries may require extensive treatment like orthopedic surgery as well as diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans. If your loved one has been involved in a serious bicycle accident, you should consult a qualified bicycle accident lawyer who can help you get compensation for the damages.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Los Angeles is certainly not a bicycle-friendly city. Regardless of whether the cyclist is in the bike lane, shared road, or the sidewalk, motor vehicles pose a great threat. This is to simply say that most of the bicycle accidents that happen on our roads every day are as a result of a driver’s error or negligence. Common examples of this include:
- Driver opens the door unexpectedly and hits the bicyclist
- Vehicle collides with cyclist from the rear
- Moving car swipes the bicyclist with the side-view mirror
- Left turning vehicle at an intersection
- Right turning car overtaking a bicyclist
- Motorists that pass bicyclists without providing enough distance
- Failure to stop at a sign or red light
- Failure to yield right-of-way
- Drunk driving
A driver’s negligence is not the only cause of bicycle accidents. There are other causative factors such as defective bicycle products, dog attacks in which a dog bites a bicyclist or the cyclist avoids the attacking dog and rides into danger. Another factor is poorly designed or maintained roads which is the responsibility of the government. In these cases, therefore, the products manufacturer, owner of the dog or the government could be held responsible for the accident respectively.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
If you are involved in an accident, it is common to feel frightened and confused about what you should do. Here are the steps that you should take to get the help that you need and deal with the injury.
- Call the police
After the incident has happened, you should call police officers to the scene right away. This will help them identify those involved and compile a report. One important thing that you must do is to cooperate with them as they do their investigations. You should also ask for a copy of the report and try to compile your own which should include photos that may serve as evidence.
- Get the names and contact information of those involved
Before you leave the scene, it is vital to write down all the names and contact information of all individuals that are involved including witnesses. If you are not in a good position to do so, then you can ask someone else to do it for you. This is necessary because you will be able to find those individuals and get their statements when the investigations begin. This will help your bicycle accident attorney to build a strong case for you.
- Get Treatment
After being involved in a bicycle crash, it is necessary to get a thorough medical examination even if you believe that you have not been seriously injured. You could have had some serious injuries whose symptoms may not appear immediately and could even take hours or days to show. When you get an immediate checkup, it will be easier to determine if there are serious underlying injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, spinal injuries or others that you are not aware of. Request for copies of the medical records and be sure to attend all the scheduled checkups as advised by the doctor.
- Do not sign any medical authorization or settlement agreement
When your insurance company learns that you have been involved in a car accident, they may try to call you and ask for permission to get access to and go through your medical records. This is done with the intention of trying to link your injuries to a previous accident or incident and limit the amount of your claim. You must in no way give the insurance adjuster information about the accident because the same information may be used to incriminate you. The insurance company may also try to give you a quick and low offer and for this reason, it is necessary to avoid speaking with them or signing any documents without an attorney.
- Contact a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney
The possibility for a bicycle crash to be fatal is very high. When you try and seek compensation on your own without the knowledge of how the process works, you could end up settling on a much lower amount than what you really deserve. Insurance companies have the tendency of trying to cut costs involved in settling claims. This is why you should get the help of an experienced bicycle accident attorney immediately. A lawyer will be able to do investigations on your case, provide evidence for liability and negotiate with your insurer.
How to Prove Your Bicycle Accident Claim
Bicycle accidents can ruin your life completely. If you do not take a step to get compensation from the liable party, you could end up living a frustrating and painful life. However, for you to get that compensation, you must prove that the recklessness, negligence or willful action caused your injuries. There are different ways of doing this which include the use of:
- Photographic and video evidence
- Expert testimony
- Witness accounts
- Police and medical accounts
In order to acquire concrete evidence to support your claim, you should get the help of an attorney who specializes in bicycle accidents. At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we apply extensive investigation techniques and forensic tools to achieve satisfactory outcomes for our clients. To receive a free case evaluation, call 424-231-2013 and get answers to all your questions from our dedicated and compassionate team.
Types of Compensation Recoverable in a Bicycle Accident
If someone’s carelessness caused your crash, that individual may be held liable for a wide variety of damages. These include:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
In order ensure maximum recovery in California, you must file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, before your vital evidence is lost and before memories fade from your witnesses’ minds.
Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accidents in California
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in California, the law states that you have a maximum of 2 years to file a claim. This applies in the case where a negligent driver or bicycle/product manufacturer is responsible for the crash. However, there is an exception to this if a government agency in charge of roads is involved. In this case, you will have only 6 months to file your claim. With the complexity of California law, it is necessary to consult an experienced bicycle accident attorney to help you understand your situation.
Let us handle Your Bicycle Accident Case
If you are involved in a car accident, it is advised that you contact us as soon as possible instead of waiting for time to elapse. The reason for this is to avoid missing valuable evidence for your claim or even losing the right to make a claim. Each and every case is unique and therefore you need an attorney who addresses your case on an individual basis. At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we are specialized to handle cases like yours and you can trust our expertise to handle your claim. We understand the toll that a bicycle accident can have on your life and we are committed to ensuring that secure the monetary damages you are eligible for to cover your economic losses and injuries.
If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident in the greater Los Angeles area, we are dedicated to litigate on your behalf to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Our team will be standing by, ready to assist you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We work to ensure that your legal rights are protected every step of the way. We are also available to assist you if you lost a loved one in a bicycle accident. Call us now at 424-231-2013 or contact us online to learn what a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney can do for you. Because we care, we have your best interest at heart!