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Bicycle Accident Attorney Los Angeles

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When you’re riding a bicycle, you do everything you can to stay safe. Unfortunately, bicycle collisions can occur despite every precaution you may take due to reckless or negligent drivers. When these incidents occur, bicyclists have a right to file a lawsuit against any negligent parties. Family members of a bicyclist killed in such collisions may also file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident and sustained injuries, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The bicycle accident attorneys at Shegerian & Associates can review your case for free and advocate on your behalf.

Common Causes of California Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents are more common than many people realize. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the number of preventable deaths from bicycle accidents increased 16% in 2020 from the previous year and have increased 44% in the last 10 years, from 873 in 2011 to 1,260 in 2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that 130,000 bicyclists in the U.S. are injured each year, and the cost related to these injuries and deaths exceeds $23 billion. Risks factors for bicycle accident injury victims include:

  • Adults ages 55-69
  • Males
  • Riding between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Riding in urban areas with no intersections
  • The use of helmets

Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Dooring accidents
  • Road rage
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Drivers failing to yield
  • Driver fatigue
  • Unsafe road conditions

What To Do After Being Injured on a Bicycle

Knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of a bicycle accident can help you ensure your safety while also protecting your rights. If you are injured, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention by calling 9-1-1 or having someone else do so.

Many bicycle accident injuries result in neck, head, and back trauma. These injuries are notorious for having late onset of symptoms. This means that you may feel fine immediately after the crash and your symptoms won’t begin to show until days or weeks after the crash. If you wait to seek medical attention, the insurance company may claim there is a lack of evidence linking your injuries to the bicycle crash. With that said, always see a doctor even if you feel fine.

Gather Evidence

You should begin gathering evidence as soon as you can, which will be used later by your bicycle accident attorney to determine and prove fault. Pieces of evidence to record include:

  • The vehicle’s license plate number
  • The make, model, color, and year of the vehicle
  • The driver’s personal and insurance information
  • Photos and videos of the vehicle and your bicycle
  • Photos and videos of the surrounding scene
  • Photos and videos of your injuries
  • Contact information of any witnesses
  • Police report

Do Not Admit Fault

It’s common for people to apologize after any type of accident, even when they did nothing wrong. However, remember to never apologize after a bicycle collision, even if you do so out of courtesy. This is because an apology could be construed in a way where you are admitting to fault for the accident.

Contact a Bicycle Accident Law Firm

Even if you are unsure whether you are at fault or not, it is always best to contact a bicycle accident lawyer who can analyze your case and deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The insurance company will probably try to get you to settle for much less than you deserve, so your attorney can be sure that you don’t accept a lowball settlement offer.

Potentially Liable Parties

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to determining liability in the event of a bicycle collision. In general, however, there are various parties that could be held liable if you are injured on two wheels:

A Motorist

Motorists are common defendants in personal injury lawsuits arising due to bicycle accidents. Motorists are liable for injuries if they were negligent, which may involve:

  • Not giving a cyclist 3 feet for safety or a full lane when passing
  • Texting and driving
  • Not using turn signals
  • Having broken brake lights
  • Failing to yield
  • Running stop signs or red lights
  • Opening a door in a bicycle lane
  • Making a left-hand turn into a cyclist
  • Exiting a driveway or parking lot and hitting a cyclist

A Pedestrian

There may be times when a pedestrian may be responsible for a bicycle crash and be liable for any resulting injuries to the cyclist. These types of collisions often occur when a cyclist must swerve to avoid crashing into a negligent pedestrian. Some common situations where pedestrians may be found liable include:

  • Failing to control a dog
  • Walking and texting
  • Stepping into a bicycle lane
  • Running in front of a cyclist

Product Manufacturer

At times, bicycles or their parts may be defective and cause bicycle collisions. When this occurs, it is known as product liability and the product manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may be liable for a cyclist’s injuries. Unlike other types of personal injury cases, product liability cases do not have to show negligence. Instead, strict liability for a defective product can be imposed for:

  • A manufacturing defect
  • A defective design
  • Failure to warn

Local Government or Agencies

Unsafe road conditions are a common cause of bicycle accidents. While some road conditions are unavoidable, many are the result of negligent local agencies or property owners failing to maintain safe road conditions. Common road conditions that cause bicycle accidents include:

  • Potholes
  • Cracks in the pavement
  • Uneven sidewalks or road
  • Loose gravel or pavement
  • Damaged road signs
  • Road paint that is difficult to see
  • Lifted asphalt
  • Debris in the road that have not been removed after an excessive period of time and pose a safety hazard

Damages Available in a Bicycle Accident Case

A bicycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles will let you know that in order to show proof that the other party was liable for your bicycle accident-related injuries, it must be shown that:

  • The other party had a duty of care owed to you.
  • The duty of care was breached.
  • This breath of duty led to the bicycle accident.
  • The accident resulted in injuries.

The type of damages that you may be owed will depend on many different factors, including the severity of your injuries. Some of the most common types of bicycle accident injuries include:

  • Road rash
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Facial trauma
  • Neck injuries
  • Dental fractures
  • Internal bleeding
  • Strains or dislocations
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

In general, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disfigurement
  • Lost quality of life

Contact our Legal Team for Help

If you’re injured in a bicycle accident, do not hesitate to contact bicycle accident attorneys in Los Angeles at Shegerian & Associates for skilled legal representation. In California, the statute of limitations is two years for bicycle accident cases. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the greater the chances you have of preserving necessary evidence and receiving maximum compensation for your injuries.

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