LOS ANGELES BICYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Riding a bicycle can be a fun way to exercise and a great source of transportation. However, bicycles sharing the road with motor vehicles, especially on the busy streets of Los Angeles, is potentially dangerous and can lead to serious accidents. Many bike accidents in LA occur because the motorist doesn’t see the bicyclist. It’s easy for a bicycle to get lost in a driver’s blind spot. When a motor vehicle strikes a bicycle, the cyclist is always at risk of serious injury. As such, a cyclist must be cautious at all times when riding a bicycle around motor vehicles.
Cyclists have a right to use the road, especially in designated bike lanes. When a Los Angeles cyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, they should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to seek damages and recover for their loss. Negligent drivers need to be held accountable, and a good lawyer has the skill, tenacity, and resources to do that.
The Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help you if you have been injured in an accident while riding your bike. We have the experience to fight for your rights. With multiple offices located in Los Angeles, El Segundo, Anaheim, Irvine, Riverside, and San Diego, our personal injury lawyers represent injured cyclists across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an expert Los Angeles bike accident lawyer, please call 949-873-0755.
Common Injuries From Bicycle Accidents
A bicycle accident can be very scary, and the resulting injuries can be severe. Cyclists are prone to suffering major injuries when involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. Bicycles don’t have safety features, such as airbags and seatbelts. An impact with a motor vehicle and/or the pavement can result in a wide range of injuries. Here are some common injuries suffered in bicycle accidents:
- Head injuries
- Fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Acetabular fracture (broken pelvis)
- Ankle fractures
- Fractured collarbones
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
- Lower extremity injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
Many bicycle accident survivors live with the repercussions of their accidents for the rest of their lives. Along with physical injuries, bike riders often suffer emotionally and psychologically from the trauma of a bicycle accident. The Los Angeles bike attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas understand the physical and emotional impacts of a bicycle accident on your life. Our personal injury attorneys will work hard to hold the responsible parties liable and provide you compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Our goal is to provide you with the personal service that you deserve during this difficult claims process.
What To Do After A Bicycle Accident In Los Angeles
Safety is extremely important when riding a bicycle, but regardless of how safety conscious you are, the chances of you or a fellow rider being involved in an accident involving a motorist are high. Knowing what to do if an accident occurs is crucial and can make a difference in how well you protect your rights or those of a companion who might be severely injured. Below are important steps you should consider taking if you have been involved in a bicycle accident:
- Call the police and wait for them to arrive.
- Provide the police with your report, including any injury you sustained, so they can complete an official accident report.
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident and of your bicycle – preferably in the same position and state it was after the accident.
- Obtain the names and phone numbers of all parties involved in the accident.
- Obtain the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.
- Immediately seek medical attention for your injuries.
- Do not attempt to negotiate with the driver of the vehicle who caused the accident.
- Preserve any evidence.
- Never negotiate with an insurance company.
- Contact an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer.
Frequently Asked Bike Accident Questions
How common are bicycle accidents?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 857 bicyclists were killed and 47,000 were injured nationally in motor vehicle traffic accidents in 2018. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than 1,000 U.S. bicyclist deaths and 495,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries in the same year. According to the NHTSA, bicycle accident fatalities account for 2 percent of all traffic-related deaths.
Can a cyclist be at fault?
In most accidents involving a bike and a motor vehicle, liability is allocated to the driver due to the lack of protection afforded to cyclists. However, in some cases, a cyclist can be at fault in an accident involving a motor vehicle. Common causes are ignoring traffic signals, riding on the wrong side of the street, and displaying negligent behaviors. In these types of cases, cyclists can be prevented from pursuing monetary damages.
When a cyclist is found to have acted negligently, resulting in an accident, they can be assigned contributory negligence, which states that the cyclist’s actions partly contributed to the injuries they suffered in the accident. In these cases, they are unable to recover restitution. When a cyclist is found to be comparatively negligent, the fault is allocated between both parties and some amount of compensation may be awarded to the cyclist, but not the full amount.
Can you bike on a sidewalk in Los Angeles?
Twelve cities within Los Angeles County allow cyclists to ride safely on a sidewalk. The City of Los Angeles, however, is neutral about the rules regarding riding on sidewalks and the direction of travel of your bike as you ride on a sidewalk. Per Los Angeles, Municipal Code section 56.15(1), “No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle, unicycle, skateboard, cart, wagon, wheelchair, roller skates, or any other device moved exclusively by human power, on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This essentially says that riding a bike on a sidewalk in Los Angeles is legal as long as it is done safely.
Thirty-two cities in L.A. County prohibit riding a bicycle on a public sidewalk. Cyclists need to be aware of the laws as to where they can and can’t ride when riding in Los Angeles County, depending on the city they’re in.
How long after a bike accident do I have to file a claim in California?
The answer to this question will depend on whether you are pursuing a claim for your own injuries or are filing a claim on behalf of a loved one who died in an accident. Here are the rules:
- Personal injuries and property damage: You must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the bicycle collision.
- Wrongful death: In a wrongful death lawsuit, in which you are suing for damages you suffered due to the death of a family member, you must file within two years of the date of their death, not the date of the accident.
- Exception for Minor Children: If the victim of a bicycle accident is a minor child, the statute of limitations is stopped (known as tolled), until the minor turns 18 years old. They have two years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Bike Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of another party, contact the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers specialize in handling bicycle accidents. We have the experience to help you recover your lost wages, medical expenses, and any other costs associated with your accident.
With multiple offices locates in Los Angeles, El Segundo, Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside, and San Diego, our accident attorneys represent injured victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer, please call 949-873-0755.