Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyers
- Bicycle Accident Statistics for the Los Angeles Area
- Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in L.A.
- Los Angeles Cycling Organizations and Safety Events
- Why You Should Hire an Experienced Bike Accident Lawyer
- A Lawyer Will Prevent You From Missing The Statute of Limitations
- A Lawyer Knows How to Preserve Evidence After an Accident
- A Lawyer Will Prevent You From Saying the Wrong Thing to the Insurance Company
- A Lawyer Knows How to Prove Who Was At Fault For the Accident
- A Lawyer Knows All the Types of Compensation You Deserve
- A Lawyer Can Help Find Solutions If You Cannot Afford Medical Treatment
Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered an injury in a bike accident in Los Angeles, you need a bicycle accident attorney who can protect your legal rights.
Cyclists who are injured by a driver’s negligence have the right to bicycle injury compensation. Unfortunately, bicycle accident claims can be complicated, and insurance companies often take advantage of this fact to try to pay injury victims less compensation than they deserve.
An experienced bicycle injury attorney will know the tricks and strategies insurance companies use. They can help you get full compensation for a bike accident. The sooner you have a bike crash attorney on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be.
Settlement in a bicycle versus taxi cab company accident; client suffered lower leg injuries.– Judd Ross Allen
Bicycle Accident Statistics for the Los Angeles Area
In 2015, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an ambitious plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities on the roads of Los Angeles by the year 2025. The plan started with a 20 percent reduction in traffic deaths by 2017. Unfortunately, traffic deaths actually increased by 20 percent during that time. According to U.S. News and World Report, 17 cyclists were killed on the roads of Los Angeles in 2015, but 21 were killed in 2018. This is an increase of nearly 25 percent.
Pedestrian deaths increased by more than 50 percent during that same time period. So what is causing this spike in accidents? There are many road infrastructure issues that contribute to bicycle accidents in Los Angeles. New technologies – such as rideshare services and electric scooters – have created new road users and more confusing patterns of traffic and parking.
Meanwhile, the constant battle between parking spaces and homeowner rights continues to leave out the interests of cyclists and pedestrians. And in some cases, the changes made by Project Vision Zero have actually made the roads more dangerous for bike riders. One example is “road diets” that remove lanes of traffic in order to allow for parking spaces or bike lanes. This can dramatically reduce traffic flow and cause congestion.
Under these circumstances, some drivers become impatient. They might attempt to speed through the “road diet” area without looking for bicyclists or pedestrians. This has caused preventable injuries in areas where taxpayer dollars have been spent with the goal of reducing injuries.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in L.A.
Our experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers have seen many types of injury cases. Drivers can dramatically reduce the chances of causing a bicycle accident by following a few basic safety rules:
- Always look out for bicycles, pedestrians, and smaller vehicles. They can be more difficult to see than larger vehicles – especially at night, in the rain, or during other times of decreased visibility.
- Be careful when opening your vehicle doors into a bike lane. Cyclists can come up quickly, and it is your responsibility to check for oncoming foot traffic or bicycles before opening car doors.
- Be especially careful in parking lots. Backup cameras have greatly improved drivers’ ability to see what is behind them when backing up, but you should not rely only on your camera. Check all directions before you start to move. Travel very slowly in parking lots so you can stop quickly if necessary. Be especially careful in dark parking garages that have blind turns.
- The law protects bicyclists because they are vulnerable to injuries from a larger vehicle. Yield the right of way any time it is necessary to avoid a collision. Even if you have the right to go first, it is better to avoid an accident than to be right.
Bicyclists can also reduce the risk of being seriously injured in a traffic accident by avoiding common mistakes:
- Always wear a helmet when riding.
- Use your headlight and bell as necessary to alert drivers to your presence. Wearing light-colored clothing and reflective tape can also help ensure that you are seen.
- Avoid busy streets as much as possible. By taking side roads with less traffic, you will have more space and time to make critical safety decisions.
- Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you before entering the street. Even if you have the right of way, be prepared to yield it if a driver does not see you.
- Be especially careful when driving by parked cars. In parking lots, street parking, and loading zones, a driver’s attention can be diverted by the task of backing up. Be sure to allow plenty of space between your bike and the cars, so you have an exit strategy in case a driver does not see you.
Los Angeles Cycling Organizations and Safety Events
There are many local organizations that are committed to bike safety in Los Angeles. Learn more about these groups by clicking on the links below:
- The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition: This is a nonprofit organization that is committed to advocacy, education, and community outreach. They are particularly concerned with mobility in low-income areas, for families, and among people of color.
- The California Bicycle Coalition: This is a statewide organization that works toward transportation justice, streets for everyone, healthy climates, and communities, and supporting bicycle allies (such as neighborhood activities and elected officials).
There are also many biking events that you can participate in throughout California to support a wide variety of important causes:
- The Ride to End ALZ: This is a fundraising ride to benefit Alzheimer’s research. It will be a virtual event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Cancer Awareness Bicycle Ride: The Fire Velo Cycling Club is made up of firefighters, retired firefighters, and other emergency services personnel. They sponsor a five hundred mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money for various firefighter cancer organizations. Riders stop along the route to pay tribute to firefighters who have passed away due to cancer.
- Finish the Ride Griffith Park 2020: This is a charity ride that takes riders through famous Griffith Park and the surrounding areas. It benefits the Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE) – a nonprofit organization that works to improve road safety throughout Los Angeles.
April 2019: $14M settlement in a traumatic brain injury case involving a defective piece of equipment at a factory.– Brian Beecher
Why You Should Hire an Experienced Los Angeles Bike Accident Lawyer
Some accident victims choose to handle their own personal injury claim without the advice of an attorney. While this is certainly your choice, you could face many unexpected consequences. Many accident victims who settle their case without a lawyer receive less compensation than those who have an attorney on their side. Here are some other problems that an experienced personal injury attorney can help prevent when handling your bike accident claim:
A Lawyer Will Prevent You From Missing The Statute of Limitations
Every personal injury claim is subject to a statute of limitations. This creates a deadline for filing your claim. If you do not file the right claim with the right court before the deadline passes, your claim is lost forever. The insurance company will have no obligation to pay you anything because you do not have the ability to sue their driver.
There are also other critical deadlines that you could miss if you do not have an experienced personal injury attorney review your case. For example, if you are suing a government entity (such as a city that negligently completed dangerous road work), you must file a notice of your claim with the agency. This occurs well before the statute of limitations.
If you fail to do so, you cannot sue the government entity – even if you file a personal injury lawsuit with the court before the statute of limitations expires. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you will know that all-important filing deadlines are being met. This will save you the stress of finding the right documents to file and worrying about whether there is some deadline you have not learned about.
A Lawyer Knows How to Preserve Evidence After an Accident
The evidence you need to prove your personal injury claim could be destroyed as soon as the accident occurs. If, for example, a nearby store had a surveillance camera that happened to record the accident, this could be critical evidence in proving who was at fault. But most stores delete their surveillance footage in order to make room for new data.
This powerful evidence could be lost in a routine data purge if you do not take steps to protect it. A simple request may not do it. Sometimes, your attorney will need to invoke the power of the courts to preserve evidence related to pending cases. So how does your attorney do this?
As soon as he or she is retained, a lawyer can begin contacting witnesses, and anyone who might have evidence related to your claim. Your attorney will know what evidence to look for. In many cases, an attorney can find evidence that the client did not think to track down. An attorney can also use the power of the court to compel the production of evidence.
Once a lawsuit has been filed on your behalf, your attorney can issue subpoenas. These are court orders to compel the production of documents, or the preservation of digital evidence, or a witness’ presence at a deposition or court hearing. A subpoena is an important tool that can preserve evidence that is vital to your case. It can only be used once a lawsuit has been filed.
A Lawyer Will Prevent You From Saying the Wrong Thing to the Insurance Company
After a bike accident caused by a driver, your settlement can be affected by the things you say to the other driver’s insurance company. For example, one of the most common requests an insurance company will make is to take your recorded statement about what happened in the accident. This can be used against you later when you attempt to settle your claim.
If the insurance company knows you have a lawyer, they are no longer allowed to communicate with you about the accident at all. This will prevent you from inadvertently saying something that could hurt your case and reduce the amount of compensation you receive. The insurance company could even use your statements to try to dismiss your claim altogether.
The insurance company will also try to find evidence on your social media platforms. These companies have always hired investigators to follow injury victims. The hope is that the investigator will be able to discredit the victim by catching them doing some activity they claim to be too injured to perform. These are strangers who follow you (and your children) to your home and work.
Now, in the digital age, these investigators can get much information simply by looking for your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Youtube, and other social media platforms. Your security setting may or may not be able to keep these strangers away from your private information. Because of this, it is important not to post any information about the accident while your case is pending.
Even something as simple as a gym selfie could be used against you. (The insurance company might claim that you don’t really need compensation for pain and suffering if you can still perform your usual workout.) You need a lawyer on your side who can advise you on how to protect your data and how to stop these insurance company tactics.
A Lawyer Knows How to Prove Who Was At Fault For the Accident
In some cases, an insurance company will deny liability for an accident. This means that they claim their driver was not at fault for causing the accident, or that another person was partly responsible for causing the accident. If, for example, a bicycle accident was half the fault of the negligent driver, and half the fault of a negligent bike rider, then the driver’s insurance company would only be obligated to pay for half of the bike rider’s injuries and losses.
The bike rider would also owe the driver for half the value of his injuries and losses. As you can see, the financial stakes are high when liability is in question. This is why insurance companies fight so hard to prove that their driver was not at fault, or only partly at fault. In this case, you will need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer who knows how to litigate liability in court.
Your attorney will need to measure precise seconds before and after a collision, or the milliseconds that occurred at the change of a traffic light. Your attorney might need to hire a structural engineer to recreate the accident with precision. Liability can be a challenging issue that involves advanced mechanics and highly complex matters of law. Almost all injury victims will need the help of an attorney to prove liability in cases where the other driver’s insurance company denies it.
A Lawyer Knows All the Types of Compensation You Deserve
There are many types of compensation that are available to bike accident victims. The general rule is that any negligent driver must pay for all losses that occur as the result of his or her negligence. This includes:
- Property damage (such as replacing your bicycle or helmet)
- Medical bills you have incurred due to the accident
- Medical bills you are likely to incur in the future due to the accident. (For permanent injuries that require long-term care or multiple surgeries, these expenses can run in the millions of dollars.)
- Compensation for wages you lost while recovering from your injuries.
- Any decrease in your future earning potential that is attributable to the accident. (If, for example, you will only be able to work part-time, you are entitled to compensation for the difference between your part-time and full-time wages. You are also entitled to compensation for any benefits you lost by changing to a part-time position.)
- Pain and suffering. (This is often the largest component of any personal injury award.)
This is not a complete list. It is important to work with an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer who knows all the different types of compensation that you are eligible for. If not, you could walk away with a settlement that is far less than you deserve.
A Lawyer Can Help Find Solutions If You Cannot Afford Medical Treatment
Many accident victims cannot afford the out-of-pocket expenses that come with serious bike accident injuries. If you have health insurance, your carrier has a contractual obligation to pay for your medical care as covered by the plan. The health insurance company can seek reimbursement from your auto accident settlement for the payments it made related to the accident, but these expenses must still be paid up-front. The injury victim will still be responsible for any co-pays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses that are not covered by the plan.
These can be significant – especially if you require a surgery or overnight hospital stay. Like many Americans, some bike accident victims do not have health insurance. In this case, you might have a hard time finding a medical provider who will wait for payment until your case is settled. This is where an attorney’s experience is helpful. Personal injury attorneys know which medical providers will work on a lien.
These providers do not accept payment up-front. Instead, they file a lien against your eventual injury claim. The lien must then be paid before settlement funds are distributed to the injury victim. This is just one example of the many options that are available to injury victims who cannot pay for expensive medical care out of pocket. An attorney will help you find the solution that is right for you.
The most important thing is that you not delay your medical treatment due to payment issues. Injuries that are not treated tend to become worse. The insurance company can even argue that you made your own injuries worse by failing to get treatment and try to reduce your pain and suffering award as a result. Do not let this happen to you. Let an experienced personal injury attorney help you find solutions to access the medical care you need.
Experienced, Aggressive Personal Injury Lawyers For Los Angeles Bike Accident Victims
The experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Arash Law led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq. have over twenty years of experience. We have collected over 400 million dollars for clients in San Francisco, Riverside, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, Sherman Oaks, and throughout California. Call (888) 488-1391 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles bicycle attorney. We fight hard for injury victims and ensure that their bicycle-car accident insurance claims are handled properly.