Bicycle accidents in Los Angeles
If you have suffered a bicycle accident in Los Angeles and need medical treatment and recover damages, do not hesitate to contact our expert traffic accident attorneys at Lluis Law. We have been dealing with this type of events for more than 50 years and helping victims obtain justice.
Bicycle accidents happen daily in Los Angeles and are usually caused by negligent drivers, road damage or even by careless pedestrians. As with other traffic accidents, cyclists who are injured in bicycle accidents in Los Angeles can also file a claim or claim for personal injury against the responsible person.
When a person dies because of injuries in a bicycle accident, their family members can also file a wrongful death claim to claim compensation for the loss of their loved one.
Who can I sue after a bicycle accident in Los Angeles?
After consulting with a personal injury lawyer specialized in bicycle accidents, the lawyer will evaluate the case and will try to identify the party responsible for the bicycle accident and then proceed with the claim for damages. You can sue a natural person or a legal person (company or government entity).
The compensation that a victim of these accidents can request can be for personal injuries, which include a series of damages that we mention below:
- Physical injuries
- Medical expenses
- Damage to materials (the bicycle)
- Loss of wages
- Occupational therapy
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (of a spouse for example)
- Loss of a limb.
The claim or demand will depend on the injuries left by the bicycle accident. Before starting any negotiation process with an insurance company, it is advisable to consult the opinion of a bicycle accident lawyer experienced in these cases.
When the health condition of the injured person is serious, it is best to let the lawyer take care of the legal steps of claim or demand. And after initiating the claim process, let him negotiate the terms of the settlement with the insurance company. The lawyer’s experience, along with his ability to negotiate, are the best guarantee for recovering damages.
If the accident was caused by pavement failures, potholes, holes, irregularities or a loose dog, the person responsible for road maintenance or the owner of the dog should be identified. The personal injury attorney will be able to conduct a particular investigation to identify the person responsible and find the best way for the cyclist to receive compensation for his injuries.
Are bicycle accidents common in Los Angeles?
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that in 2015 some 467,000 people in the United States were injured in bicycle accidents, of which 1,000 died as a result of serious injuries.
Another interesting fact to analyze is the considerable losses in man hours and medical expenses that these accidents leave. Only in 2010 losses exceeding 10,000 million dollars were quantified, an alarming figure in economic terms.
In California, between 2010 and 2012 there were 338 deaths of cyclists due to winding or collision with other vehicles. This figure places California as the state with the highest cyclist accident rate in the country, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
In Los Angeles the practice of cycling as a sport or as a recreational activity is widespread so that more people are exposed to suffer a bicycle accident in urban areas with greater vehicle traffic.
Risk factors associated with bicycle accidents
When we drive a bicycle there is always a latent risk of having an accident on the road. Because despite road traffic regulations and traffic laws that exist, the provision of cycle-tracks and fines that are imposed on reckless drivers, the cyclist as well as the motorized have less protection in case of a collision or automobile accident.
However, there are other factors associated with bicycle accidents that must be taken into account, because they increase the risk of injury or death:
Alcohol. A little more than a third of all fatal bicycle accidents occur because of a drunk motorist.
Cyclist’s age. There are two age groups that register the highest rates of bicycle accidents. The first group consists of people with ages between 5 and 19 years. Although it is the one with the highest incidence of accidents, accidents with deaths are minor. The other group is made up of people between the ages of 50 and 59. Here the highest number of accidents with deceased persons is recorded.
Sex. Another factor associated with the risk of bicycle accidents is this. Men are 6 times more likely to suffer a fatal accident and 4 times more likely to be injured riding bicycles than women.
The time. Statistics reveal that tragic bicycle accidents usually occur between 4 pm and 8 pm.
Place. The urban areas and without intersection have the highest incidence of bicycle accidents.
Use of the helmet. As in motorcyclist accidents, in bicycle accidents the use of a helmet makes a big difference so as not to injure your head. In the majority of fatal accidents serious head injuries are due to the lack of use of the protective helmet.
Although cyclists, like other drivers, must comply with the standards set out in Vehicle Code 21200, it is evident that they have a disadvantage in their safety and protection with respect to motorists. Therefore, they must have a greater consideration in the evaluation of an accident.
I was run over by a car in Los Angeles: what do I do?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, the first thing is to seek medical attention by calling 911 for help. The injuries suffered by cyclists are often serious, because they involve traumatic brain injuries or broken bones in the back, neck or legs.
Even when there are apparently no serious injuries or no pain at the moment, it is advisable to get checked by a doctor for two reasons. The first is to take care of your health and avoid further damage; the second, the collection of compensation before the insurance company.
To assess the case, a personal injury lawyer specialized in bicycle accidents will ask for a medical evaluation in order to calculate the damages. Then, it will use as evidence the other data and documents collected during the investigative process to accompany the presentation of the claim or demand.
Within the limitations that the cyclist may have after suffering the accident, one should try to collect as much information as possible from the accident. Is worth to say:
– Data of the vehicle that caused the accident (plate number, frame, model, color, registration number).
– Driver’s name and contact information.
– Witness contact information.
– Take photos and videos of the scene of the accident with your cell phone. As well as the wounds and the bicycle. This will then help the lawyer to document the case.
– Do not argue with the responsible driver. If you do not cooperate or try to run away, call the police.
– Do not admit guilt if you think you have it. Let your lawyer evaluate the case and determine the responsibilities. Do not say anything that could be used against you in a trial.
Who is to blame if the accident was due to poor road conditions?
Obstacles in the road and road failures or irregularities are one of the most frequent causes of bicycle accidents. Cracks, irregularities or potholes can cause a cyclist to fall and injure himself. According to the California facility liability law, the responsibility for the accident could be the city of Los Angeles or the administrators / owners of a road section.
As responsible for the maintenance of roads (streets, avenues and highways), the city can be accused of negligence if an accident occurs for this reason. Only in 2017 the city of Los Angeles was forced to pay more than $ 19 million in claims for accidents due to lack of maintenance of the roads.
If you or a family member were injured in a bicycle accident, call our expert accident and personal injury lawyers at Lluis Law. They can help you with your claim or claim for damages and help you get medical care. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our telephone number is (213) 320-0777.
Address: 205 South Broadway, Suite 1000 Los Angeles, CA 90012. Tel: (213) 687-4412 Fax: (213) 687-3441.