If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident and sustained severe injuries as a result of another party’s negligence, you’ve suffered enough. Don’t settle for less—get the care and compensation you deserve with the bicycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm.
Handling the complex cases that other lawyers can’t since 2007, Wilshire Law Firm can change your life in 1 phone call. Pick up the phone NOW and dial (844) 219-2105, or fill out our online contact form, to get your absolutely FREE case consultation.
What are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 840 cyclists killed in 2016, a small increase over the previous year. As many bikers will tell you, drivers often fail to respect the rights of cyclists. They will text, make phone calls, drive too fast, and fail to leave bicyclists enough space while supposedly sharing the road. With motorists seemingly only looking out for themselves, cyclists need to be alert and attentive at all times—the difference can be life or death.
According to a 2016 NHTSA report, the most common causes of bicycle accidents are as follows:
- Poorly-designed crossing locations
- Poor visibility
- Non-compliance with traffic laws
- Distracted or reckless driving
- Unsafe road conditions
- Inadequate separation between drivers and cyclists
Found to be a factor in an estimated 35% of all fatal bicycle accidents, alcohol or drug use substantially increases the likelihood of a collision occurring. Motorists and bikers alike should avoid impairing substances, along with adopting the NHTSA’s other rules of the road.
What are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Since 2009, the number of traffic crashes involving a bicyclist or pedestrian has increased, with a pedestrian injury occurring every 7.5 minutes as of 2015. While cyclists have the same rights to the roadway as drivers, motorist behavior and infrastructure issues make bicycle accidents a growing traffic safety and public health concern in California.
Severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are unfortunately all too common in bike accidents. Some of the most common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones/bone fractures
- Neck/back or spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis (paraplegia/quadriplegia)
- Wrongful death
- Facial/dental/jaw injuries
- Road rash
Regardless of the injuries a cyclist suffers in a traffic collision, they are likely to need medical care. Treatment costs can quickly add up and overwhelm victims, especially in cases where long-term care is necessary.
One way to protect yourself? Wear a helmet every time you ride, and follow this guide from the NHTSA to make sure it fits!
Road diets are becoming more popular, but the overall lack of separation between motor vehicles and cyclists is a factor in many bicycle accidents.
How can Bicyclists Prevent Bicycle Accidents?
Staying safe on your bicycle requires a diligent, determined effort. Bicyclists looking to prevent accidents while riding should take the following steps:
- Wear a Helmet—Rule #1 is to always cover your head with the proper headgear.
- Use Safety Gear—Mirrors, front, rear, and spoke lights, fluorescent gear and more can all make you more visible to drivers and reduce your risk of an accident.
- Communicate—Use hand signals to let cars and other vehicles know your intentions.
- Know the Rules of the Road—Always ride with traffic unless making a left turn, passing, or avoiding a hazard.
- Stay Alert—Headphones and cell phones can be incredibly distracting to cyclists. Avoid using these items when riding.
While it’s important to be safe on the streets, the fact remains that even the most serious cyclists can be involved in dangerous bicycle accidents.
Notes: Here you can find out about should you ride your bicycle on the sidewalk?
What Should You Do After a Bicycle Accident?
After an accident, you may have been knocked unconscious, or be unable to move. Depending on what you are able to do, try to take the following steps to protect your health (and your personal injury case):
- Check for injuries—Even minor injuries left untreated can lead to major health problems. That’s why it’s important that bikers seek immediate medical care following an accident—without an exam, it is impossible to determine the true extent of the injuries suffered.
- Alert emergency services—If anyone is hurt, dial 911 immediately. Ask the police to make an official report—a police report can prove vital to your case.
- Document the accident—Get the contact and insurance information of the driver, along with contact info for any witnesses to the accident. Write down everything you can remember about the accident (time, location, road conditions, etc.), and take photographs of the accident scene if you have a cell phone or camera available.
- Watch what you say—Don’t apologize or admit fault for the accident. Give clear and concise details to the police about the incident, then call Wilshire Law Firm to get the most out of your case.
Keep in mind that even if you think the accident was partially your fault, you may still be able to recover some of the damages you suffered. As a Comparative Fault state, California allows injured cyclists to recover a reduced percent of their damages. This number is directly tied to the percent a cyclist is deemed at fault for an accident—this means that, even if you were 99 percent responsible for the accident, you may still be able to recover part of your damages.
How Do I Prove My Case?
In order to prove that the other party was liable for your injuries, you must demonstrate to the court that:
- The other party owed you a duty of care to reasonably prevent injury
- The other party breached their duty of care
- That breach of duty resulted in your injuries
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there are many different parties who could potentially be found liable for the bicycle accident injuries you have suffered. Common parties who are found liable following bicycle accidents include:
- Other Drivers
- Vehicle Owners
- Other Cyclists
- Vehicle Manufacturers or Retailers
- Public Entities
- Landowners or Tenants
The Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm won’t let you pay for someone else’s mistake. If your accident was caused by another party’s negligence, our experienced attorneys will get the justice and compensation that you and your family deserve.
Premises liability and a host of other factors can be present when a bicycle accident occurs in front of a business.
What Damages are Recoverable Following a Bicycle Accident?
The lack of protection that bicycles offer often translates into serious, potentially catastrophic injuries for cyclists who are involved in a motor vehicle crash. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones are all expensive possibilities following a bicycle accident. Many victims are forced to take time away from work as they recover, further adding to their financial stress.
Following a bicycle accident, victims can bring a claim to recover these damages:
- Specific/Economic Damages—Past and future medical bills; lost wages; lost earning potential; necessary home or vehicle modifications; repair/replacement services such as child care or home and vehicle maintenance
- General/Non-Economic Damages—Physical pain and suffering; loss of consortium; emotional distress
It’s possible that multiple parties can be found at-fault for the accident, making it vital that you identify those responsible through a thorough investigation before filing your claim.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Most personal injury claims need to be filed within two years of an accident, but there are many factors that can extend the time a victim has to file a claim. Conversely, if a government agency or public entity is involved, a bicycle accident victim may only have 180 days from the date of the accident to file a claim.
To get the most out of your case, it’s important that you hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance companies will try everything to get you to settle for less—you need a law firm who won’t cut them any discounts.
Delivering exceptional results for our clients since 2007, Wilshire Law Firm is redefining the standard in legal services. We place our clients first, getting them access to the care and treatment they need and transforming their lives through superior legal solutions. We handle all insurance-related paperwork and negotiations so our clients can focus on what really matters—recovering.
For excellence without compromise, choose Wilshire Law Firm. To get started with your FREE case consultation, contact Wilshire Law Firm today at (866) 750-1430, or fill out our online contact form.