Cycling along the streets of Los Angeles can be exhilarating. From the scenic paths along the Pacific coastline to the thoroughfares of Downtown, each ride tells a story. However, when a ride takes an unexpected turn due to a bicycle accident, it’s crucial to have a dedicated Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer by your side who understands the intricacies of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.
Whether you enjoy the bike lanes of Santa Monica, the historic streets of Pasadena, or the vibrant culture of Boyle Heights, Wilshire Law Firm is here to stand up for your rights after a bicycle accident and ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Why Choose Wilshire Law Firm for Your Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Claim?
Delivering exceptional results for our clients since 2007, Wilshire Law Firm is redefining the standard in legal services. Our personal injury lawyers 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 and see the difference we can make in your bicycle accident case.
Do I Have a Bicycle Accident Claim?
Negligence plays a crucial role in many bicycle accident claims, as it involves the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to others. This is key to most bicycle accident claims. To establish a successful negligence claim, four key elements typically need to be demonstrated:
- Duty of Care: The first element is establishing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In the context of a bicycle accident, this often means showing that the person responsible for the accident had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care toward others on the road.
- Breach of Duty: The second element involves demonstrating that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff. This could include actions such as reckless or careless behavior, failure to obey traffic laws, or any other conduct that deviates from what a reasonably prudent person would do in similar circumstances.
- Causation: It must be established that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In other words, the injuries sustained by the plaintiff must be a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s actions.
- Damages: Finally, to succeed in a negligence claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered actual damages or harm as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty. This can include physical injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
What are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
According to an informational report by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), a total of 961 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles last 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 an 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
- The 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?
The number of traffic crashes involving bicycle riders has increased by nearly 30% in the past decade. 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 will likely need medical care. Treatment costs can quickly add up and overwhelm victims, especially in cases where long-term care is necessary.
What Damages Are Available in a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Case?
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.
Who May Be Held Liable in a Bicycle Accident Claim?
Liability in a bicycle accident case can extend to various parties depending on the circumstances of the incident. Some potentially liable parties may include:
Motor Vehicle Drivers
Drivers of cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles can be held liable if their negligent actions, such as speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield, cause a bicycle accident.
In some cases, pedestrians may contribute to bicycle accidents, such as by jaywalking or suddenly stepping into a cyclist’s path. Liability may be assessed based on the pedestrian’s actions.
If a poorly maintained road or hazardous conditions, such as a pothole or lack of proper signage, contribute to a bicycle accident, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road may be held liable.
If a defective bicycle or bicycle component contributes to an accident, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product may be held liable under product liability laws.
If a bicycle accident occurs while an individual is performing work duties, their employer might be held liable under the doctrine of vicarious liability, especially if the accident occurs during the course of employment.
If a bicycle accident is caused by a hazardous condition on someone’s property, such as a poorly maintained driveway or sidewalk, the property owner may be held liable for negligence.
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.
- Contact a lawyer: Consult a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to ensure your rights are protected and you recover all the damages you suffered. Even if you receive an offer from the insurance company, it’s important to consult a lawyer, as insurance companies are notorious for not offering settlements to accident victims that cover all their losses.
How Long Do I Have to File an Injury 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.
How Can a Lawyer Help if I Suffered Injuries in a Bicycle Accident?
Experiencing a bicycle accident can be a traumatic and life-altering event. If you’ve suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, seeking the assistance of a skilled lawyer can provide invaluable support. Here’s how a bike accident lawyer from Wilshire Law Firm can help you:
A bicycle accident lawyer can provide you with a clear understanding of your legal rights and options. They can explain the relevant laws and regulations, helping you navigate the complexities of personal injury claims.
Investigation and Evidence Gathering
Our lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your bicycle accident to determine liability. They gather crucial evidence, such as witness statements, accident reports, and any available surveillance or traffic camera footage.
Identifying the party or parties responsible for your injuries is a crucial aspect of a successful personal injury claim. Our lawyers can assess the evidence to establish liability.
Communication with Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies can be complex and challenging. Your lawyer can handle communications with insurers on your behalf, working to secure a fair settlement.
Negotiation and Settlement
Our lawyers are skilled negotiators who can advocate for your rights and work to secure a fair and just settlement. They aim to maximize compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and other damages.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your lawyer can provide representation in court. They will prepare and present your case, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Our lawyers often work with medical experts who can assess the extent of your injuries and provide professional opinions on your medical condition and potential future expenses.
Your lawyer can help you identify and quantify the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Peace of Mind
Knowing that a dedicated legal professional is handling the legal aspects of your case allows you to focus on your recovery and well-being.
Contingency Fee Arrangement
Our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you receive compensation. This arrangement ensures that legal representation is accessible to those who need it.
Contact the Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm Today
Bicycle accidents can be life-altering, leaving victims with injuries, medical bills, and emotional distress. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, it’s crucial to take action to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.