Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Were you or a loved one the victim of an accident while riding your bicycle? If so, call Wilshire Law Firm at 1-800-522-7274 for a FREE consultation now.
Being hit while riding your bike is a frightening experience. If you suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, we can help.
The award-winning attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm will fight for your rights. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year, so call us today.
Your California Bicycle Accident Lawyers
In spite of a rise in the number of bicycle riders over the last decade, the infrastructure needed to accommodate them has not kept up. This can lead to problems with sharing the road. Many municipalities and the state of California itself have enacted laws to keep cyclists safe and motorists aware. But many motorists don’t understand the rules surrounding sharing the road with bikes and many bike owners don’t know what their obligations are when they go out for a ride.
Yes, more bike lanes would help, but until then, it’s important to understand rights and responsibilities as a bike rider in order to stay safe. Of course, accidents do happen, and if you should find yourself the victim of an accident with a motor vehicle, it’s important to know where you stand and what your options are. The bicycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm are up to date on all of the current laws and believe in sharing the road too.
To help you understand the bicycle laws in and around California’s major metropolitan areas, we have put together a guide designed to outline the risks and rewards associated with biking in the big city and provide you with insight in how to handle an accident, knowing your rights and more.
Bicycle Laws in California
Many people purchase a bicycle to commute to work. While this is a great idea, it can lead to a lot of trouble for a cyclist who doesn’t know the rules of the road when it comes to biking. Of course, laws for motor vehicles are not the same as bicycles – although many cyclists do treat their bike as a motor vehicle and obey the rules of the road. There are special rules and laws that apply only to bicycle owners. Let’s review some of these rules to help you gain a better understanding of your options and responsibilities.
Bicycles must follow the same rules as motor vehicles.
Bike riders have the same legal standing as a car or truck. That means cyclists must follow the same rules of the road as the vehicles around them.
Anyone under 18 must wear a helmet.
Minors must wear approved bike helmets when out riding. For those over 18 years of age, helmets are optional.
Night rides have different rules.
You must wear a headlamp or another source of light that is visible at least 300 feet away from you. This gives oncoming motor vehicles, as well as other cyclists, a chance to see you and adjust their course. You must also have a red reflector on the back of your bike that can be seen at least 500 feet away from you. Finally, you must have bike pedals that have yellow or white reflectors that are visible to oncoming and approaching traffic.
Bicycle riders must obey traffic signals and signs, just like cars do.
Just because you’re on a bicycle doesn’t mean you can pedal through stop signs and crosswalks when pedestrians are attempting to cross. Well, the exact same rules apply to bicycles. You must obey the same traffic signs and signals that motor vehicles do.
Your bicycle should be fitted to your height.
The rule of thumb is, you should be able to comfortably put one foot on the ground when you come to a complete stop. Also, depending on the type of bicycle you’re riding, make sure the handlebars are positioned for a comfortable ride. A poorly fitted bike can be hard to maneuver and cause muscle fatigue. This can pose a danger to the cyclist and those around them.
Bicycle Accident Occurrences
With all of these bicycles and motor vehicles on the road at the same time, the chances of getting into an accident increase. In Los Angeles alone, more than 2000 bike crashes were reported in 2012. Since then, the numbers have gone up. For the first six months of 2018, the number of bike accident fatalities stands at 6, which is up from 2 fatalities at the same time last year.
Safety should be the top priority when riding on crowded city streets. One cannot assume that drivers of motor vehicles know the rules for sharing the road, nor can one assume that they will follow them. In addition, it’s important to take responsibility for one’s own safety when sharing the road with cars and trucks, as well as other cyclists and pedestrians.
Time Limits for Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim
Before you put on your helmet and go for a ride, you should know what your rights are in the event of an accident. We don’t like to think about being involved in any accidents but being prepared makes things easier if something does happen. You don’t want to find yourself confused about what your rights and responsibilities are.
In California, if you are in a bicycle accident with another person or vehicle, you have up to two years to file a claim or complaint. There are two instances when this period is extended or lifted. The first is if you are physically incapable of filing a claim due to the severity of your injuries sustained as a result of the cycling accident. The second applicable extension is if the injuries did not manifest themselves within the first two years following your accident but later developed as a result of the accident.
If you were a minor when you were injured in a bicycle accident, you may wait until you are 18 years old to file the claim. The two-year period starts at your 18th birthday. Riders have until they are 20 years old to file their claim.
Finally, you only have 6 months to file a claim for damages if you were involved in a bicycle accident with a government entity. For example, if you were hit by a postal truck while riding your bicycle.
If you are unsure of your timeline or rights related to a bicycle accident, contact the expert bicycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm right away. We’re available 24/7, every day of the year, including holidays. And our consultations are always FREE.
Understanding Who is at Fault
Because many drivers do not understand the laws regarding the rights of bike riders on city streets, they’re quick to blame the cyclist for any accidents. That’s not to say cyclists never share any responsibility in an accident, but they are generally not 100% responsible for them either.
Pedestrians and other cyclists can also cause accidents.
Not all bicycle accidents involve cars. If you were injured in an accident due to a pedestrian’s or another cyclist’s error, you can also file a claim.
If you do get into an accident with your bike, never admit fault, no matter how you think the events leading to the collision occurred. And certainly, don’t take on the insurance companies or the other parties involved by yourself.
What to do if You Are in a Bicycle Accident
A bicycle accident can be life-altering. Outcomes can range from bruises to broken bones and even death. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, there are a few steps you should take immediately.
- Check on yourself, then call 911 right away. Even if you think you aren’t injured, it’s important to call 911, especially after a bicycle accident. Many people are initially in a state of shock. That may cause them not to feel anything at that moment.
- If possible, find a safe area away from oncoming vehicles. Safety should always be the number one priority after an accident.
- Exchange information with the other parties involved. If you are unable to do this due to injury, the police will be able to collect the information on your behalf.
- If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run, do your best to collect any information you can. If there were witnesses, see if they were able to photograph or record anything.
In addition to ensuring your health and safety, you should consider taking legal action. If you are not sure if legal action is advisable, or what your rights are, talk to the team at Wilshire Law Firm. We have been helping bicycle accident victims get the compensation and justice they deserve for over ten years.
Working with a Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bikes help reduce pollution and are a great way to stay in shape. However, they also provide zero protection in a collision. That often results in severe injuries to the cyclist.
The experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm can help you recoup the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, and more. We’ll handle the insurance companies, police reports and any other documentation related to your case promptly and efficiently. That leaves you more time to concentrate on your recovery and to getting your life back in order.
We will work to ensure you get the best possible outcome and the justice you deserve.
To get more information about bicycle safety and accident prevention, visit one of the following resources:
Thank you Wilsher law firm!!!!!I have to say that all the employees at Wilsher law firm were very helpful with my injury case. Look Des for me when I need a good physical therapist. Got me the most out of my case. Thank you Wilsher law firm!!!!!'
*ANGELS EXISTS*My brother was hit by a car on his bicycle. His bicycle was smashed up, he lost several teeth and he was lucky to be alive. A friend of ours told us about Wilshire Law Firm and I gave them a call. These accident lawyers are amazing. My brother was able to get compensated for his bike, all of his medical expenses were paid, and he still had money left over to help him through college. I would recommend anyone call Wilshire Law Firm if they need a personal injury lawyer in los angeles.
TOP 1% OF LAWYERS
UNLESS YOU WIN