Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you know was injured in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, with a car, bus, truck or other, you may be entitled to serious compensation. Are you injured right now? Did your accident just happen?
First: Call an ambulance and seek immediate aid for your injuries.
Second: Get ID and contact information for the other party.
Then: Call the award-winning bicycle accident lawyers of Wilshire Law Firm at 1-800-522-7274.
Our team of legal experts are ready to give you a free case evaluation 24/7, 365. No matter where you are, or what time it is, call us now. The faster you act, the more likely your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Bicycle accidents happen alto often in the United States. In 2015, 818 people lost their lives in bicycle vs. motor vehicle crashes, a six percent increase since 2006. There is no reason to let your injuries and losses go without fair and just compensation!
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
Your California Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Although the number of bicycle riders has increased over the last decade, the roadways and lanes dedicated to bike riders are still limited. This can cause frustrating circumstances for both riders and motor vehicles on the road. While sharing the road is encouraged, it is not always realistic because many motorists don’t understand the rules surrounding sharing the road with bikes, and many bike owners don’t understand their obligations on the road.
More work is needed to make sharing the road between motor vehicle drivers and bicycle drivers more realistic, but until then, it’s important to understand rights and responsibilities as a bike owner to keep yourself safe on the road. Of course, accidents do happen, and if you should find yourself the victim of a motor vehicle collision or accident, it’s important to know where you stand and what your options are. Working with experienced bicycle accident attorneys like Wilshire Law Firm means that you have the most up-to-date information regarding bicycle laws, and have people who believe in sharing the road, on your side.
To help you understand the bicycle laws in and around Los Angeles, we have put together a guide designed to outline the risks and rewards associated with biking in the city and provide you with insight in how to handle an accident, knowing your rights and more.
Understand the Bike Laws in California
Many people purchase a bicycle to avoid long commutes to work in their cars. 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.
You must have working brakes.
It is illegal in many other areas throughout California to ride a bicycle on the roads with faulty brakes. If you are in an accident and it is found that your bike did not have fully functioning brakes, you could be at a loss when it comes to filing a claim.
Your bike must fit your body.
It is not recommended to ride a bike that is too big; in fact, riders must have a bike that does not see the handlebars raising higher than their shoulders. The handlebars need to be at the appropriate height for their size. If you are unsure if your bike is the right size for you, consult with a professional cycling shop for more information.
Rules are different in each city.
In California, there are detailed rules and regulations for each city in the by-laws. Be sure to review the laws related to the use of bicycles in your county.
Night rides have different rules.
When you ride at night, there are a number of other considerations and rules you might abide by to ensure a safe ride. For instance, 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.
Bike Accident Occurrences
There is no shortage of bikes on the road, and that means that there is an increased risk of accidents that can occur. Whenever you have two or more vehicles of any kind trying to share the space provided, the risks increase. In Los Angeles alone, more than 2000 bike crashes were reported in 2012. Since then, the numbers have gone up. Interesting enough, many of those crashes happened in the city center where the majority of traffic is found.
Safety should be the top priority when it comes to entering a city center on a bike. 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 oncoming cyclists.
Bikes help reduce pollution and make city centers more accessible to people who live outside the city. It’s a great way to stay in shape and do your part to help the environment. But you need to be safe at all times. A bike provides zero protection from an oncoming motor vehicle collision, and you are essentially exposed and at the mercy of oncoming traffic.
Know Your Rights as a Cyclist in a Bike Accident
Before you dawn your helmet and head out on the open road to go to work, visit a park, or just make your way to a friend’s house for coffee, you should know what your rights are in the event of an accident or crash. We don’t like to think the worst could happen, but being prepared makes things easier if something does happen. You don’t want to find yourself not understanding your rights and responsibilities.
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 about the situation. While you can actually pursue a claim after the two-year statutory period, it may not be heard in a court of law. 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 you do not have injuries within the first two years following your accident, but it is later proven that newly developed injuries are a result of the accident years later.
If you are a minor when you are 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.
If you are unsure of your timeline or rights related to a bicycle accident, contact the expert bicycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm. We can help you determine if you have a case related to an accident that has occurred, regardless of timeframe.
Understanding Who is at Fault
Because cars are inherently bigger than bicycles, some states have declared that the driver of the motor vehicle is always at fault when a bicycle and car have collided. In California, however, the law states that the person who acted negligibly is at fault. For reference, the term negligence refers to someone who acted in a way that was no prudent or expected of someone who is able to act accordingly in a situation. In other words, the person is at fault if they knew better but acted in a certain way anyway.
Proving fault is not always easy, and that is why it is not recommended that a bicycle accident victim try to represent themselves in a court of law. Negligence is declared when someone is physically hurt, but the cause of the accident may be difficult to determine, especially if the situation becomes a “he said/he said” circumstance and neither party will claim responsibility.
What To Do if You Are in a Bike Accident
Before you do anything, ensure that you are safe off the road and not injured. If you require medical attention, call 911 or instruct a bystander to call emergency services. Even if you think you are not injured, it is a good idea to be seen by a medical professional to document the accident and create a timeline for the incident. This is especially important if injuries result at a later time related to the accident that was not present at the time of the accident. It is difficult to provide otherwise if you do not document the instance with a medical professional.
While you might be inclined to apologize or say you are sorry for the accident, it is important that you never admit fault following an accident until you have spoken to a lawyer. While some might not put any stock in an apology as an admission of guilt, there are those people who will use that kindness against you in a court of law.
It is important that you collect insurance information but don’t contact insurance companies just yet. If you contact the insurance company of the other party involved in the accident, the company may try to offer you a compensation package or get you to sign a deal that says you will not take sue or pursue criminal charges. This is simply a payout offer and can reduce or eliminate your ability to get justice and received damages from the insurance company in a court of law. You might be tempted to just “get this over with” and take a payout from the company, but it’s important to remember that if they are offering money up front, there is always an opportunity to receive more and the expert bicycle accident lawyers of Wilshire Law Firm can help.
While you might be tempted to share pictures of the accident on social media – a very common, but poor practice that happens in today’s society – don’t do it. If you post pictures and engage in conversations about the accident, you are putting yourself at risk for interpretation and rejection in a court of law. The insurance companies and other attorneys on the case can use that information to prove you are not hurt or have not sustained injuries as badly as you claimed originally. What’s more, people have a bad habit of saying things on social media without realizing the last effects of their words. It is better to play it safe and avoid posting on any social media account until your case has been resolved.
It is important to ensure that you preserve any evidence that may be able to help you in your claim and subsequent course case. For instance, you will not want to wash any clothing that you were wearing at the time of the accident. Don’t have your bicycle repaired, and don’t share the items with anyone except your lawyer at Wilshire Law Firm. It’s important to keep that information close at hand and limit the chance of exposure and alteration from third parties or others involved in the accident.
As part of our service to you, the expert team at Wilshire Law Firm will ensure that police reports are properly filed so that you are not at risk of losing an opportunity to file a claim. Sometimes – not often, but enough that you need to be concerned with the outcome – reports are not filed appropriately. This can lead to a case being thrown out of court and provide a great deal of disappointment for a cyclist who has lost time at work or had to incur large medical bills. Another thing to consider is that in some areas, the default report will state that the cyclist is automatically at fault. Because it is difficult to prove otherwise, these reports put the cyclist who has been injured in a predicament that leaves them paying out of pocket for medical expenses and lost wages.
We’ll ensure that those reports are filed properly and that the information is accurate. What’s more, it’s important to note that just because a police officer has declared you, the cyclist at fault, does not mean it is necessarily true. We can review the facts and determine who is actually at fault. That is why it is vital to collect and preserve evidence from the scene of the accident. Every little bit counts when it comes to proving you were not at fault as the driver of a bicycle. As expert bicycle attorneys, we can walk you through the process of maintaining and reviewing the evidence so that you have the best possible chance of recovery following an accident.
If you are not sure what to do following a bicycle accident, call us first. We can help you navigate the ups and downs of making a claim and seeing a court case through to the end.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
You might think that bicycle accidents are limited to one bike and one motor vehicle, but the truth is that accidents come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, with more and more bikes on the road, a collision between bicycles is more likely these days. In addition, motorbikes and cycles are likely to collide on the road as they fight for space amongst the motorized cars and trucks. Furthermore, because bikes are so small on the road compared to transfer trucks or large SUVs and trucks, accidents are more likely to occur when large vehicles are turning or changing lanes on the road. Other accident types can include single rider accidents where no other vehicle or bike is involved, but injury occurs.
Finally, it may be that you are not liable, nor is another driver, for the accident that costs you time and money in your life. For example, in many areas of the city of Los Angeles, as well as other cities in California, the roads are not properly maintained. When this happens, or is delayed, accidents are more likely to occur because of potholes, construction, or raised pavement due to weather and climate changes. If it is determined that your accident and injury is due to the road conditions, you may be able to file a claim against the city or municipality in the area where the accident occurred. Call the experts at Wilshire Law Firm at (800) 522-7274 if you have been in a single rider accident to determine if road conditions were a factor in your accident.
We’ll explore all options and help you decide the best course of action to file a claim and get the justice you deserve. We’ll be with you every step of the way and ensure that you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision. The more information we have, the better able we are to help you make the most of your bicycle accident and ensure that you don’t pay out of pocket for your treatments and lost time at work.
Damages and Claims in the Event of a Crash
Unfortunately, no matter how severe the accident, the amount of damages one can claim is dependent on a number of factors. For starters, if the liable party does not have automobile insurance, it may be very difficult to pursue a case. However, if there is insurance but your damages total more than the insurance, in most cases, the most amount of money you can receive is the maximum amount of the insurance policy. For example, if you have $250,000 in damages and claims for medical expenses and lost wages due to injury resulted from a bicycle accident claim and the liable party has only $50,000 in insurance coverage, you will only be able to get $50,000 in most cases. There are extenuating circumstances when more is awarded, but that is why it is so important to work with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in your area. Understanding the law and your rights is what we do to help you get the most out of your accident claim and court case.
An alternative option for cyclists is to get uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance. This is a type of coverage that is available for cyclists – and other road users who may come into contact with motor vehicles on the road. This type of insurance helps to cover the difference in medical bills and lost wages when other motor vehicle drivers don’t have enough insurance. For example, if you have over $300,000 in lost wages, medical bills and treatment costs, but the coverage of insurance from the liable party is only $150,000 uninsured/ underinsured motorist insurance can help cover the difference, so you are not out any money. It is often very affordable and easy to get because it is covering you just in case of an accident.
If you have questions about this type of insurance or other options that can help protect you in the event of a motor vehicle accident as a cyclist, contact your insurance agent or call our office at (800) 522-7274 for more information on what might be available to you.
Working with a Bicycle Accident Attorney
When you work with the experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm, you’ll be working with some of the finest lawyers around. We have years of experience helping accident victims – of all kinds – find the justice they deserve and recoup the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Whether you have recently been injured in a bicycle accident or you have been injured in the last several years, you may have a case that can be taken to course. Contact the experts at Wilshire Law Firm today to find out if we can help you resolve your case without incident.
Working with Wilshire Law Firm means that we’ll work with you to negotiate claims, medical bills, and treatments, provide insight and advice on how to proceed, and follow up with police and insurance companies on your behalf to ensure all of the information is accurate and has been collected. We’ll work with your best interest in mind and ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your needs.
To get more information about bicycle safety and accident prevention, visit one of the following resources:
Get Your Free Case Consultation