Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a bicycle accident in which another party was at fault? If so, then you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. However, you won’t be given the financial support you need and deserve unless you act to secure your rights. It is crucial that you seek the guidance of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer who will fight to obtain maximum recovery for your losses.
At Wilshire Law Firm, we have been defending the rights of bike crash victims since 2007. Throughout our years of practice, we have collected more than $130 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients and received awards from nationally-recognized peer groups such as The National Trial Lawyers and The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys.
To receive a FREE case evaluation, call (800) 522-7274 now. Our dedicated staff members are on standby, ready to assist you with your legal needs.
What Can Cause a Bike Accident?
Cause in bicycle accidents can usually be attributed to driver error or negligence, common examples of which are:
- Failure to yield right-of-way
- Failure to check for cyclists before making a turn at an intersection
- Failure to stop at a sign or red light
- Bike lane intrusion
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
A bicycle accident may be caused not by driver negligence, but by environmental factors such as poorly designed or maintained roadways and poor lighting conditions, in which case the government entity responsible for maintaining the area may be held liable for damages.
Bicycle Accident Facts and Figures
According to Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, in 2014 726 bicyclists were killed in pedestrian/motor vehicle crashes and an additional 50,000 injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. The death rate from bicycle crashes is high due to the relative lack of protection bicyclists have in an impact with a motor vehicle.
What Are the Statistics on Bicycle Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of bicyclist injuries and fatalities in the United States significantly increased from the year 2001 to 2013. In 2001, there were 45,000 injuries and 732 deaths. In 2013, there were 48,000 injuries and 743 deaths. Research into hospital records indicates that only a fraction of injury-causing bicycle crashes are ever reported to the police, so the actual figures may be much higher.
People Killed, Pedalcyclists Killed, Population, and Fatality Rates in Cities With a Population of 500,000 or Greater, 2014
What Are the Bicycle Laws in California?
Bicyclists, like motorists, possess certain rights and have to follow certain regulations on the road. Under California Vehicle Code:
- Section 21200: Bicyclists can ride on the street except on freeways and bridges where biking is not permitted. This regulation also requires all cyclists to obey the same rules and laws as motorists, including stopping at red lights and stop signs.
- Section 21202: Bicyclists must stick to the rightmost side of the lane unless passing a vehicle or making a left turn.
- Section 21650: Bicyclists can leave the right side of the lane to go around construction zones or to move around slow moving traffic.
- Section 21804: Bicyclists must yield to traffic before entering the roadway.
In spite of these laws, many bicyclists are hurt or killed every day due to inattentive, aggressive, or just plain bad drivers.
Do I Have a Legal Case for My Bicycle Crash?
Proving Your Bicycle Accident Claim
In order to get compensation from the liable party, you will have to prove that their negligence, recklessness, or willful action directly contributed to your injuries. There are a number of ways to do this. You may use witness accounts, photographic and video evidence, police and medical reports, and/or expert testimony. An attorney can help you acquire supporting evidence for your claim through an investigation.
At Wilshire Law Firm, we apply the full breadth of our resources – including the best case management software, forensic tools and investigation techniques available – towards achieving satisfactory case outcomes for our clients, no matter how big or small their case may be.
What Types of Compensation Are Recoverable in a Bicycle Accident Claim?
An individual who injures a cyclist may be held liable for a wide variety of damages, including the following:
- Past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages and earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Incidental expenses
- Punitive damages
However, the injured victim, or claimant, must file a claim or suit before valuable evidence is lost, before witnesses’ memories fade, before the statute of limitations (2 years for most injury cases in California) expires – and their case is weakened as a result. The best way to ensure maximum recovery is to take swift action.
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
All too often, bicycle accident victims forego seeking legal representation, thinking they can negotiate a fair settlement directly with the insurance company. This is not advisable. Insurance companies are in the business of making money by collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible for claims. Their first priority is not the victim, but their own bottom lines.
The insurance company may act like they are acting in your best interests, but as soon as you let your guard down, they will do everything within their capabilities and resources to build a case against you, and end up lowballing your settlement offer. Don’t let this happen to you. Contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer who can handle all communications and dealings with the insurance company in your stead, so your right to fair compensation is protected.
Bicyclists Face Many Risks on the Road
You don’t need to be a bicycle accident attorney to know that California is not the greatest state for bicyclists. Apart from San Francisco, most of our cities sorely lack good bicycle infrastructure: physically separated bike paths, on-street bike lanes, “share the road” markings, or a network of direct and easy routes through residential streets. Los Angeles is among the worst examples of this. While there have been some improvements in recent years, we are still nowhere close to cities like Portland or Seattle when it comes to being bicycle-friendly.
That said, bad infrastructure doesn’t cause bicycle accidents – bad drivers do. The bicycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm have encountered too many cases where a fatigued, distracted or overly aggressive driver injured a bicyclist. Although often ignored, bicyclists have the same rights as the drivers of motor vehicles and they are here to stay, so it is up to motorists to protect bicyclists and coexist with them on the road.
Common Injuries Resulting from Bicycle Accidents
The type and severity of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident will depend on the location of the impact, the speed of the parties involved, the condition of the roadway or trail, and whether protective gear was involved.
Unfortunately, it is common for bicycle accident victims to sustain head injuries. The reason for this is that bicyclists often get launched over their handlebars in a crash and basically have no control over how they land. Since head injuries can be fatal even at lower speeds, it is absolutely vital for bicyclists to wear a helmet every single time they go out for a ride, no matter the distance.
Traumatic brain injuries are another common result of bicycle accidents. A minor brain injury like a concussion can have temporary effects, while a serious brain injury can have effects that last a lifetime, such as memory loss, chronic fatigue, and decreased mental capacity. Again, simply wearing a helmet can make the difference between a minor spill and a life-changing, tragic incident.
Spinal cord injuries. Due to the fact that bicycles don’t have roll cages or barriers of any sort, a bicycle accident victim can potentially suffer a spinal cord injury if he or she falls on his or her back, neck or head with enough force. This can cause damaged vertebrae or even paralysis.
Bone fractures. If any part of your body hits the ground or another object with enough force after a bicycle crash, it could cause a bone fracture or even multiple fractures. Broken bones are traumatic events and it can take months to fully recover from one – and even then, that part of your body may never feel the same again.
Wrongful death. Even with the best protective gear, a bicyclist could die in a crash, especially if high speeds, motor vehicles, and/or sturdy objects such as trees are involved. If your loved one was the victim of a fatal bicycle accident, a qualified bicycle accident attorney can help you get compensation for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
We Are Bicycle Accident Victim Advocates
In addition to being one of the most renowned and awarded personal injury law firms in the nation – our bicycle accident lawyers have earned an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell as well as a prestigious Litigator Award by the Trial Lawyers Board of Regents – we are dedicated bicycle accident victim advocates who give a lot of support to prominent organizations like Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE), whose mission is to make streets safe for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. We also sponsor Finish the Ride, a major event that unites bicyclists, pedestrians, and everyone on the roads of Los Angeles to promote street safety.
We Serve All of California
While our primary office is located in Los Angeles, our legal team serves clients throughout the whole state of California, from San Diego to Sacramento. Whether you live in a small town or a large metropolitan area, please do not hesitate to give us a call if you need a bicycle accident lawyer. You can either meet us at one of our 20 office locations, or we can come to you, whether you’re at home, in the hospital, wherever. There is no “out of the way” for us.
No matter where you live in California, you can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-52-CRASH. We can get your medical bills covered, your vehicle repaired or replaced, AND we can get you cash within 48 hours. It is highly advised that you contact us sooner rather than later. If you wait too long, you may miss supporting evidence for your claim or even lose the right to pursue compensation altogether.
Since each and every case is different with its own unique set of demands, you don’t want an attorney who simply processes clients – you want someone who engages them on an individual basis. You don’t want an attorney who spreads himself thin across every practice area under the sun – you want a specialist who knows how to deftly handle cases just like yours. You don’t want an attorney who sees clients as just numbers – you want a true supporter who has your best interests at heart.
At Wilshire Law Firm, we don’t treat clients like business partners, we treat them like family. As your legal representatives, we will cater to your unique needs and goals, and formulate a personalized strategy to get you maximum compensation for the damages that you have suffered as a result of the liable party’s negligence. Our dedicated staff will be at your disposal, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whatever your needs are, we will do everything we can to serve them. Because we care. Call us now at (800) 522-7274 to learn more about what an experienced bicycle accident lawyer can do for you.
Last Updated: 02-20-2017