FACTS ABOUT BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
Bicycle riders suffer a staggering number of serious injuries and fatalities in accidents involving motor vehicles, and those accidents are usually the fault of the motor vehicle drivers. In 2012, according to public officials, 49,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents in the United States and 726 were killed. As bike riders know, drivers of cars and trucks usually do not pay adequate attention to their surroundings, do not respect the rights of cyclists, and do not look for cyclists before making moves that can endanger their lives.
YOUR RIGHTS IN BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
Thankfully, California laws protect cyclists and give them the same rights to use the streets as motorists. An individual who injures a cyclist may be held liable for a wide variety of damages. Damages may be recovered even when the identity of the driver is unknown, such as in a hit and run accident, if the bicyclist is covered by a motor vehicle insurance policy containing uninsured motorist coverage.
WHAT OUR LOS ANGELES BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS CAN DO TO HELP
At Yagoubzadeh Law Firm, we have extensive experience representing bicyclists injured on California roads in personal injury claims. Our Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers know the California Vehicle Code and local traffic laws and aggressively pursue compensation for injuries suffered as the result of negligent motorists. We will work relentlessly to obtain the financial compensation you deserve, to make the legal process as simple and painless as possible, and do our utmost to take pressure off you and your family, so that you may concentrate on recovering. We will even bike and drive the same section of road ourselves to further strengthen our ability to vigorously advocate on your behalf.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Los Angeles is where the most bicycle-related deaths occur in the United States. The biggest increase in yearly bicycle fatalities also happens in Los Angeles. These alarming statistics have not kept people in the Los Angeles area from riding bicycles. Los Angeles leads the nation in bicycle traffic.
Bicyclists In Los Angeles
A bicyclists in Los Angeles is permitted to ride on the sidewalk unless they behave in a wanton or willful manner. There are approximately 1,200 miles of bikeways in Los Angeles, but several are congested thoroughfares where bicyclists and motor vehicles must compete for space. At the beginning of the 1900s, Los Angeles was considered the United State’s bike capital. Some parts of the route now known as the Pasadena Freeway were at one time a bikeway. Los Angeles has around 28,000 miles of street lanes designated for bicycle use. This makes up approximately six percent of the city’s street lanes. In comparison, the city of Portland also has six percent of its street lanes designated to be used for bicycling. This only makes up approximately 3,950 miles of street lanes designated for bicycle usage.
Alcohol Impairment And No Helmet
Two big contributing factors to bicyclist accidents in Los Angeles are riding without a helmet, being under the influence of alcohol or both. Approximately two-thirds of bicyclists fatally injured in 2012 were not wearing any type of helmet. Over 27 percent of the riders had a blood alcohol level that was over the legal limit. There has been a significant increase in bicycle commuting in the Los Angeles area. Most of the roads in the Los Angeles were built to accommodate only motor vehicles when they were designed. The needs of bicyclists and pedestrians were not considered. Increased bicycle traffic in environments designed for only motor vehicles has become a problem.
Bicycle Road Safety Options
In cities where traffic lanes are designed to have a physical separation of bicycles and motor vehicles, the injuries and fatalities of bicycle riders drop significantly. One option are cycle paths. These are paths in traffic designated specifically for bicycle usage. If cycle paths are not possible, there are other options. Some cities have created bicycle boulevards that go through areas with low traffic on roads that parallel major traffic routes. Some have installed bike boxes. These are spaces in a lane designated specifically for bicycle riders. They have been successful in preventing cars from going across a bike’s path when turning right. Some cities have also installed separate traffic signals for bicyclists, giving them an earlier green light.
Bicyclist Not At Fault
Each year there are a number of bicyclists who are struck or run over by passenger vehicles and trucks. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) in a majority of the cases, it is not the bicyclist who is at fault for the accident. According to a study by the NHSTA, there were approximately 48,000 accidents nationwide involving bicyclists. In a large percentage of the cases, it was the driver of the motor vehicle who was found to be at fault.
Cause of Bicycle Accidents
Some of the most common causes of accident and injuries to bicyclists from vehicles is the result of negligence by the motor vehicle operator, motor vehicle operators driving under the influence as well as vehicle operators not stopping at stop signs. There are also many incidents every year where a driver will park their car and then open the car’s door without checking for a bicyclist. They will open their door into the path of a bike rider who is lawfully using a road or bike lane. Vehicle operators have made sharp turns in front of oncoming bike riders. Many bicyclists have been driven off the road or into an object or a pedestrian. It is not uncommon for an accident to involve a bicyclist when a vehicle operator pulls out of a driveway in an unsafe manner. In situations like this, our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys can help.
Stay At Accident Scene
A bicyclist in Los Angeles should know what to do if they are ever involved in an accident. One of the first things they should do is contact the police, if possible and wait for them to arrive. The bicyclist will need the police to create and file a report about the accident. This should be done even if a bicycle rider believes they are not injured. It is possible for a bicycle rider not to be aware they’ve been injured until hours after the accident. Once a bicycle rider has left the scene of the accident, they may not have an opportunity to identify the driver who was at fault. Any Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer you hire will recommend you stay at the scene of the accident.
Be Included In Police Report
It’s important a bicycle rider speak to the police who arrive on the accident scene. There have been situations where a police officer obtained a statement from the vehicle driver and ignored the bicyclist who was involved. It is essential a bicycle rider get their version of what happened into the police report. A bicyclist should also report any injury they may have experienced to the police no matter how small. Should a police officer refuse to take a statement from a bicyclist, the police report can be amended later to include the bicycle rider’s version of events. Our Los Angeles bicycle accident law firm can help amend incorrect police reports, if needed.
It is essential a bicyclist leaves their bike and any other property that was damaged in the same place where it was after the accident. It is important the bicycle rider does not try to fix anything or inspect anything. The clothes worn during the accident should not be washed, but saved. The bicycle, helmet or any other equipment involved in the accident should not be given to anyone. These items should be saved and provided to a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer who is representing the bicyclist.
Obtain Contact Information
When a bicycle rider is involved in an accident with a vehicle, they need to get the driver’s name as well as address, driver’s license number, vehicle license number as well as insurance information. The names and contact information for any possible witnesses should also be obtained. It’s best not to assume all of this information will be included in a police report. If a bicyclist is hurt badly, they may want to ask a bystander to obtain important contact information.
When a bicycle rider is involved in an accident, it is important they write down as many details as they can remember as soon as possible. They need to write about the road conditions, any nearby construction, traffic levels and more. The more information they can provide, the more it can help their case.
The state of California has a number of laws designed to protect bicycle riders. When a bicyclist is in an accident, they have the same rights to compensation as a motor vehicle driver. The experienced attorneys at Yagoubzadeh Law Firm know how to get a bicycle rider fair compensation when an accident happens. It is possible for these experienced attorneys to help a bicycle rider get compensation, even if a driver’s identity is not known. They are dedicated to helping people in need. They make things easy for their clients by providing a no fee guarantee. These legal professionals only get paid when they win a client’s case.
To learn more about our results in bicycle accident cases and how we can help you, call us now for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-982-9070.