California LGBT Bicycle Accident LawyersLos Angeles Bicycle Accident LGBT Lawyers | Pride Legal

Have You Been Involved in a Bicycle Accident?

Bicycle accidents can be one of the more dangerous automobile accidents primarily due to the lack of protection. A bicyclist can either be hit by a motor vehicle, can be injured by a roadway or walkway with potholes, sewer grates, or railroad tracks, or negligence can occur on behalf of the driver or the cyclist himself. Driver negligence can be characterized as speeding, running a stop sign, and veering into a bike lane. Biker negligence can be characterized by biking in the wrong direction on a one-way road, running a stop sign, or suddenly turning into traffic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Center for Disease Control, and the National Safety Council, bicycle accidents lead to 515,000 visits to the emergency room in 2010, and 677 fatalities in 2011. In 2013, 743 people were killed in bicycle and motor vehicle collisions and 480,000 were injured. The overall cost of fatalities and injuries of cyclists is more than $4 billion annually.

If you or a loved one has involved in a bicycle accident, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, there are important steps you must follow to maintain the health and safety of you and your loved ones. One should take the following steps after being affected by a bicycle accident:

Receive Medical Attention

After a bicycle accident, it is imperative to receive proper treatment for your injuries. Although you may feel normal after a bicycle accident, complications may arise as a consequence of unknown injuries. If you have been injured, do not delay medical evaluation. By receiving medical attention immediately after your accident, your case becomes much stronger. Ensure your doctor documents all injuries and necessary treatments necessary.

Take Photos

It is imperative to take clear photographs of the scene. Include photos of the damage to all vehicles involved in the accident, your injuries, and any other clues that can be used as evidence to strengthen your case. Also, check surveillance cameras near the scene of the incident to gain a deeper understanding of the circumstances leading to the accident.

Gather Information

Collect as much information regarding the involved parties as possible. This information may include medical documents, license plate numbers, VIN numbers, insurance information, drivers licenses, etc. Also, speak to any witnesses of the event. Ask for their contact information as their witness testimonies will strengthen your claim inside the courtroom.

Call the Police

Depending on the situation, it may be in your best interest to contact the police. An accident report will greatly strengthen your case.

Preserve the Bicycle

The bicycle can be used as strong evidence to prove liability.

Contact Pride Legal

If you or a loved one has involved in a bicycle accident, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.

Laws Regarding Bicyclists & Bicycle Accident

California has a specific set of laws, California Vehicle Codes (CVC) dedicated to bicyclists and bicycle accidents. The following laws are applicable to bicyclists:

  • Bicyclists carry the same rights and responsibilities as automobile or motorcycle drivers.
  • Bicyclists may not ride their bicycle while under the influence of substances such as drugs or alcohol
  • Riders must have brakes, handlebars, and permanent bicycle seats installed in the bicycle. At night, bicyclists should wear reflective clothing or be equipped with reflective gear.
  • Passengers under 40lbs must have a seat which holds them in a stable position
  • Bicycles on the road traveling slower than motorized cars must ride near the curb
  • Bicyclists may not hold onto vehicles while riding their bicycle
  • Bicyclists must have at least one hand on the hand on the bicycle’s handlebars at all times
  • It is illegal for bicyclists to be outside of the bike lane except when making a left turn, passing, or avoiding obstructions
  • Bicyclists must travel in the same direction as normal traffic
  • Bicyclists may not travel on the sidewalk

These laws are designed to keep bicyclists safe during their ride. If one fails to obey these laws, he or she is at a greater risk of being involved in an accident or receiving a hefty fine.

Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents

Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are very common in bicycle accidents. TBIs account for about two-thirds of bicycle-related hospitalizations and 75 percent of deaths from bicycle crashes.

Helmets have been proven to decrease the risk of a TBI by 88%. Although helmets can sometimes be the difference between life and death, many bicyclists choose not to wear them. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) statistics show that only 17 percent of bicyclists that died in 2014 were wearing helmets, while 60 percent were not.

Any injury from a bicycle accident may lead to serious complications.

Who is liable in a bicycle accident?

In order to receive compensation in your bicycle accident, you must prove the accident was caused by the negligent accidents of a liable party. The following parties may be liable in a bicycle accident:

  • Drivers: Drivers of motorized cars are often the ones at fault in bicycle accidents. Drivers must use caution while driving and follow all applicable traffic laws to ensure safety for themselves and others on the road.
  • Bicyclists: Bicyclists are often the ones acting recklessly, putting themselves at risk of being struck by a vehicle. The actions include weaving in and out of traffic, disregarding traffic laws, and cycling to close to other vehicles.
  • City: Hazards on the road such as hazardous road conditions, poor lighting, potholes, and obstructions blocking bike lanes often play a big role in bicycle accidents.
  • Defective Bicycles: One must consider the bicycle as a factor in the accident. Bicycles often malfunction due to defects.

Do I have the right to sue after a bicycle accident?

In order to file a personal injury claim in California, your accident must have been directly caused by the actions of a liable party.

To prove that a party is liable for your accident, you must prove all of the following claims:

  • The party owes you a duty of care. While on the road, these duties may include being sober while driving, wearing a seatbelt, turning his or her blinker on, etc. For example, it is the driver’s duty to check his or her surroundings before changing lanes.
  • The party breached this duty. For example, the driver failed to check his or her surroundings before changing lanes.
  • The breach of duty caused your accident. For example, the driver crashed into the bicyclist because the driver did not check his or her surroundings before changing lanes.
  • This accident caused you harm. For example, when the vehicle struck you, you fell to the floor and broke your shoulder.

How do I seek compensation for my bicycle-related injuries?

Depending on the given circumstances of your bicycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation. In order to maximize your compensation, contact a Pride Legal Bicycle Accident Attorney today. You may be eligible to receive compensation for the following losses:

  • Medical expenses (past, current, and future medical costs)
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Property damage (your bike is broken after the accident)
  • Lost wages: compensation for the wages lost as a direct result of the bicycle accident.
  • Loss of future income (your injuries will prevent you from earning income for a future period of time)
  • Pain and suffering (past, current, and future emotional distress, pain, or suffering): compensation for the mental and emotional distress caused by the bicycle accident, including past/future pain and suffering.
  • Loss of consortium (the victim’s spouse has lost the ability to have normal sexual relations with his or her injured partner)
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Punitive damages

Contact Pride Legal

If you or a loved one has involved in a bicycle accident, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.

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