Bicycle Accident Attorney Serving Los Angeles
Bicycles may be an excellent way to stay healthy in Los Angeles, but this activity can also be very risky. In a perfect world, motorists would give cyclists plenty of space and look out for them in their mirrors and blind spots. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and negligent drivers often injure or kill innocent cyclists. These cyclists may suffer serious injuries that affect them for the rest of their lives. Some may never be able to ride a bike again, while others will count themselves lucky if they can recover the ability to walk.
It goes without saying that these kinds of injuries require extensive medical treatment. The problem is that most people in Los Angeles do not have limitless funds for expensive treatments, especially if these treatments are expected to continue for years or even the rest of a victim’s life. Even if they did have the money to pay for such things, would it really be fair to ask them to do so? In addition, many injured cyclists are unable to return to work, robbing them of a sense of purpose and a crucial source of income.
On top of these financial pressures, injured cyclists in Los Angeles may suffer from a range of non-economic damages. For example, they may develop PTSD, and they may never wish to cycle ever again due to the trauma of this incident. Or perhaps their medical treatments involved painful and uncomfortable surgeries. Injuries can leave victims incapacitated and depressed, and they may also lose their relationships due to the extreme nature of these injuries.
With all of these factors in mind, there is really only one viable solution. If you have been injured in a Los Angeles bicycle accident, you need to get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Our legal professionals can help you seek justice through a lawsuit against any negligent parties that caused the accident. The sooner you get in touch with our attorney, the better. Evidence has a tendency to disappear as the years pass, and the statute of limitations may prevent you from taking legal action if you wait too long.
Does Los Angeles Have a Good Reputation for Bike Safety?
Although Los Angeles is considered one of the most modern cities in the world, it seems to have a very poor reputation when it comes to bike safety. Many cyclists can attest to the fact that it simply is not designed for cyclists, and it is a much more “car-friendly” city. This is despite the fact that lawmakers in Los Angeles seem extremely preoccupied with making the city as environmentally sustainable as possible with the supposed goal of lowering carbon emissions.
Safety Tips for Cycling in Los Angeles
Before you go cycling in Los Angeles, there are a number of things you might want to keep in mind:
- You should wear a helmet to avoid head injuries
- You should have functioning lights on your bicycle to become more visible to cars
- You should try to wear bright or reflective clothing, especially at night
- You should cycle in the same direction as traffic
- You should understand how to give proper hand signals before you turn
- You should check your tires and brakes before you ride
- Know the local regulations, especially when it comes to where you are allowed to ride
- Stay in a single file while cycling in a group to avoid accidents
- Keep a safe distance away from vehicles and other cyclists: do not tailgate
- Do not ride your bike while under the influence: it is illegal
Los Angeles Motorists Have a Responsibility to Share the Road
While cyclists have a responsibility to be safe and responsible in Los Angeles, motorists also have a legal responsibility to act safely, obey traffic laws, and share the road with cyclists. This is especially true when it comes to bike lanes in California. Whenever possible cyclists should make use of bike lanes instead of riding on the main road. The issue is that there are not actually that many bike lanes in California, so cyclists often find themselves dangerously close to moving vehicles. With all that said, motorists must exercise considerable caution when moving across bike lanes.
In fact, motorists should exercise caution whenever they turn their vehicles, especially when turning right. Cyclists often find themselves in blind spots where they are virtually invisible to motorists. This is why new drivers are now instructed to make “shoulder checks” before turning right, as this is virtually the only way to spot a cyclist in their blind spot. If they turn without checking, they run the risk of cutting the cyclist off. This can cause the cyclist to impact the side of the vehicle and become seriously injured.
Motorists should also be careful when opening doors while parked. In many cases, these doors can fly into the path of an oncoming cyclist, and there is no time for the cyclist to react before the impact. That said, cyclists should also do their best to maintain a safe distance from parked cars for this very reason. As a general rule, cyclists follow the same traffic laws as a car. The exception is when making a left-hand turn at a crosswalk. In this situation, they are required to merge onto the sidewalk before using the crosswalk to make their left-hand turn while avoiding pedestrians in the process.
Liability for Bicycle Accidents in Los Angeles
Due to California’s comparative negligence laws, your settlement amount might be affected by certain acts of negligence. For example, you might not have worn a helmet at the time of the crash. The guilty party could argue that you are partly responsible for your own injuries due to your decision to go without a helmet. It is illegal to ride a bike without a helmet in California. That being said, you can still file a lawsuit even if you were partly responsible for your own injuries. The only caveat is that you would receive a lower settlement amount.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Bicycle Accident
According to the DMV in California, over 100 cyclists are killed each year in the Sunshine State due to collisions with vehicles. If your loved one has passed away due to a bike accident, you can still take legal action on their behalf. This is called a “wrongful death” lawsuit. Recently, parents of a 13-year-old girl who was killed in a Redondo Beach bike accident were awarded over $30 million for their wrongful death lawsuit.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Los Angeles area for a qualified bicycle accident attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured victims, including those who have been hurt in bike accidents. Whether you were in a car, on a bike, or walking down the sidewalk at the time of your accident, you deserve the same degree of legal protection. More importantly, you deserve access to a settlement that will allow you to pay for your medical expenses, your missed wages, and any other damages you might have incurred.
Reach out today, and we can develop an effective action plan together. We can negotiate on your behalf for a settlement that reflects the true extent of your damages. If that does not work, we can represent you in court and make sure that justice is served. Book your consultation today, and we can go over all of your legal options together.