Los Angeles Bicycle Accidents: What Are Your Rights as a Cyclist?

As a cyclist, the chances of sustaining severe injuries if you’re hit by a car are high. Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents occur often in Los Angeles, CA, potentially causing life-threatening injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering. 

If you’ve been in an accident while riding your bicycle, you may be able to get compensation by turning to a personal injury lawyer. Learn more about what your rights are as a cyclist. 

Understanding Los Angeles, CA, Bicycle Laws

In California, bicycles aren’t defined as vehicles, but riders generally have the same responsibilities and rights as motor vehicle drivers. 

Bicycles are required to ride as far right as possible when traveling at a speed that’s less than the rest of the traffic, though full lane use is allowed when traveling at the normal speed or when there’s little or no traffic. You can also use the full lane when preparing for a turn, avoiding hazards, and overtaking and passing. 

Sidewalk riding is usually allowed, but cyclists must give right-of-way to pedestrians. Bicyclists on one-way roads with two or more traffic lanes have to ride as near the left-hand curb as possible. 

Bicyclists can ride two abreast or more if traveling at the same speed as traffic or not impeding traffic. 

Bicyclists have to slow down and come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights, just like any other motorists. As a cyclist, you also have to signal when you’re about to stop or when you’re turning. Cyclists can’t be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they ride. 

Knowing Your Rights as a Cyclist in Los Angeles, CA

If a driver hits you as you ride your bicycle, knowing what your rights are is important. One of the most common situations in which drivers hit cyclists is as they pass them. Motor vehicles have to pass cyclists at a distance of no less than three feet, but that’s not always respected. If the driver can’t maintain that buffer, they have to slow down. 

If a driver hits you, they are responsible for stopping, just as they would if they hit another car. Doing otherwise can result in a hit-and-run charge. 

Being in a bicycle accident can be dangerous, and most worryingly, the process of filing claims against the person at fault can be complex. That’s why turning to a personal injury lawyer for representation is crucial in these cases.

What damages can you claim after a bicycle accident?

Because California is an at-fault state, meaning the person who was at fault for causing the accident is the one liable, you could have the right to get compensation for any damages you’ve suffered. 

A car doesn’t have to travel fast to cause injuries if it hits a cyclist. It’s common to suffer broken bones, scrapes and cuts, and even more severe injuries, like concussions. It’s possible to ask for compensation to cover your medical bills. If you had to miss work because of the injuries, you’ll likely be able to claim lost wages. 

If you suffered property damages, you can also claim these damages. The pain and suffering you sustained after an accident is another type of damage you can ask compensation for.

Getting Help From Experienced Cyclist Lawyers in California

You have rights as a cyclist. If you get into an accident that was someone else’s fault, you have the chance to get the compensation you deserve. When you turn to experienced lawyers in California, you can get the assistance you need to file a claim. 

Contact us at Saeedian Law Group to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, CA.