California has some of the best overall weather for cycling, but also some of the busiest streets. Sadly, the golden state leads the nation in bicycle fatalities, followed by Florida and Texas. It is no surprise that the highest concentration of bicycle injuries and deaths are in the Los Angeles area.
If you are injured while riding, you need a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve.
Responsibilities of a California Cyclist
California cyclists generally adhere to the same traffic laws as other motor vehicle operators. There are some additional rules specific to cyclists that you should follow to ensure that your actions conform to state or local bicycle laws. For instance:
- If you are moving as fast as traffic, you can ride in the road with motor vehicles or in a designated bicycle lane;
- You are only permitted to ride on sidewalks if your individual county or city laws allow you to;
- You must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible;
- Bicycles must ride in the same direction as traffic;
- No one may stop or park a bicycle on a bicycle path; and
- Cyclists cannot generally ride on freeways or expressways in California.
It is important to understand applicable laws to determine if you share any fault for the accident. Partial negligence will not bar you from compensation.
Common Reasons Bicycle Accidents Occur
Bicycle accidents can occur because of unmaintained road ways, dangerous weather conditions, or even collisions with other cyclists or pedestrians. However, serious injuries for cyclists usually occur from a collision with a motor vehicle. Some examples of reasons for motor vehicle collisions include:
- Drivers speeding;
- Inattentive driving such as texting or changing the radio;
- Running red lights;
- Insufficient space between the vehicle and cyclist;
- Illegal left or U turn;
- Opening a car door without looking;
- Illegally entering a bike lane; and
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Injuries can range in severity from minor bumps and bruises, to property damage or even death.
What to Do After You Are in a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident
There are several things you should do if you have a bicycle accident. First, you should avoid admitting fault. It is common to say “I’m sorry,” in these situations even if you are not at fault, but try to resist this urge.
Such statements could be used against you later when the insurance company tries to blame you for the accident. Here are some other steps to take.
Get to a Safe Position
Bicycle accidents commonly occur on active roadways. Bicyclists are hard enough to see under normal conditions. They are even less visible when laying on the ground. If you are physically able to move yourself and your bike to the side of the road, you should do that immediately.
Receive Medical Attention
Depending on the severity of the injuries, you may want to immediately seek medical attention. Do not ride your bike or walk to the hospital. This could make your injuries worse and be potentially life threatening, especially with head injuries or any time there is significant blood loss.
Call the Local Authorities
Even if your injuries seem minor, it could be important to have an official report on file. This will help determine the specifics of the accident if needed by your Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer. The report should outline a number of details about the location and potential fault.
Though the police report should be thorough, it is also a good idea to take photos of the accident scene and your injuries. Make sure to also get photos of your bicycle and an overview of the road and traffic situation.
Make sure you have the contact information of the other party involved in the accident and any witnesses. The police report should contain this information, but it is a good idea to have it for yourself.
Record All Expenses
Make sure to keep track of all of your medical expenses or lost wages due to injury. You should also keep track of bike repairs. Before repairing your bicycle you should consult with a Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney to make sure that all damage is properly assessed and recorded.
Do Not Agree to Anything
It is likely that the other party’s insurance company will either offer you a lower settlement than what you deserve or try to place all or a large portion of the blame on you for the accident. So do not agree to anything until speaking with a bicycle injury lawyer.
Why Hire a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
There is a reason that California has one of the most difficult bar exams in the country. Navigating the state’s complex legal system is not for the faint of heart. Here are some reasons to hire a Los Angeles bicycle attorney.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Details of the accident are extremely important. If the other party asserts that you were at fault, your compensation can be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys like the team at Saeedian Law Group understand the complexities of comparative negligence laws.
We will conduct an internal investigation to make sure that a judge does not hold you liable for more fault than you deserve.
Compensation for Los Angeles bicycle accident claims can vary dramatically. If you were injured due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Property damage or loss;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Other damages related to expenses, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Without having your claim evaluated by an experienced Los Angeles bicycle lawyer, your case could be dramatically undervalued.
Negotiations and Litigation
Insurance adjusters and their legal teams are skilled in negotiating to give you as little compensation as possible.
The team at Saeedian Law Group understands how to advocate for what you deserve and we are not afraid to pursue litigation to ensure you are taken care of.
Contact Saeedian Law Group
Our team understands that each bicycle injury case is unique and deserves an individualized approach to achieve maximum compensation.
We are here to provide legal guidance and strategy to fit your situation. Our clients also have direct access to their attorney throughout the process.
Contact our team for a free consultation regarding your case.