Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer
A bicycle accident in Los Angeles can be difficult to move on from. You may have serious injuries that prevent you from returning to work, as well as psychological distress. Holding a driver accountable for a bicycle accident can allow you to obtain the financial compensation you need to move forward.
The Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers at The Ryan Law Group can help you with a legal claim for the best possible results. Call (310) 321-4800 today for a free consultation.
Why Choose The Ryan Law Group?
- We are proud to say we have a 98% client success rate. Our law firm has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and awards for clients.
- Your personal injury lawyer will personalize your legal experience. Our attorneys work hard to make sure our clients have everything they need after serious accidents.
- Our law firm represents clients in bicycle accident lawsuits on a contingency fee basis, meaning no fees are charged unless we win.
How Many Cyclists are Killed Each Year in California?
Bicycling accidents are almost always preventable. This is why it is alarming that so many bike collisions and fatalities take place each year. According to statistics from California Healthline, the rate of fatal bicycle accidents in California from 2016 to 2018 was the highest it has been in 25 years. In those three years, 455 cyclists in California lost their lives.
Los Angeles County is consistently the county with the highest number of fatal bicycle accidents. The California Office of Traffic Safety reported 3,665 bicycle riders injured and killed in Los Angeles County in 2018. In the City of Los Angeles alone, 1,908 bicyclists were involved in injury or fatal crashes in 2018. California bicycle accident rates are consistently higher than the national average.
Based on an analysis of California’s crash data, middle-aged men are most at risk of fatal bicycle accidents. In 2018, almost eight men died in bicycle accidents for every woman. Crash analysts believe the large number of bike accidents in California are due to a combination of more cyclists on the road and the prominence of distracted driving.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
Under California’s fault-based auto insurance law, it is necessary to determine the cause of your bicycle accident before filing an insurance claim. This is because you will file your claim with the insurance company of the person or party who caused the crash. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Los Angeles, California are:
- Distracted driving
- Driver inattention
- Failure to yield
- Left-hand turn accidents
- Road rage or reckless driving
- Operating under the influence
If you need assistance determining the cause of your bicycle accident, an attorney from The Ryan Law Group can help. We have connections to investigators and crash reconstruction experts who can analyze evidence to determine causation. Then, our lawyers can help you bring a claim against the negligent person, driver, or party.
California Bicycle Laws
Broken traffic laws are one of the most common causes of bike accidents. Before you ride your bike around Los Angeles, learn city and state bicycle laws. The following are three of California’s bicycle laws under Vehicle Code Section 21201:
- It is against the law to operate a bicycle that is not equipped with a suitable brake. The brake must allow the wheel to skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
- The handlebars of a bicycle must not be so high as to force the operator’s hands to reach above the level of the shoulder.
- If used at night, a bicycle must be equipped with a white front light visible from at least 300 feet, a rear red reflector or red light visible from 500 feet, a white or yellow reflector on each side, and a white or yellow reflector on each pedal or shoe.
Following the rules can help you avoid a collision, as it will make your actions more predictable for surrounding drivers. It can also help you avoid liability if you do get into a bike accident, as you will have fulfilled your responsibility to bike safely.
Proving Negligence in a Cycling Accident
Before you can recover financial compensation, you or your bicycle accident attorney will need to prove your case. You must show that the defendant’s negligence more likely than not caused your bike accident. Negligence in personal injury law describes any careless action or omission that a reasonable party would not have committed in the same circumstances, resulting in injury to another person.
Negligence consists of four components:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to act in a reasonable manner.
- The defendant violated his or her duty of care.
- The defendant’s action or omission caused the bicycle accident.
- The plaintiff suffered compensable damages.
Your lawyer can help you prove negligence in a cycling accident by gathering clear and convincing evidence against the defendant. Evidence available in a bike accident claim may include a police report, photographs, medical records, eyewitness statements and testimony from experts. If your lawyer can prove the defendant’s negligence, you will be entitled to compensation, and the defendant will be financially responsible for your injuries and losses.
What Damages Are Recoverable?
A successful bicycle accident claim in California could reimburse you for medical costs, losses of income, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost quality of life, bicycle damage, punitive damages, and more. The exact damages available – and the value of your claim – will depend on the details of your case. In general, your case is worth more if you have serious or catastrophic injuries, as this means greater damages suffered by you and your family.
What is the Statute of Limitations in California for Bicycle Accidents?
Consult an accident attorney right away after a bicycle crash in Los Angeles. California has a statute of limitations, or a legal deadline, on filing personal injury claims. (This generally includes wrongful death claims too, though the timeline may be different.) If you miss your deadline, the courts will most likely refuse to hear the case. In general, you have no more than two years from the date of your bike accident to bring a claim. A special exception to the rule, however, may lengthen or shorten your deadline, depending on the case.
When Should I Contact an LA Accident Lawyer?
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, California, an accident lawyer can help you understand and protect your rights. A lawyer can take care of difficult legal tasks for you while you focus on healing, such as collecting evidence and hiring qualified experts.