Bicycling in Los Angeles is at an all-time high. It’s unclear whether the popularity of this activity can be attributed to COVID-19 pandemic, generally clearer air, a desire for more exercise, or any number of other reasons is unclear. However, the fact remains: right now, cycling in LA is hot.
According to the LA Times, one bike-shop owner said that waitlists for tune-ups, which are usually just one or two days (if at all), are at over four weeks now. According to eco-counter, a Canadian engineering firm that builds pedestrian and bicycle counting systems, they have observed a 21% increase in bicycle riding from 2019 to 2020. That’s quite a jump.
Unfortunately, however, the presence of more cyclists on the roadways means more cyclist injuries.
At Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, one of our founding principles is being active in our community and keeping a finger on the pulse of Los Angeles County. Because of this recent surge in cycling, our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys have put together some general information about cycling accidents in Los Angeles, including common causes of accidents, the types of injuries that victims may suffer, and what to do if you’ve been in a bicycle accident. We hope you find this guide helpful.
Bicycle Accident Overview
Bicycle riding is great. Cycling is an excellent way to stay in shape, commute, and socialize. Cycling is also dangerous, however. The danger of cycling is especially high when sharing the road with cars. Like motorcycles, bicycles don’t offer the same protection from impact that cars and trucks do.
According to California law, cyclists must follow the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. In addition, cyclists must observe specific exceptions and extra rules that don’t apply to motorists. For example, if riding slower than the speed of traffic, a cyclist must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible.
Sharing the road with cars and trucks can be dangerous. Here are some statistics on bicycle-related injuries and fatalities:
- In 2015, 1000 cyclists died from accidents on roadways in the U.S.;
- Also in 2015, there were nearly 500,000 bicycle-related injuries nationwide;
- In 2010, bicycle-related injuries and deaths cost Americans $10 billion in medical costs and productivity losses; and
- In 2018 there were roughly 300,000 emergency room visits due to bicycle accidents.
These costs are not insignificant. Los Angeles and California in general are particularly dangerous for cyclists:
- 70% of cyclist fatalities from car crashes happened in urban areas in 2015;
- California had 129 cyclist fatalities in 2015, accounting for 4.1% of total traffic fatalities (one of the highest rates in the nation);
- Only behind New York City, Los Angeles had the most cyclist fatalities in 2015 with 16 total;
- Measured in three-year periods, California bike fatalities hit a 25-year high between 2016 and 2019; and
- Between 2016 and 2018, LA County recorded 106 cyclist fatalities.
These numbers are likely to increase as cycling becomes more popular. Because of this, it is important to know how to avoid bicycle accidents. You should also know what to do if you are involved in a bike crash and how a bicycle accident attorney in Los Angeles can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Why Starpoint Law May be Able to Help You
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, Starpoint Law’s bicycle accident attorneys in Los Angeles are here to help you. We focus on personal injury law, and because of our particular focus and experience with car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, we are more than prepared to help get you the compensation you deserve.
Some of the services that we provide for you include:
- Calculating the total cost of your damages;
- Connecting you with medical specialists for your specific injuries;
- Proving the at-fault party’s negligence;
- Collecting evidence to support your claim; and
- Guiding you through the claim process from start to finish.
The insurance company of the person who injured you will have their own lawyer or team of lawyers. You deserve to be on equal footing, and to have your rights equally protected. Starpoint Law’s Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys will help level the playing field and provide you with the best possible chance of recovering the compensation you deserve.
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Important Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
In order to help ensure you get the compensation you deserve after being injured by someone else’s negligent actions, keep the following important steps in mind:
- Get to the side of the road as soon as possible;
- Seek emergency medical care if necessary;
- Write down the personal contact, insurance, and vehicle information of the person who hit you;
- Give the person who hit you your own contact information;
- Take picture of any damage to your bicycle or other property;
- If there are witnesses, get their contact information, have them write or record statements, and obtain any photos or videos they have that show the accident;
- Call the police so they can file an accident report;
- Seek any non-emergency medical care that you need;
- Maintain a record of everything; and
- Talk to an attorney.
Each of these steps is important. Following these simple guidelines can help you get the compensation you deserve for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. Remember, the other party’s insurance company will likely try to argue that you were negligent and reduce the amount of compensation they have to provide, so it is important to follow these steps and keep a record of everything.
Injuries and Damages We Can Help With
Some of the injuries and damages that we can help you recover compensation for include:
- Property damage (your bike);
- Medical costs;
- Costs of pain and anguish;
- Lost wages; and
- Loss of earning potential.
There are other forms that your damages may take. Our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys will help you take stock of what damages you have suffered and help you recover them. We are here to help you every step of the way.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
There are many ways that a bicycle accident can happen. Sometimes a driver will strike a cyclist while they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other times a person driving a car will hit a cyclist because they are distracted while they are driving. The most common distraction while driving in 2020 is texting and driving. Someone texting may be aware of where you are (or not), but drift over to the right and strike you as they pass.
The most common causes of bicycle accidents on roadways have to do with drivers simply failing to share the road. Failing to share the road can take many forms; it may be just that a driver doesn’t see a cyclist in their blind spot. Other times, a driver will fail to give a cyclist proper distance when attempting to pass them.
Drivers also might crash into cyclists by not understanding when a cyclist has right of way and failing to yield to a cyclist as they would another vehicle. Finally, an accident can happen when a driver neglects to look before pulling out of a parking spot, or when opening their car door while parked (known as “dooring”).
Whatever the cause might be, a bicycle accident can result in serious damages. Starpoint Law’s Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys will help you show that the accident was not caused by your actions and help you recover the damages you have suffered.
You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers
Have you been injured in a bicycle accident? Contact Starpoint Law’s Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers today. Our website features a 24/7 live chat function, so you can ask us any questions you might have before giving us a call.
Our goal is to provide you with the best client service possible, get you the best results possible, and be an active part of the Los Angeles community. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation or speak to a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer.
Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney; Aidin Ghavimi
Aidin wanted to begin practicing law for one reason; to help those in Los Angeles County. Motorcycle accidents that result in injuries in Los Angeles can have a major impact on your future.