Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have sustained serious injuries in a bike accident in California as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need more than a first-rate doctor. You also need a sharp, experienced bicycle accident attorney from the extraordinary team at Compass Law Group, PC. Getting in touch with us will be a productive first step in easing your burden. We will take care of all legal and insurance matters and be your powerful advocate as we navigate the winding pathways of the judicial system for you. Our personal injury attorneys have impressive credentials and a track record of successful settlements. Moreover, we have a reputation not only for effective litigation but for personal concern for our clients.
Over the past several decades, bicycles have become more and more popular. Once used primarily by children, they used to be used by adults mostly for recreation and/or exercise. Now, they are considered a viable mode of transportation throughout California and much of the United States. It’s no wonder this is the case since bicycles have many advantages.
Nonetheless, bicycles can be dangerous. Because they are much smaller and less visible than cars and other vehicles, drivers may not see them until it’s too late to avoid them. Also, because bicycles do not provide the same protection offered by other vehicles, cyclists are much more likely to be severely injured in a collision than drivers or passengers of cars. Though bike accidents can occur anywhere, they are most common in congested city streets.
Reasons for Bicycle Accidents
You probably will not be surprised to hear that almost half of all bicycle accidents occur at intersections. It is all too easy for a driver to be unaware of a cyclist crossing the intersection as the driver makes a turn. Other bicycle accidents caused by drivers may happen due to one of the following types of driver negligence:
- Drivers who fail to yield to cyclists
- Drivers who speed and drive recklessly
- Drivers who are impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Drivers distracted by texts, phone calls, GPS, etc.
- Drivers who, thoughtlessly or intentionally, do not allow a cyclist a full lane
- Drivers who try to pass a cyclist when it is not safe
- Drivers who open their doors into the path of an oncoming cyclist
- Drivers who fail to check their mirrors or blind spots
Although bicyclists may be at fault in some bicycle accidents, e.g. by ignoring a traffic signal, it is also true that many bike accidents that appear to be “solitary events” are actually caused by the cyclist’s attempt to avoid a reckless driver.
All states recognize that in many traffic accidents, the blame is shared. The laws surrounding this fact, however, known as “comparative negligence” laws, differ from state to state. In California, victims have a distinct advantage because our state is one of only 13 that follows the principle of “pure comparative negligence.” This means that the victim is permitted to collect damages even if he or she bears most of the responsibility for the collision.
Even so, you should be aware that the court will, upon hearing all the evidence, assign blame to each party, and the injured person will lose the percentage of the court settlement equivalent to his or her percentage of fault. For instance, if the court awards you $100,000 but you have been assigned 10 percent of the blame, you will actually receive $90,000.
How Fault Is Determined in Bicycle Accidents
Although it may seem as if drivers have more responsibility in bike accidents simply because cyclists are so much more apt to be severely injured, the law holds both parties responsible for following the rules of the road. So, cyclists must adhere to the law by:
- Making sure they have appropriate lights and reflectors if driving at night
- Obeying all traffic signs and signals (including coming to a full stop)
- Staying in one lane except when passing or avoiding an obstacle
- Yielding the right of way to pedestrians and other drivers when required
- Riding with traffic, not facing traffic
- Using a mechanical or hand signal before making a turn
Other laws pertaining to bicycle riding on public roads in California include: not wearing head-phones and not being substance-impaired. Though the state does not require cyclists to wear helmets unless they are under the age of 18, it is certainly wise to do so for reasons of safety.
When a Third Party Is Responsible for Your Injury
In some cases, bike accidents are caused not by another driver but by a defect in the bicycle (in which case the manufacturer is responsible) or by damaged or debris-covered pavement (in which case the city, county, or state may be to blame). Once you have become a client of Compass Law Group, our bike accident attorneys will get to the underlying cause of your injury and fight aggressively to hold the at-fault party accountable.
Because cyclists lack a protective vehicle, and often lack protective clothing or gear as well, they are likely to suffer severe, even catastrophic, injury in traffic accidents, such as:
Severe injuries affect the victim not only physically, but emotionally and financially as well. In addition, the repercussions of a bicycle injury that may involve surgery, prolonged recovery, inability to return to work, permanent disability, or long-term nursing care negatively impacts the whole family.
We Will Fight With All of Our Legals Skills and Resources to Win You Maximum Damages
At Compass Law Group we know how essential winning this legal battle is to you, so we will pull out all the stops to obtain damages for:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income, now and going forward
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your family has suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a bicycle accident, we are powerless to undo the tragedy. We will, however, work tirelessly to obtain you just compensation for final medical costs, funeral costs, and loss of financial and emotional support.
The sooner you get in touch with Compass Law Group, the sooner you will experience the relief of having consummate professionals handling your case. We’re knowledgeable and have the skill set to give you the best chance of winning every dollar of compensation you deserve.
This list isn’t all-inclusive many personal injury suits have been raised based on different factors that aren’t included above. Our team of Los Angeles car accident attorneys can work on cases without anything out of pocket.
We’re old enough to have the necessary experience, yet young enough to use the most cutting-edge technology and tactics, and are determined enough to fight and outsmart the other side, every time.