Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Your safety equipment may save you from basic injuries during falls and minor accidents. However, it offers little protection in severe accidents involving cars and other vehicles when riding your bike. If you experience an accident, you may suffer severe injuries, physical challenges, and maybe even a lifetime of pain.

A bicycle accident lawyer helps injured cyclists file a lawsuit and fight for the compensation they deserve. We can help you navigate the legal process. We'll deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, removing the stress and frustration of filing a lawsuit and following up.

Our law firm handles bicycle accident lawsuits across the state of California. We're ready to review your bicycle accident case and offer legal advice, including a free consultation of your case.

Bicycle Accidents in California

From 2007 to 2019, 751 bicycle riders, on average, have met their untimely death each year from bicycle accidents. Of these fatalities, 41% occurred on California, Florida, and Texas streets.

California is ranked first in the country for fatal bicycle crashes, with 4% of bike accidents involving vehicles. California experienced 133 fatal bicycle accidents in 2019.

However, the total deaths from bike accidents witnessed a 10.5% drop from the 165 fatalities in 2018. This statistic puts the cyclist fatality rating in California at 3.9% between 2016 to 2018.

There are many reasons for high fatality rates in cycling accidents, especially in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles County. LA witnessed 106 reported cyclist deaths from 2016 to 2018 – with accidents caused by the recklessness of motor vehicle drivers, lack of proper bicycle laws, and defective vehicles, for example.

While LA has approximately 28,000 miles of street lanes, only 0.6% meet the required safety standards for bicycles. Moreover, many crashes occur in urban areas.

No matter what the reason or cause of the accident, it can result in endless pain and suffering for the injured cyclists and their families. The victims can endure ongoing distress from physical injuries to psychological trauma, property damage, and the loss of the ability to work.

Contact our bicycle accident attorneys immediately if you're ready to pursue a lawsuit and file a claim. We're prepared to listen to your story, develop your case, and provide you with the best legal advice during this difficult time for you and your loved ones.

Types of Bicycle Accidents

There are several types of bicycle accidents our experienced counselors deal with regularly. In our experience, the most common reasons for fatal bike crashes are the following.

Distracted Driving

Many bicycle accidents occur when a vehicle driver's visual, mechanical, and cognitive functions are compromised. The rate for this type of accident surged 30% over the last two years, without considering un-reported accidents.

An accident occurs when a negligent motorist takes their eyes off the road or their hands off the steering wheel. Tired motorists may fall asleep behind the wheel or daydream about something important in their life, resulting in a crash with a cyclist. However, texting on cell phones is the most common cause of distracted driving.

Unsurprisingly, most distracted drivers are reluctant to admit their fault when filing an official crash report with the police. If the driver doesn't deny their neglect, their admission appears in an official investigating officer's crash report. Your attorney can use this report as proof in a personal injury case when determining liability for the accident.

Moreover, many bicyclist accidents occur during the daytime rather than at night. The daylight makes it easier for your lawyer to find witness testimony, security and traffic camera footage, and other evidence to prove negligence.

Hit and Run

Unfortunately, accident victims involved in bike accidents may be unable to identify the culprit due to the shock involved in the situation. As a result, more than half of all California hit-and-run car accidents remain unsolved.

There are many different reasons why drivers may flee the accident scene.

  • Driving under the influence or drunk driving, or both
  • Lack of license, suspended license or revoked license
  • Uninsured vehicle
  • Outstanding warrants
  • Escaping from other crime scenes

Our bicycle crash attorneys will be at your side during the claims process. We'll fight for your rights in court and ensure you get the settlement you deserve.

Reckless Motor Vehicle Driving

Motor vehicle drivers often attempt to overtake and pass cyclists, even though they legally occupy the road. The resulting impact usually occurs from behind the cyclist, possibly resulting in fatal injuries to the cyclist.

When hit from behind, the cyclist's instinct is to reach forward, extending their arms to break their fall. So, they're likely to tumble over the handlebars, landing head-first. While a cycling helmet will bear the brunt of the impact, it's possible that the helmet breaks or slips off the victim's head during the crash. Worse still, the cyclist might not be wearing any helmet or safety gear, resulting in severe brain trauma and fractures to the skull.

Rear-end motor vehicle accidents often happen at night because of limited visibility and may involve busses or even trucks. They also occur when cyclists halt at stop signs or red lights and when they change lanes.

Driver Turning Left and Right

Motor vehicles and bicycles travel at different speeds. When taking turns, the driver may calculate the wrong distance or speed and hit the cyclist. It can be hard to navigate the correct line through the corner with the motorist and bicyclist approaching an intersection from two directions.

Bicycles have small, thin frames; some drivers might not spot cyclists immediately. The cyclist may also be in the car's blind spot when turning or changing lanes, resulting in an accident.

However, if the accident happens while the driver turns left, the driver may be responsible for the collision. As a result, your lawyer will file a successful personal injury claim on your behalf.

Door-Related Accidents

When a passenger or driver opens the car door without checking for oncoming cyclists, the door can hit them from the front or back. This accident is common and a looming fear amongst all city cyclists.

Accidents may occur when the rider tries to avoid the open door, crashing into another vehicle or object. Even at low speeds, the cyclist may experience serious injuries.

Under Vehicle Code 22517, the dooring statute prevents Californians from opening a car door on the side of the moving traffic unless deemed safe to do so. The dooring ordinance also differs within different municipalities.

Our bike accident attorneys will investigate the merits of your injury claim. The attorney provides the court with evidence the person opening the vehicle door violated the dooring traffic laws, demonstrating negligence.

Bicycle Accidents with Other Cyclists

While vehicles are the most common cause of cycling accidents, fellow cyclists may also be responsible for creating an accident resulting in injury. This calamity creates a complex situation because, unlike motorists, most cyclists don't carry liability insurance.

Homeowners, condos, or renters' insurance may cover your injury claim in these situations. There are liability coverage policies or umbrella insurance policies that start as low as $1,000.

Sometimes, a rider may be at complete fault, while cyclists may share the blame in other instances. In the latter circumstance, the court removes the percentage of responsibility from their settlement award due to comparative negligence.

Road Defects and Potholes

Due to improper maintenance and wear and tear because of heavy traffic, California streets can become dangerous for bicyclists. Potholes that are barely noticeable to motor vehicles can be disastrous for cyclists.

A sovereign immunity doctrine initiated during the days of England and the Crown Rules barred Californians from suing the city. However, there are exceptions to this rule. To file a claim, the attorney must prove the following.

  • The pothole was responsible for the accident and injury
  • The city was in control of the maintenance of the defect
  • The city was either negligent or irresponsible in their maintenance duty
  • The city was notified of the hazard but did not take the appropriate caution

Caltrans (Department of Transportation) only accepts and pays out 10% of filed lawsuits. If you experience an injury due to road defects on your ride, our bike accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you file a claim.

Bicycle Accidents Involving Kids

Although child cyclist deaths have declined in recent years, it remains a big issue. Children don't have the skill or the equipment to evade vehicles and road defects. Their lack of experience on the bike and the road results in higher accident risk for child cyclists.

Drivers must be highly vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times. The motorist will be liable if a child is harmed or injured due to a driver's negligence. In most cases, kids' bicycle accidents happen because drivers don't notice small children.

On the other hand, road or sidewalk conditions, potholes, deep cracks, uneven pavements, or improperly placed drain covers can also contribute to a crash. Then, governmental bodies such as municipal entities or contractors may be the negligent party.

Defective Bicycle Parts

Faulty bicycle parts, such as defective forks, frames, handlebars, wheels, brakes, or releases, can contribute to a bike accident. The faulty parts may cause cyclists to lose control and crash into other objects or vehicles.

The injured cyclist has the right to file a claim against several parties, such as the following.

  • Manufacturers
  • Parts suppliers
  • The factory that assembled the product
  • Wholesalers
  • Distributors
  • Retailers

California Products Liability Theories Include:

  • Defective product line design
  • Manufacturing defects from the factory caused only a few products to be defective
  • Failure to warn of the dangers

Bicycle Accident Injuries

A bike rider may be involved in a collision resulting in severe injuries and even death. Some of the most common traumatic bicycle injuries include the following.

Traumatic Head Injury

When bicyclists fall head-first over the handlebars, the impact can cause severe head trauma and subsequent injuries.

  • Intracranial hemorrhaging, which can lead to brain death
  • Skull fracture
  • Brain contusion
  • Concussion

Face/Eye Injury

Besides the skull, the cyclist's face may also bear the brunt of the impact with the tarmac or concrete, causing the following injuries.

  • Damage to the nose, septum, and sinus
  • Contusions
  • Facial fractures
  • Eye damage
  • Broken jaw or dental fractures

Most of these injuries may require repeated surgeries and long recovery times. Your bicycle accident lawyer will review your case and file a lawsuit to recover costs for your medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering.

Musculoskeletal Injury

Musculoskeletal injuries are fractures, dislocations, and strains to the limbs (hands, arms, shoulders, tibial, legs) and shoulders. It also includes spinal cord injuries.

Chest and Abdomen Injuries

Due to the impact of a fall, the accident may cause rib fractures or a severe chest injury, such as a parenchymal lung injury.

Bicycle accidents can result in other abdominal complications such as:

  • Vascular perforation
  • Splenic rupture
  • Rupture
  • Hepatic laceration
  • Pancreatic trauma
  • Small or large bowel contusion
  • Renal contusion
  • Traumatic hernia

There can also be other genitourinary injuries, such as:

  • Pelvic fractures
  • Urethral and vulval trauma
  • Rectal trauma

Skin and Soft Tissue Injury

Besides harming your internal organs, your skin and soft tissue may also suffer the following injuries.

  • Abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions

Available Damages

Injured cyclists are entitled to seek compensation from the responsible party if the accident occurs due to negligence. There are two core types of damages your attorney can recover in a bicycle injury case:

Economic Damages

Your attorney calculates economic damages by determining the financial and out-of-pocket losses experienced by aggrieved cyclists. These damages include the following.

  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages

Economic damages compensate the victim by associating a dollar amount with the damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages cover losses, not essentially finance-related. However, they cover mental and emotional trauma suffered by the accident victim. These damages can include compensation for the following.

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminishment of quality of life

Punitive Damages

These damages are awarded in court and as a punishment to the responsible party for the accident.

Why Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer?

A specialist bicycle lawyer helps you navigate the complex insurance processes and the legal system, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.

Bicycle accident lawyers will try to recover the following financial costs associated with your accident.

  • Medical expenses: Related to the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages: When the injury prevents them from working
  • Economic and non-economic damages: These cover both physical and mental anguish and suffering

Two common lawsuit types include:

1. Negligence
Your lawyer files this claim to hold one or more parties responsible for your bike accident. A bicycle accident attorney investigates the matter, collecting sufficient evidence, and presenting it favorably to the court to substantiate a lawsuit.

2. Product Liability Claim
This lawsuit involves an accident caused by defective bicycle components. For a successful liability claim, bicycle accident lawyers collect proof of where the defect originated.

Contact Our Lawyers

Our law firm can help you access specialist experts who investigate and assess bicycle accidents. Your lawyer will collect, analyze, and present evidence to the court to help fight your personal injury case and receive the compensation you deserve.