Here are shortcuts to the specific topics:
- 1. Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
- 2. Why You Should Choose a Mesriani Bicycle Attorney
- 3. What Do You Do After a Bicycle Accident?
- 4. Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
- 5. Where Do Bicycle Accidents Occur?
- 6. Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
- 7. How to Prove Who’s Liable in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
Why You Should Choose a Mesriani Bicycle Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you want an attorney who has successfully handled bicycle accident cases. Mesriani bicycle attorneys guarantee exceptional legal service to our clients and have the successful results to prove it. Here are the top reasons why you should choose Mesriani Law Group for your bicycle accident case:
If necessary, we are prepared to file a lawsuit and go to trial. Our bicycle attorneys will fight aggressively to ensure that you get the maximum compensation and justice you deserve. Contact our offices today for your free consultation.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to damages from the responsible party. In order to do so, make sure you follow these steps to preserve your legal rights for pursuing compensation against the party at fault:
- Call the police to report the accident – It’s important to call 911 when you’ve been in an accident so the police can file an accident report. Make sure you obtain the police report number so you can request a copy of the report when it’s ready.
- Exchange contact information – Collect essential contact information from the any party involved in the accident. Information you should take down include their full name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver license number, and license plate number. If there are any witnesses on the scene, it’s a good idea to get their contact information also.
- Take photographs – If you have your phone or camera available, take photos of the accident scene and any visible injuries you may have. Be sure to also take photos of any damages to your bicycle.
- Seek medical attention – Make sure you get medical care as soon as possible so a medical professional can give you a full examination. You might not feel pain or think you are injured during the time of the accident, but sometimes injuries may appear days or even weeks after. Be sure to get a full diagnosis from your doctor or go to the emergency room after your accident.
Next, speak with an experienced bicycle attorney from Mesriani Law Group to learn how our law firm can help you with your claim.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Unfortunately, there are many situations that can cause a bicycle accident. Some of the most common causes include:
- Distracted driving
- Cars passing too closely to a bicycle
- Fatigued or drowsy drivers
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unsafe right or left turns
- Dooring (opening a car door that’s parked on the street in front of oncoming bicycles)
Keep in mind that it is not necessarily always drivers who causes accidents. Other common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Uneven or broken pavement
- Debris on the roadway
- Slippery or unsafe road conditions
- Adverse weather such as heavy fog or rain
- Poor lighting at night
- Defective bicycle components
Even if your bicycle wasn’t caused by a driver, you may still be able to obtain compensation for any injuries you suffered. Our bicycle attorneys can review your claim to determine the responsible party and help obtain the compensation you deserve.
Where Do Bicycle Accidents Occur?
Some of the most common ways that bicycle accidents occur include:
- Crashes at intersections – When a cyclist stops at an intersection but a driver does not, the result is a rear-end crash. Many times, the driver is speeding or not paying attention and ultimately causes an accident.
- Door crashes – A driver may open a parked car door without seeing an oncoming cyclist coming from behind. As a result, the cyclist ends up crashing into the open door.
- Left turn crashes – A cyclist is at an intersection when a driver that isn’t paying attention approaches to make a left-hand turn. The driver pulls in front of the cyclist and causes the cyclist to collide into the side of the car.
- Right turn crashes – As both cyclist and car approach an intersection, the driver makes a right-hand turn but crosses the bicycle lane. As a result, the driver crashes into the cyclist who is going straight. Many times, the driver fails to use their right turn signal to alert the cyclist. This common mistake can cause serious injuries to cyclists.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accident often leave victims with serious injuries. With little protect other than a bicycle helmets the impact from a car or pavement can leave cyclists with severe injuries ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injury. Mesriani Law Group has helped victims from bicycle accidents who suffered from severe injuries including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skull fractures
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding or injuries
- Lower extremity injuries
- Severe road rash
Bicycle accidents can leave victims with severe long-lasting or permanent injuries. Cyclists may also suffer from emotional or psychological trauma after the crash. An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. Compensation may include tangible and intangible damages such as medical expenses, hospital bills, pain and suffering, and more.
How to Prove Who’s Liable in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
To successfully win a bicycle accident claim, you must be able to prove that the responsible party acted negligently. Proving negligence is not easy, but an experienced bicycle attorney will be able to prove that the other party was at fault.
Several forms of negligence can lead to a bicycle accident including:
- Distracted driving – Drivers should always pay attention and comply with all traffic safety laws. Unfortunately, some drivers make poor choices such as texting, talking on the phone, using the GPS, or eating while driving which may lead to a bicycle accident.
- Speeding or aggressive driving – Some drivers attempt to speed up when they see a bicyclist nearby as cars move significantly faster than bicycles. Drivers who fail to comply with posted speed limits or engage in aggressive driving put others at risk.
- Driving under the influence – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will impair the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle. Impaired driving can leave accident victims with serious or life-threating injuries.
- Dooring – With this type of accident, a motorist opens the door of a motor vehicle into the path of a bicyclist. Many times, the party opening the door isn’t aware of the oncoming bicyclist and the bicyclist suddenly collides with the door and falls or gets thrown off the bicycle.
As previously mentioned, drivers aren’t the only party that may be liable for a bicycle accident. Other parties that may be responsible for a bicycle crash include:
- Municipality – Government agencies have the responsibility to ensure that road conditions are designed safely for everyone on the road. When dangerous road conditions such as poorly designed bike lanes or potholes leads to a bicycle accident, the government agency may be held responsible.
- Bicycle or helmet manufacturer – Bicycle and manufacturers have the responsible to ensure their products meets all safety guidelines before selling them to consumers. When a corporation sells a defective product, this puts the consumer at risk. If a bicyclist gets injured due to a defective bicycle or helmet, the manufacturer should be held responsible.
In California, one of the most important elements of any personal injury claim is proving negligence. Holding the correct party responsible for your injuries will require an experienced attorney to conduct a thorough investigation of your bicycle claim. Our law firm has the experience and resources to ensure the correct party will be held liable for your injuries.
State Laws That Can Affect Your Bicycle Claim
In California, the responsibilities of operating a bicycle are similar to driving a car. Make sure you keep yourself updated with bicycle safety laws to avoid getting a citation or doing something that may compromise your claim. Rights and responsibilities of California bicyclists are outlined in the California Vehicle Code. Some of the most important sections you should know about include:
- Bicycle requirements – In California, all bicycles operated on the road must be equipped with brakes that will enable the rider to make one braked wheel skid on level, clean, and dry pavement. It’s illegal for bicyclists to operate a bicycle with handlebars that are higher than the shoulders. If you’re riding in the dark, you must have lamps and reflectors that make yourself highly visible. The light must also illuminate the bikeway, sidewalk, or highway in front of you and it must be visible from a distance of 300 feet from both sides and in front of the bicycle.
- Impaired riding – Under California bicycle law, it’s illegal operate a bicycle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs.
- Using dedicated bike lanes – If there are dedicated bicycle lanes, you must use them. To avoid accidents, bicyclists should ride with the direction and flow of traffic. Bicyclists are now allowed to stop in the middle of the lane. If required, you should find a safe place to stop that is away from the road and bike lane. Depending on the local government agency, bicycles may be not be allowed to operate on freeways or expressways.
Unfortunately, following all bicycle safety laws doesn’t always keep a rider safe. Sometimes, other drivers or situations will lead to an accident. If you have been hurt due to the negligence of another party, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact the bicycle attorneys at Mesriani Law Group today to discuss your legal options.
Bike Lane Classification
The location that bicycle riders travel on are referred to as different classes of bikeways, namely:
This type of bikeway facilitates off-road paths and trails. This bikeway type is not on streets shared with other cars and are accessible primarily for bicycles and other recreational uses.
This bikeway is the “typical” bike lanes. This is defined by one striped line and allows only one-way travel for cyclists on each side of the road.
This bikeway is always labeled as a ‘bicycle route.” These lanes are shared with vehicles and are either separated by a pole barrier or clear white line and marked by signs and often includes sharrows.
This bikeway is a physically protected bike lane that isolated from road traffic. Depending on the location, it provides both one-way and two-way travel. This lane consists of cones, railways, posts, and other objects that create a physical barrier between the bike lane and the road.
It is important to note that even with bike lane protections, motorists are still required to provide 3 feet of safe space between their vehicle and cyclists as per California state law. The Three Feet for Safety Act instituted in 2014 requires that 3 feet of safe distance is required when overtaking and passing cyclists on the road.
Compensation for Bicycle Accidents
Under California law, accident victims can claim economic and non-economic damages for their injuries. Economic damages are measurable and verifiable by receipts or bills. They’re usually intended to help restore the victim to their original condition. Non-economic damages are compensation are subjective, non-monetary losses.
Common examples of economic damages you may recover include:
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance bills
- Surgery costs
- Caregiving services costs
- Physical therapy
- Mental health treatment costs
- Prescription medicine costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
Common examples of non-economic damages you may recover include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Mental trauma
Speak with an experienced bicycle attorney today to learn more about the compensation you may be entitled to.
Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accident Claims
In law, a statute of limitation is the time limitation for bringing certain types of legal action. In California, the statute of limitation for bringing a bicycle accident claim depends on the following:
- If you are bringing a lawsuit against the government, you typically have six months from the date of the accident.
- If you are bringing a lawsuit against a private citizen, you typically have two years from the date of the accident.
However, there are special circumstances that may qualify for an exception to the statute of limitations. For example, if you don’t discover your injuries until much later, it may be possible to extend the statute of limitation. Another exception involves accidents with minors. For injured minors, the time limit begins at the age of 18 instead of the date of the injury.
Contact Mesriani Law Group if You Have Been in a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents often leave victims with injuries and significant financial losses. With serious accidents, victims sustain long-lasting or permanent injuries. However, California law allows for bicycle victims to obtain compensation and justice for their injuries. Our highly skilled and experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys at Mesriani Law Group knows how to help bicycle victims during these challenging times. We are dedicated to helping our clients with their legal claims so they can focus on their recovery.
We have successfully represented bicycle victims throughout California and have recovered over millions in total damages. If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident, contact our law firm today to learn more about how we can help you with your legal claim.
Bicycle Accident Lawyer FAQs
Can you sue if you get hit by a car on a bike?
Yes. If you were hit by a car while riding your bicycle, you have the option to file a legal claim against the party at fault.
Does car insurance cover bicycle accidents?
Typically, most car insurance will cover bicyclists who are injured in an accident by another party driving a car. It will usually get covered through personal injury protection in no-fault states or insured motorist coverage insurance. Bicyclists may also be covered by a personal health insurance policy or carry insurance for the bicycle and liability costs through a renter’s insurance or homeowner’s policy.
What is that statue of limitations in California for bicycle accidents?
If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, the statute of limitations is two years. However, an exception may be granted to extend the deadline if you did not discover the injuries from the accident until much later.
How can I prevent a bicycle accident?
Bicycle accidents can be prevented in multiple ways including:
- Obeying all traffic safety laws
- Using bike lanes
- Riding in the same direction and flow of traffic
- Wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing
- Using front and rear lights on your bicycle when riding in the dark
- Using hand signals to communicate to other drivers
What is the best piece of evidence to show that I am not liable?
The most important piece of evidence you can use in your bicycle claim is the police report. Police reports are written up immediately following the bicycle accident and a copy may be requested for review. Be sure to call the police and get a police report even if you don’t feel hurt right away because symptoms may be delayed and appear days or weeks after the accident. Submit a copy of the police report to your bicycle attorney so they can review and put together the strongest case possible for your bicycle injury claim.