Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Los Angeles has beautiful weather year-round, making it the perfect place to ride bikes in every season. However, with roads built for vehicles and heavy traffic, these streets were not made for cycling. So if you are injured from a tragic hit and run or suffering from a cycling crash, a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer can get you back on the road to recovery.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, our team at MKP Law Group, LLP understands the physical, emotional, and financial hardships you may suffer from. We work hard to ensure our clients understand their rights as we help them negotiate their injury settlement. Having an experienced local Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer by your side is important to navigate the legal process and recover damages.
Here at MKP Law Group, LLP, we always work on what is known as a contingency fee basis, meaning WE DON’T GET PAID UNLESS WE WIN. There are no upfront, out-of-pocket costs to our clients. Call us today at 310-285-5353 to schedule your 100% FREE consultation.
Why Hire a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Our team at MKP Law Group, LLP is experienced in Los Angeles bike law and injury litigation experts. Our vast network of contacts will connect you with the best medical professionals and any other experts you may need to get through this difficult time.
If you have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, you need a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Our team will work with you to:
- Help you get the medical treatment you need.
- Navigate the complicated insurance processes.
- Investigate the case to prove fault and negligence.
- Negotiate claims to maximize your compensation.
- Walk you through the legal procedures.
- Provide hands-on support and personalized service.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, don’t go it alone; call MKP Law Group, LLP to set up your consultation today. The consultation is free, and, as always, MKP Law Group, LLP works on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket.
Common Causes of Los Angeles Bicycle Accidents
In crowded California cities like Los Angeles, bicycling is a common but dangerous mode of transportation. In fact, in 2018, there were 20 cyclist fatalities. On average, Los Angeles cyclists are the most at risk in all of California, according to reports from California Healthline.
Bike accidents in Los Angeles are very common because there is a lack of widespread commuter bike trails. That leaves bike riders sharing busy roadways with large vehicles.
Whether the accident is caused by distracted motorists, overly-aggressive drivers, or lazy drivers who don’t use turn signals, bicycle accidents seem to be an unfortunate reality for Californians.
Here are some of the most common causes of Los Angeles bicycle accidents:
Urban Roadways: The majority of cyclist fatalities occur in urban areas, 79% as of 2018, according to NHTSA data. Intersections, roadsides, parking lanes, sidewalks, and more can all pose problems for cyclists.
Other Drivers: Careless, impaired, or reckless drivers of larger vehicles pose the greatest risk to cyclists. Sometimes drivers follow bikes too closely and forget the speed differences or fail to concede their right-of-way.
Blind Spots: Drivers who fail to check blind spots often miss seeing cyclists near their vehicles as they turn or change lanes.
Opening Car Doors: Many accidents are caused by drivers who have parked their car and open their car door without first looking to see if cyclists are approaching from behind.
Time of Day: In the evening, the risk for accidents increases. From 6:00 p.m. to 8:59 p.m., there was a higher frequency of pedalcyclist fatalities in 2018, according to NHTSA data.
Road Conditions: Uneven road conditions (e.g., potholes) and difficult-to-see traffic signs and signals can be a serious problem for cyclists and drivers alike and lead to severe accidents.
Defective Bicycles, Bicycle Parts, or Helmets: Bicycle and helmet manufacturers have an obligation to ensure that they build and sell properly designed safe bicycles and helmets. If a production malfunction in the bicycle leads to a crash or a helmet fails to properly safeguard against injuries in the event of a bicycle crash, manufacturers can be held responsible for the injuries sustained by bikers.
Environmental or Animal Collisions: Whether that be untrimmed trees or dogs running around, this can cause serious injuries to bike riders. Sometimes dogs will even attack the bike they’ve collided with, resulting in more traumatic injuries like dog bites.
What to do After a Bike Accident in Los Angeles?
The unfortunate reality is that many accidents involving bicyclists result in catastrophic and permanent injuries to the bicycle rider.
Steps to take if you are a bicyclist who has been hit by a car in Los Angeles:
1. Call 911 immediately
The police will arrive at the scene of the accident to document the incident and issue a report that includes all parties’ contact information.
This report can be helpful in showing the motorist was at-fault in causing the accident. In the event there are serious injuries, an ambulance should be available to transport the accident victims to the ER to receive medical treatment. So make sure to respond quickly and call emergency responders.
2. Obtain witness information
Eyewitnesses can be crucial in proving the motorist was at-fault in causing the bicycle accident.
3. Take photos of the scene
Photographing the scene of the incident, including the positioning of the bicycles and motor vehicles, can help establish who was at-fault in causing the bicycle accident.
4. Seek medical treatment
Bicycle accident victims often suffer serious injuries and should always seek immediate medical treatment after an accident. We advise all our clients to visit a doctor within 24 hours of the incident.
Getting immediate medical attention is the best practice and is imperative to ensure a speedy recovery and documents your injuries and the chronology of your treatment. This documentation will support your bicycle accident claim against the insurance company.
5. Don’t speak to any insurance company representatives
Don’t speak with the insurance adjuster until you have consulted with a trusted lawyer like one of our Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers at MKP Law Group, LLP.
The insurance adjuster will attempt to get you to make damaging statements or make you lowball settlement offers for far less than your bicycle accident claim is actually worth.
This is especially important in cases involving dangerous head injuries or even wrongful death.
Should you contact a lawyer after your bicycle accident?
To begin to understand your bicycle accident claim, contacting a lawyer is the best course of action.
When you call the offices at MKP Law Group, LLP to speak with one of our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney, you get a 100% free case evaluation. Regardless of the severity of your injury, it is crucial to get a case evaluation from experienced personal injury lawyers in order to understand your rights.
Our Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers have a trusted record of success in handling bicycle accident claims. We won’t hesitate to take your case to court if the insurance company does not offer the compensation you deserve. We always fight to get accident victims top-dollar while providing our clients with uncompromising legal representation.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents often result in serious bicyclist injuries and sometimes even death. Motorcycle accidents and motor vehicle accidents alone can cause catastrophic damage, but when bicyclists collide with motor vehicles, their body absorbs the entire force of the impact. There are no seatbelts or airbags to prevent cyclists in the event of a collision.
So, their injuries are often much more severe than if they were inside the vehicle. Additionally, if the cyclist is not wearing a helmet and other protective gear, accidents often lead to very serious head injury, brain injury, or paralysis.
Some common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Bone Fractures
- Soft-tissue Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Road Rash
- Internal Bleeding
- Leg & Knee Injuries
Los Angeles Bike Laws
In California, the rules for bicyclists are generally governed by California Vehicle Code Sec. 21201, which requires:
- Functioning brakes
- Appropriately sized and positioned handlebars
- Reflectors on the pedals and rear of the bike
- A lamp or headlight on the front of the bike
- And more
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition provides an extensive list of resources bikers should use if they have any questions about Los Angeles bike laws.
Statute of Limitations for Filing Bicycle Accidents Claims
When it comes to filing bicycle accident injury claims, what’s important to know is the statute of limitations varies according to who is being sued.
The statute of limitations is a deadline to file a lawsuit. This means lawsuits filed after the statute of limitations will be entirely dismissed and void for being untimely. Generally speaking, there are two statutes of limitations that apply to California bicycle accident cases:
Private Individuals: 2 years
For filing claims against private drivers, other cyclists, etc., following a bike accident, you have 2 years from the exact date the accident occurred.
Exception for Minors: If the bicycle accident victim is a minor at the time of the incident, a claim can be filed at any point until the minor’s 18th birthday. After the minor turns 18, the standard 2-year statute of limitations applies.
Note: If the individual being sued dies (whether in the bicycle accident or otherwise), a lawsuit must be filed within 1 year of the incident.
Governmental Entities: 6 months
Suing governmental entities like the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) or governmental workers will trigger a statute of limitations of only 6 months.
Stats on Bicycle Accidents in Los Angeles, CA
Living in crowded Southern California cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and Irvine has forced many residents to commute by bike in order to avoid traffic and save on gas expenses. Unfortunately, this means that most bicycle accidents occur in urban areas, and almost every bicycle accident produces serious injuries.
- 18,655: The total number of recorded bicyclist collisions between 2015-2019 in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles County has the highest count in all of California, with 14,000+ more recorded collisions than #2 Orange County. (Berkeley.edu)
- The most dangerous time to ride a bike is now. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that 2108 was the deadliest year in 28 years, with over 850 deaths. After a dip in fatalities from 2009-2010, death rates have steadily increased.
- Only three U.S. states have seen more bicycle fatalities than Los Angeles County: Florida, New York, and California as a whole. (Los Angeles Is the Worst Bike City in America)
- In 2019, 21 bicyclists were killed on Los Angeles city streets. That’s an increase in total deaths by 18 from the previous year and a 110% increase in cyclist deaths from 2003. (USNews.com)
- L.A. has a total of 19.4 miles of dedicated bike lanes. However, many of these paths are disjointed and make it difficult for bike riders to access safe places to ride. For comparison: New York City has about 126 miles of protected bike lanes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are bicyclists in California allowed to drive on the roadways and highways?
Many drivers do not realize that California law allows bicyclists to use any road unless it is clearly indicated that it is prohibited. So bicycle riders can use highways and city roads just as any other motor vehicle. They must follow the same traffic rules, but they operate at a much lower speed, and other drivers sharing the road may get frustrated.
Is it illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in California?
No, it is not illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk according to state law. However, according to California Vehicle Code Section 21206, local governments have the right to regulate the laws for the use of bicycles on public sidewalks.
So, local laws prohibit riding bicycles on sidewalks in the County of Los Angeles, unless specifically specified (§15.76.080).
Do you need a license to ride a bicycle in California?
No, there is no legal requirement to license your bicycle. However, certain cities offer programs to register your bike, such as the City of Long Beach.
In Los Angeles, the city has opted to eliminate this system because the administrative resources for maintaining the system are too costly. However, as of September 2020, the LAPD has a partnership with a free bike registry organization in efforts to recover stolen or lost bikes for bike owners. You can visit the Bike Index site to create your account and register your bike with the bicycle serial number, photos, or any other identifiers.
Can you ride a bike on the freeway in California?
Often the answer is no, but there may be exceptions. According to the California Vehicle Code Section 21960, freeways and other similar designated portions of roadways to which vehicle access is completely or partially controlled may prohibit the use and access by pedestrians, bicycles, or other non-motorized traffic (or motor-driven “cycle” vehicle such as a motorized scooter). This includes the prohibition of motorized bicycles.
So, it is necessary to be on the lookout for any signs indicating that a freeway or expressway prohibits access to bicycles.
Do bikes have to stop at stop signs in California?
Bicycles are considered vehicles and have the right to use highways and city roads, so it is obligatory to follow the vehicle code and adhere to all traffic rules including stopping at stop signs and red lights.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Cyclists in Bicycle Accident Cases?
Yes, most of the time.
Typically it comes down to who was at fault in the accident. If the accident was the fault of a vehicle driver, the driver’s auto insurance should cover the damages.
Contact a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer at MKP Law Group, LLP Today
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident, contact us today at 310-285-53533 so that we can start fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.
At MKP Law Group, LLP, we have personal injury attorneys highly experienced in handling bicycle injury accidents and have obtained large settlements on behalf of our clients.
We know how to deal with insurance companies so that you do not have to and, instead, can focus on getting better. Our priority is for you to get the best care on every level.
MKP Law Group, LLP’s team strives to make the process as easy and quick as possible for you. The team at MKP Law Group, LLP is experienced, attentive, dependable, and tenacious, so call us today to schedule your 100% consultation. As always, if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us a dime.
We proudly service clients in the city of Los Angeles and other cities in Los Angeles County, including Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, and more. We also represent clients in Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.
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