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Best Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyers

As the city of Los Angeles continues to evolve, so too does its population of bicyclists. In recent years, the trend of “going green” has led to a surge in popularity for outdoor activities, coupled with the rising cost of gas prices. However, with this increase in bicycle usage comes a corresponding rise in bicycle accidents.

California has laws in place to protect bicyclists on the road. According to California Vehicle Code VC 21301, handlebars must be suited to the rider and must not rise above the rider’s shoulders. It is illegal to ride a bicycle with broken or deteriorating brakes, and all bicycles must have a headlight that can be visibly seen from 300 feet away. Additionally, bike pedals must have bright yellow or white reflectors attached to them, and the rear of the bike must have a bright red reflector that can be visibly seen from 500 feet away.

In the event of a bicycle accident, it is important to understand the time frame for filing a personal injury claim. In California, individuals have up to two years to file a lawsuit for damages due to a car accident. However, if the statutory period is not met, a judge can drop the claim. Exemptions exist for those who are physically or mentally incapable of filing a claim due to the accident, and extended statutory periods may be granted for later injuries discovered as a result of the accident. Minors involved in a bicycle accident can wait until they are 20 years old to file a personal injury claim, but once they reach the age of 18, they have only two years to file a claim before it becomes invalid.

Bicycle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. According to the Center for Disease Control, 900 bicyclists died in accidents in 2013, and 494,000 were taken to the ER for severe injuries. Head injuries are the leading cause of death in addition to a leading serious injury from bicycle accidents. The majority of bike accidents happen in urban areas, rather than rural areas, and most of those accidents happen to children 16 years of age or younger. Common causes of bicycle and automobile accidents include illegal turns, poor lane switching, opening car doors without looking, aggressive driving, running traffic lights and/or stop signs, inability to obey the rules of the road, inability to allow cyclists enough space, backing up without looking, and backing out of a driveway or parking space without looking.

Tragedy on the Streets: The Dangers of Bicycle Accidents in Los Angeles

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Los Angeles is a veritable hotbed for bicycle-related deaths, with the largest increase in yearly fatalities occurring in the city. Despite these alarming statistics, the allure of the open road and the freedom of two wheels continues to draw in riders, making Los Angeles the nation’s leader in bicycle traffic.

Navigating the Streets: Bicycling in Los Angeles

Bicyclists in Los Angeles are permitted to ride on the sidewalk, unless they exhibit wanton or willful behavior. However, with approximately 1,200 miles of bikeways, the streets of Los Angeles can be a treacherous minefield for riders. From congested thoroughfares where bicyclists and motor vehicles must compete for space, to the 28,000 miles of street lanes designated for bicycle use, making up six percent of the city’s street lanes, the situation can be overwhelming for the unprepared rider. In comparison, the city of Portland also has six percent of its street lanes designated for bicycle usage, but that only amounts to 3,950 miles of street lanes.

A Deadly Combination: Alcohol Impairment and Lack of Helmets

Two major contributing factors to bicycle accidents in Los Angeles are riding without a helmet and being under the influence of alcohol. Shockingly, approximately two-thirds of bicyclists fatally injured in 2012 were not wearing any type of helmet. Over 27 percent of the riders had a blood alcohol level that was over the legal limit. With a significant increase in bicycle commuting in the Los Angeles area, and most roads in the city built to accommodate only motor vehicles, the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians are often overlooked.

Finding Solutions: Bicycle Road Safety Options

In cities where traffic lanes are designed to physically separate bicycles and motor vehicles, injuries and fatalities among bicycle riders drop significantly. One solution is the implementation of cycle paths, designated specifically for bicycle usage. Other options include the creation of bicycle boulevards through low traffic areas on roads parallel to major traffic routes, the installation of bike boxes to prevent cars from crossing a bicyclist’s path when turning right, and separate traffic signals for bicyclists to give them an earlier green light.

The Blame Game: Bicyclist Not at Fault

Each year, there are countless instances of bicyclists being struck or run over by passenger vehicles and trucks. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA), in a majority of the cases, it is not the bicyclist who is at fault for the accident. In fact, a study by the NHSTA found that there were approximately 48,000 accidents nationwide involving bicyclists, with a large percentage of the cases found to be the fault of the driver of the motor vehicle.

In the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, the danger faced by bicyclists is all too real. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Los Angeles holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest number of bicycle-related deaths in the United States. And, alarmingly, the number of yearly fatalities continues to rise. Yet, despite these sobering statistics, the streets of Los Angeles are filled with pedal-pushing commuters and recreational riders alike.

But what makes Los Angeles such a hazardous place for bicyclists? For one, the city’s roads were not designed with cyclists in mind. Most of the roads in Los Angeles were built solely to accommodate motor vehicles, leaving little room for those on two wheels. As a result, bike lanes and paths are often congested, forcing bicyclists to compete for space with cars and trucks on busy thoroughfares.

Another contributing factor to the high number of accidents is the prevalence of alcohol impairment and lack of helmet use among bicyclists. According to data from 2012, two-thirds of bicyclists who were fatally injured were not wearing a helmet, and over 27% had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit.

So, what can be done to make the streets of Los Angeles safer for bicyclists? One solution is the implementation of physical separations between bikes and cars, such as dedicated cycle paths or “bike boulevards” on low-traffic roads. Other options include the installation of “bike boxes” at intersections, which prevent cars from cutting across the path of bicyclists, and separate traffic signals for cyclists, giving them a head start on the green light.

However, it’s not just the responsibility of bicyclists to ensure their own safety. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA), a majority of accidents involving bicyclists are not the fault of the cyclist, but rather the driver of the motor vehicle. Common causes of accidents include negligent or impaired drivers, and drivers failing to stop at stop signs or failing to check for bicyclists before opening their car door.

In conclusion, while Los Angeles may be a bike-friendly city with a vast network of bike lanes and paths, the danger faced by bicyclists is all too real. To make the streets safer, efforts must be made to physically separate bikes and cars, and to address the issue of impaired and negligent driving. It’s time for Los Angeles to reclaim its status as the “bike capital” of the United States, and for bicyclists to be able to enjoy the city’s streets safely and confidently.

Best Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyers






California bike accidents hit a 25-year high in recent years, and many of these accidents occurred in the Los Angeles area. As a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer, we know how difficult it can be if you or a loved one are injured or killed on a bicycle and we can help you pursue a personal injury claim.

Injured in a Bicycle Accident in Los Angeles? 

Between 2016 and 2018, 455 cyclists died in CA alone, and countless others were injured. If your injuries are significant, stop you from going to work, or impact your quality of life, you can seek damages for your injuries.

When Should I Call a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer? 

If you or a loved one were involved in a bicycle accident, it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. We know the dangers of riding a bike in Los Angeles, and we also know that cyclists have a right to use the roads.

The sooner you contact a local bicycle accident lawyer, the faster they’ll:

  • Gather evidence
  • Build a strategy to win your case
  • Help you win a settlement for your case

If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a bicycle accident, contact us as soon as possible.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents 

Despite improved safety equipment and pedestrian-detection systems, bicycle accidents are rising. Many reasons exist for the increase in accidents, but the most common causes include:

Distracted Driving 

Distracted driving includes any instance where the person diverts their eyes from the road. A growing issue on California’s roadways is people driving and texting or using a smartphone when driving.

Taking your eyes off of the road for just five seconds is enough to go the length of a football field.

Drivers aged 16 to 20 are most at-risk of distracted driving. A few seconds of distraction can lead to a bicycle accident.

Failing to Stop or Yield 

Failure to stop at crosswalks or yield the right-of-way is a common reason for bike accidents. Often, these drivers are distracted and not paying attention to the road, but there are times when they miss a stop sign or fail to realize that they need to yield.

Speeding and Reckless Driving 

Reckless driving and speeding charges can cover a wide range of incidents, including wet reckless, which involves driving while intoxicated. Speeding is on the rise across the state, with over 29% of all road fatalities involving speeding.

Speeding is considered reckless driving when the motorist travels at 15 mph or more over the speed limit.

Additional causes that are responsible for bicycle crashes in Los Angeles are:

  • Left-turn collisions, where a driver doesn’t see the cyclist and makes the turn
  • Right-turn collisions, where a motorist veers into the cyclist’s lane and hits them
  • Door collisions, in which a driver opens their door without checking if a cyclist is approaching

Even if they wear helmets and protective gear, bicyclists can be significantly injured from a low-speed accident.

Types of Injuries from Bicycle Accidents 

Financial compensation depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Injuries sustained

Loss of quality of life is also considered in total compensation. A few of the most common injuries seen in bicycle accidents are:

Broken Bones 

Bone breaks and fractures are common, and severe breaks can require surgery to repair.

Traumatic Brain Injuries 

Helmets work to protect your brain, but jarring and impact can both lead to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A TBI can be life-altering, cause severe side effects and can cause death or disability.

Internal Injuries 

Internal damage often occurs with impact either from the vehicle, pavement or other objects. These injuries may heal on their own, or they may require serious medical intervention.

Spinal Cord Injuries 

Spinal cord injuries cause significant damage and can lead to disability, loss of function or paralysis. These injuries may require physical therapy and lead to loss of quality of life.

Finding the Best Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer for You 

Your lawyer needs to know the local laws and have the experience necessary to prove your case. Negligence must be proven, and many forms of negligence exist. Some of the many ways to prove that the driver was at fault for the accident are:

  • Showing that the motorist was driving carelessly
  • Demonstrating that the driver was aggressively driving, such as tailgating the cyclist
  • Impairment, which slowed the motorist’s reaction time
  • Failing to yield or follow road signs

Cyclists may also hold other parties negligent. For example, if a bike lane or dangerous road condition exists, it may be the fault of the Department of Transportation or another party.

Finding a local lawyer who has experience with bicycle accidents in Los Angeles will increase your chances of proving negligence and winning your case.

We have a reputation for fighting for our clients who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another party. We’ll gather evidence, build a legal strategy for your case and fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


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