Bicycle Injuries Can Quickly Become Serious
Motorists have significantly more protection than cyclists, so when a collision occurs between the two, a cyclist’s injuries will likely be much more severe.
Bicycle accidents can cause serious — sometimes life-altering — injuries, including:
- Broken bones: Cyclists can sustain broken legs or broken arms and fractures to elbows, knees, ankles, or other joints. Spinal fractures can cause serious impediments. Broken bones can take several weeks to several months or more to heal properly, usually require physical therapy, and sometimes require surgery to repair properly.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Bike helmets can reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI), but they cannot eliminate it altogether, especially in violent collisions. TBI can drastically change your life.
- Paralysis: Spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis often stem from bike accidents. If you are paralyzed, you may need extensive home modifications, occupational or physical therapy for prolonged periods of time, and home healthcare.
- Scarring and disfigurement: A bicyclist who lands on the pavement may experience significant road rash, scarring, or disfigurement, which can be very expensive to correct and have a negative impact on self-esteem.
Whether your bicycle accident injury was serious and life-altering or relatively minor, you have the right to seek compensation from the negligent party.
Scott J. Corwin has represented more than 3,000 injured victims, placing special focus on serious bicycle accident injuries in Los Angeles. He has obtained more than $125 million, compensating clients for doctor bills, missed paychecks, and pain and misery. Trust Scott with your bicycle injury case. Scott will ensure that you receive proper medical treatment. He will handle your case from start to finish, providing personalized attention every step of the way.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Although the city of Los Angeles is well known as a bike-friendly city, collisions between cars and bicycles are all too common. Since these often cause very serious injuries, you should contact an experienced attorney right away if you or a loved one were injured in a bike accident. At Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we provide aggressive legal representation to injured bicyclists.
Collisions between cars and bicycles occur in many ways, including:
- Open car doors: When a driver opens their car door without first checking to see that no one is approaching, bicyclists can be knocked off their bikes and suffer serious injuries.
- Right or left turns: Motorists often make turns without looking for bicyclists. As a result, they strike bicyclists who have the right of way.
- Red lights: Drivers attempting to beat red lights can strike bicyclists while speeding through intersections.
- Lack of understanding of bike laws: Many drivers do not realize that bicyclists follow the same rules as vehicles. Drivers need to give the same respect to bicyclists that they give to other drivers.
- Dangerous maneuvers by rideshare drivers: Hit by an Uber? Struck by a Lyft driver? These and other rideshare drivers are trying to maximize their earnings on the road. This can result in sudden stops and illegal maneuvers that are extremely dangerous to bicyclists.
What Is Your Bicycle Injury Case Worth?
The worth of any personal injury case is based on a variety of factors. These include the nature of the injury-causing event, the severity of the injury you suffered, the amount of pain the injury caused, and whether the injury has lingering effects. Only after all the evidence is gathered and analyzed can the true value of your case be determined.
As our law firm works to determine the value of your claim, we will take the following issues into consideration:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Mental and physical disability
- Disfigurement and scars
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of love and affection
Understanding Your Insurance Claims Options
Our firm has fought hard to help many individuals obtain full compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
As a bicycle accident victim, you may be able to make insurance claims against:
- The other party’s car insurance
- Your car insurance (especially useful in hit-and-run accidents)
- Your homeowners or renters insurance
- Your medical insurance
You deserve an attorney who is dedicated to getting you the maximum possible compensation. You shouldn’t have to go into debt because of your medical bills or lost wages when your accident was caused by someone else. Choose Scott Corwin for personal attention and responsive representation that gets results.
Bicycle Safety and Accident Prevention
While drivers can do a lot to prevent bicycle accidents, often the responsibility falls on cyclists to protect themselves.
The following are some ways you can protect yourself:
- Always wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury in a bicycle accident. All bicycle riders, regardless of age, where you ride, or how long you ride, should wear a properly fitted helmet. Head injuries afflict thousands of riders every year due to how exposed cyclists are while riding.
- Follow the rules of the road. Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators in the eyes of traffic laws. As such, they are required to observe all laws that vehicles are obliged to observe, including obeying traffic signs, signals and lane markers, right-of-way rules, and respecting others on the road.
- Ride with traffic. When cycling in the street, bikers are required to ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Riding your bicycle on the sidewalk is against the law.
- You want to always stay as visible as possible when riding. Never assume that a car or truck driver sees you. It is always better to err toward caution and wait to cross the street or take a turn until you are certain that you are not at risk of being hit by an inattentive motorist.
- Increase your visibility. You can further increase your visibility while biking by wearing florescent, brightly colored, and/or reflective clothing even during the day. For night rides, use a front light and a red reflector or flashing light at the rear. Use retro-reflective tape or markings on clothing and equipment as well.
California Bicycle Helmet Laws
In California, only bike riders under the age of 17 must wear a helmet. Many believe these helmet laws should extend to all bike riders. After all, adults are just as vulnerable to head injuries in bike accidents as children. Regardless of what the law says, more and more adult cyclists wear helmets voluntarily because riders and cyclists know how important they are to personal safety. We recommend all riders always wear a helmet when bike riding.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
From the moment you experience a bike accident, every action you take might have a significant impact on determining your rights and options in the days and months to come.
The following is intended to help you preserve evidence and legally protect yourself after a bike accident:
- Seek medical attention for those injured during the bicycle accident, including yourself.
- Contact the police and ask them to come to the scene and make a report of your bicycle accident.
- Gather information and evidence about the bicycle crash. This includes preserving damaged property, photographing the damage, vehicles, and other drivers, writing down notes about the accident, getting the names and information of others involved, and getting the names, contact information, and statements of witnesses.
- Have a bike shop manager observe, assess, and document the damage to your bicycle.
- Report your accident to your car insurance company (if you have one).
- Get a copy of the police report once it is available.
- Seek legal advice from an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Speak with an attorney who can properly advise you on your best course of action.
Call Today to Discuss Your bike accident Case
Learn more about your legal rights and options by scheduling a free case evaluation with our bicycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles.