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 $130 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.
What Are the 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.
- Reckless maneuvers made by a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Adhering to the highest standards of care and safety on the road only goes so far when you encounter a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In one split second, the lives of accident victims and their family members are forever changed.
What Can a Bicycle Injury Lawyer Do?
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you know how devastating the consequences can be. You may have suffered physical injuries and emotional trauma, as well as financial losses due to medical bills or lost wages. Fortunately, a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer can help injury victims get the compensation they need after a bike crash. A knowledgeable attorney who specializes in bike accidents will fight for your rights and work hard to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages.
A bike accident attorney can:
- Investigate the details of each bike accident and collect evidence to build a strong case for their clients
- Interview witnesses and obtain statements from them that can be used in court
- Negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of their clients to secure fair compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, property damage repairs/replacement, and other losses stemming from the bike crash
- Obtain police reports as well as any surveillance footage or photos that could provide insight into what happened at the scene
- File motions with courts if needed to obtain records of past incidents involving defendants in the case
- Assist injured individuals in filing claims with responsible parties or seeking damages through a personal injury lawsuit
- Represent their clients throughout all stages of litigation including pre-trial discovery processes such as deposition proceedings and trial preparation
- Explain complex legal terms related to bicycle accident law so injured individuals have an accurate understanding of their rights under state laws
- Advise clients on options available to them outside legal action such as settlement agreements
With an experienced bicycle accident attorney on your side advocating for justice and fairness, you can rest assured that all of your legal options are being explored so that you get the best possible outcome from this difficult situation.
Why Should I Hire a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney?
After a local crash, it is important to have an experienced bike accident law firm in Los Angeles handle your case. They can help you get the best outcome by exploring all of your legal options and making sure you understand your rights under the law.
Additionally, a bike crash victim may need an attorney to help collect evidence in a timely manner to prevent spoliation and the destruction of evidence by responsible parties. This is critical because evidence can be lost or tampered with if not preserved properly. Furthermore, an attorney can gather timely witness testimony before witnesses can forget important details about the accident.
Finally, meeting court deadlines like the California statute of limitations is crucial. An experienced attorney can ensure that all necessary paperwork and filings are submitted on time, so you do not lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Bike Accident in California?
In California, if you are injured in a bicycle accident, you have a limited amount of time to make a claim. This is called the statute of limitations and it is usually two years from the date of your accident. After this time has passed, you will no longer be able to make a claim for compensation. It is important that you contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer right away so they can help protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
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.
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.
What Steps Should You 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.