The bicycle accident lawyers at Ellis Law, based in LA for more than two decades, represent bicycle commuters, couriers and recreational cyclists who’ve been harmed by reckless or negligent drivers. Ask any seasoned cyclist living in the Los Angeles metro area and they’ll warn you of the city’s inherently dangerous streets. This past year, pedestrians accounted for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities in LA, and three percent of those deaths were cyclists.
Most bicycle accidents in Southern California are caused by motorists who either do not see the cyclists or choose to ignore their rights. In Los Angeles, bicyclists are afforded the same rights and obligations as any motor vehicle, except in areas where sidewalk riding ordinances and bike lanes are present.
Ellis Law represents bike accident victims in LA
Bicycle accidents, by their very nature, often leave cyclists with serious bodily injuries – sometimes requiring months or even years of medical treatment. If you were struck while commuting to work, or simply enjoying a recreational ride, the faster you retain Los Angeles car accident lawyers, the better your chances are for financial recovery.
Prompt action from experienced personal injury lawyers at Ellis Law will ensure your legal rights are protected every step of the way. Our bike accident attorneys will help you understand your eligibility for securing monetary damages to cover your injuries and economic losses.
Common causes of bicycle accidents
Due to the complexity of laws surrounding California bicycle accidents and liability for personal injuries, pursuing a case without competent attorneys is not recommended. Ellis Law understands the hazards cyclists face from negligent and reckless motorists and have secured more than $100 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.
We are well-versed in the common causes of LA bicycle accidents and are prepared to help victims on their road to recovery.
In our experience, the most frequent situations that lead to bicycle accidents include:
- Intersection collisions
- Merging or lane changes
- Motorists passing cyclist without adequate distance
- Left turning vehicle at an intersection
- Right turning car traveling ahead of or overtaking a cyclist
- The open door collision
- Rear-ended by a car when merging lanes to turn left
- Side-swiped by a passing car
- Rear-ended by a passing vehicle
- Dog attacks
Serious rider injuries sustained in bike accidents
While California’s mandatory helmet laws have reduced the incidence of fatal injuries, any type of bicycle crash can cause catastrophic damages.
The most common bike accident injuries include:
- Closed head injuries and concussion
- Broken legs, arms and ribs
- Back injuries and herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Deep abrasions known as “road rash”
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Damage to internal organs
Any of the above injuries can entail long-term medical treatment, diagnostic tests, surgeries and costly rehabilitation. Hospital expenses can tally in the thousands of dollars, putting added strain on the victim.
When partnering with Ellis Law, you can be assured our bicycle accident lawyers will do everything in our power to obtain maximum compensation, either through an insurance settlement or a jury-appointed award.
Our immediate goal is to help our clients focus on their recovery, while we handle all aspects of litigation, making sure that victims recoup fair compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and emotional suffering, and any other non-economic losses.
Intricacies of establishing liability
Determining fault in bicycle & car accident lawsuits isn’t always cut and dry. That’s why injured cyclists should entrust this vital task to a team of highly experienced car accident attorneys who will carefully review the crash scene, and work with in-house experts to reconstruct events leading up to the collision.
At Ellis Law, after analyzing every detail of your case to determine who was responsible, we’ll gather depositions of physicians and retain expert witnesses should your claim go before a jury. The majority of bicycle accident lawsuits in Los Angeles involve negligent motorists, but in cases where visual obstructions or dangerous road conditions such as potholes were present, the city or property owner may be held accountable.
Don’t be fooled by unscrupulous insurance companies that may try and negotiate a settlement with your “best interests” in mind. In their efforts to save money, most will offer low-ball amounts, which don’t reflect the true nature of your injuries and losses. Our personal injury attorneys will take care of all communication with insurance carriers in a way that positions you for the most favorable outcome.
Los Angeles unsafe for cyclists, new safety law enacted
The disheartening reality is that Los Angeles is not a safe city for cyclists. A recent study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that LA drivers kill bicyclists and pedestrians at a significantly higher rate than the national average. Nearly a quarter of all trips in Los Angeles County are on bicycle or foot, but less than one percent of transportation funding goes toward bike lanes and other much needed infrastructure.
Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the “Three Feet for Safety Act,” which requires drivers who pass cyclists from behind to keep a three foot distance between their vehicles and the biker. In the past, motorists were expected to keep a “safe distance” when passing cyclists, but this bill spells out the exact distance required by law. Though heartily endorsed by the California Bicycling Coalition, it remains to be seen if this new legislation will help reduce bicycle accident injuries and fatalities on LA’s increasingly congested roads.
Leading bicycle injury attorneys in LA
If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident in the greater LA area, you need a lawyer with considerable experience both trying cases before a jury and dealing with insurance companies. As your attorneys at Ellis Law, we are prepared to litigate on your behalf if the insurance company is unwilling to settle your claim for the amount you deserve.
If you would like to discuss your case with one of our Los Angeles attorneys without charge or obligation, call us toll-free at 1-800-INJURED to set up a consultation to discuss your legal options.
- Los Angeles Times, L.A. as a bike-friendly place? Forget it. It's too dangerous, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/oct/25/news/la-ol-cyclist-movies-this-is-40-crashes-20131024
- Los Angeles Times, L.A. drivers have high rate of fatal pedestrian, cyclist crashes, http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/02/business/la-fi-mo-auto-traffic-deaths-20121001
- KTLA.com. Gov. Brown Signs Law Requiring Cars Give Bikes 3 Feet of Clearance, http://ktla.com/2013/09/23/gov-brown-signs-law-requiring-cars-give-bikes-3-feet-of-clearance/#axzz2tnYSMzzj