In California, it’s no surprise that many people enjoy riding their bikes.
With beautiful warm weather, it’s hard not to appreciate the great outdoors by taking a quick ride through the city of Los Angeles.
However, there is always a risk of being hit by a negligent or careless driver.
If this ever happens to you, our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney will fight for your recovery on your behalf.
California Bike Accident Statistics
Since the state of California has many bicyclists, it tends to have a high number of bicycle accidents compared to other states.
A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that California had the 2nd highest amount of annual bicyclist fatalities nationwide.
Unfortunately, Los Angeles is among the most dangerous cities for bicyclists in the state. According to data from the NHTSA, annual bicyclist fatalities increased by about 42% in LA County from 2008 to 2018.
In addition, bicycle accident fatalities accounted for 7.3% of all road fatalities in LA County during 2018.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents have a variety of causes. Since some drivers don’t like to share the road, bicyclists are more likely to encounter dangerous scenarios that put them at risk.
As such, some of the most common causes of these accidents in Los Angeles include:
- Door collisions—In many urban areas, you frequently see drivers park on the side of the street in a bike lane and open their door. This gives any bicyclist riding in the bike lane no time to react, often leading to a high-speed crash.
- Lane changing collisions—Another common accident involving bike lanes is when a driver changes into a lane on the other side of a bike lane. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t look beforehand, colliding with the cyclist using that lane.
- Careless or aggressive driving—Sometimes, drivers think they can multitask while driving, whether it’s using a phone or putting on makeup. Unfortunately, it’s also no secret that some drivers dislike sharing the road with bicyclists and may drive aggressively around them out of anger. Both of these situations often lead to serious accidents.
- DUI or DWI—Those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol put every person on the road at risk. However, bicyclists are more at risk since they have nothing to protect them from such drivers.
While these are just some of the more common ways bicycle accidents occur, they don’t represent every case.
Even if your crash happens in a different way, we recommend you speak with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
Types of Damages in Bike Accidents
Typically, plaintiffs seek two types of damages in a bike accident case: economic and non-economic. Each damage type plays a significant role in your claim and impacts the total value of your case.
Economic damages are the pillar of any personal injury case, as they help reimburse victims for financial losses.
Several things count as a financial loss, including but not limited to:
- Past and future medical treatment costs,
- Required medications or surgeries for injuries,
- Lost wages during the recovery process,
- Reduced future earning capacity, and
- Property damage.
While calculating past losses involves adding up bills for services already received, figuring out future costs is more complicated.
However, our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney can consult with medical experts to determine the potential cost of future treatment.
Non-economic damages are a little more complex because they involve non-financial losses. In other words, they are intangible and result in primarily emotional or physical costs.
For example, non-economic damages may refer to:
- Loss of quality of life,
- Permanent disfigurement,
- Severe disability,
- Mental anguish, and
- Pain and suffering.
How bike accident lawyers in Los Angeles calculate non-economic damages varies. Some may multiply the economic damages by a specific number.
Others might calculate a per-day recovery cost. It usually depends on the circumstances of the case. For example, if your injury results in permanent disability, they may use a multiplier.
However, the best way to know the value of your non-economic damages is to consult with a Los Angeles bike accident attorney.
How Negligence May Affect Your Case
Although California doesn’t have an explicit law regarding negligence, legal precedent for negligence was set in 1975 after the case Li v. Yellow Cab Co.
According to this ruling, California follows a pure comparative negligence doctrine. So, how does this affect your case?
Essentially, this rule means that a plaintiff may seek damages even if they are 99% at fault for their own injuries. However, the court reduces their award by that percentage of fault.
Here’s an example of how this might work in a bicycle accident case. Let’s say a bicyclist approaches a four-way stop sign. Instead of stopping and looking both ways, the bicyclist continues through the intersection at a slower speed.
Another car runs the stop sign at a high speed and collides with the bicyclist. As a result, the victim has around $1,000,000 in damages.
In court, the jury finds the bicyclist 40% at fault for their injuries since they also didn’t stop at the stop sign. This means that the bicyclist receives an award of $600,000.
As you can see, negligence plays a significant role in any bicycle accident case.
That’s why it’s essential to retain a Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney who understands the evidence needed to show your side of the story.
Contact the Weinberg Law Offices to Discuss Your Case
Bicycle accidents are some of the most serious accidents in California. Even a relatively minor or low-speed crash may result in devastating injuries for the victim.
If you or a loved one gets hit by a negligent driver, we’re here to help you recover. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to all potential clients.
To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 818-697-1079 or contact us online. Our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney is here to help you find justice.