El Segundo Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Qualified Bicycle Accident Lawyers In El Segundo, CA
While biking provides an alternative to driving in Los Angeles traffic, accidents can still result in serious injuries to bicyclists who follow safety laws. Due to the lack of protection beyond a helmet, injuries sustained can be life-threatening. If you’ve been harmed in a bicycle accident in California, it’s crucial to have a skilled El Segundo bicycle lawyer in your corner.
At Sheridan & Rund, PC Kahroba, we have a track record of helping clients receive the maximum compensation for their injuries. We are confident in our ability to secure a favorable outcome in your case. By working on a contingency basis, you won’t have to pay anything unless we win your case. Reach out to our personal injury team today to discuss your legal options and how we can help you.
California Bicyclist Rights and Responsibilities
In California, bicycles are considered vehicles and therefore, must follow the same rules as motorists. Bicyclists must stop at red lights, ride in the same direction as traffic, and have the same rights as other vehicles. They can ride in the roadway when there is no bike lane and ride two abreast in a single lane. Unfortunately, motorists often disregard the rights of bicyclists and put them in dangerous situations which can result in severe injuries or even death.
It has been observed that California has the highest number of bicycling crash deaths per year in the United States. The majority of these crashes happen in urban areas where there is frequent interaction between cars and bicycles. The main cause of injuries and deaths to bicyclists in this state is due to cars hitting them. Many of these incidents occur when drivers do not yield the right of way, fail to check for bicycles before pulling out, run stop signs or red lights, or do not remain attentive while driving. Texting while driving, drunk driving, and careless driving are all factors that can contribute to a bicycle collision.
Bicyclists in California are often severely injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicle drivers who usually sustain no injuries. To minimize the risk of accidents, it is important for bicyclists to be cautious and use defensive cycling techniques. It is best not to assume that cars will stop for you or yield the right of way. However, accidents can still occur due to reckless or negligent driving by car drivers. It is important to immediately consult with an El Segundo bicycle accident lawyer following an accident, regardless of the severity of your injuries. You have the right to explore your options for compensation with an experienced attorney, who can help you recover damages such as medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents In California
There are many situations that can lead to a bicycle accident. Some of the most common causes are listed below:
- Distracted driving
- Cars passing too close to a bicycle
- Fatigued or drowsy drivers
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unsafe right or left turns
- Dooring (opening a car door that’s parked on the street in front of oncoming bicycles)
Please remember that drivers are not always the sole cause of accidents involving bicycles. There are other common factors that contribute to bicycle accidents as well, including:
- Uneven or broken pavement
- Debris on the roadway
- Slippery or unsafe road conditions
- Adverse weather such as heavy fog or rain
- Poor lighting at night
- Defective bicycle components
If your bike accident wasn’t caused by a driver, you could still be eligible for compensation for any injuries you sustained. Our bike accident lawyers in El Segundo, CA can assess your case to identify who is responsible and assist you in obtaining the compensation you’re entitled to.
Hit And Run Bicycle Accidents In Los Angeles County
Bicyclists involved in accidents are often hit by drivers who flee the scene, despite it being illegal. These drivers may be aware that they were driving under the influence, texting while driving, or not paying attention. They may panic and try to avoid responsibility. If you were the victim of a hit-and-run bicycle accident, you still have options. Although it is unlikely that you will find the person who hit you, you might have uninsured/under-insured motorist insurance, which can cover any expenses related to medical treatment or property damage.
In the event of a hit-and-run while on your bike, be sure to gather statements from any eyewitnesses as soon as possible. This will help investigators identify the person responsible for the damages and hold them accountable. It is important to file a police report immediately, as the police have resources to help locate the driver. Additionally, your insurance company may require a police report to process your claim. Seek medical attention for any injuries right away. Once you are able, contact your auto insurance company to inquire about uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. This coverage may be useful in settling your claim.
California Bike Laws That Can Affect Your Injury Claim
In California, operating a bicycle comes with responsibilities similar to driving a car. To avoid getting a citation or compromising your claim, it’s important to stay updated on bicycle safety laws. The California Vehicle Code outlines the rights and responsibilities of California bicyclists, including important sections that you should know about, such as:
- Bicycle Requirements – To ride a bike on the road in California, it is required to have brakes that enable you to make a one-wheel skid on dry pavement. Also, the handlebars of the bike must not be higher than your shoulders, and if you ride in the dark, you must use lamps and reflectors to make yourself visible. The lamps must illuminate the path in front of you and be noticeable from 300 feet away from all sides of the bike.
- Impaired Riding – According to California bicycle law, it is prohibited to ride a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Using Dedicated Bike Lanes – To prevent accidents, make sure to ride your bicycle in the direction of traffic flow when using bike lanes. When necessary to stop, find a safe place away from the road and bike lane; don’t stop in the middle of the lane. Also, note that freeways and expressways may prohibit bicycles depending on the local government agency. And remember, if there are dedicated bike lanes available, you must use them.
Even obey all bike safety regulations, accidents may occur due to other motorists or circumstances. If you have sustained injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to receive compensation. Please contact our El Segundo bicycle accident lawyers right away to explore your legal alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Do Bicycle Accidents Most Frequently Occur?
Some of the most common ways that bicycle accidents occur in California include:
- Crashes At Intersections – If a driver fails to stop at an intersection while a cyclist does, it often results in a rear-end collision. This is frequently due to the driver speeding or being distracted, ultimately leading to an accident.
- Door Crashes – A parked car door may be opened by a driver without noticing a cyclist approaching from behind, causing the cyclist to collide with the open door.
- Left Turn Crashes – At an intersection, a cyclist collided with the side of a car when a driver made a left-hand turn without paying attention and cut in front of the cyclist.
- Right Turn Crashes – When a car and a cyclist are approaching an intersection, the driver may make a mistake by turning right, but not staying within their lane and instead crossing into the bicycle lane. This mistake can result in a collision with the cyclist who is going straight. Often, the driver forgets to use their right turn signal, which can be dangerous and lead to severe injuries for the cyclist.
What Are The Classifications Of Bicycle Lanes In California?
Bicycle riders travel on different classes of bikeways, such as protected lanes, bike paths, and shared routes. Below are the classifications of bike lanes in California.
- Class I – This bikeway type is designed for off-road paths and trails, and is separate from streets used by cars. It is primarily used for bicycles and recreational activities.
- Class II – These are standard bike lanes with one striped line that only permit one-way cycling on each side of the road.
- Class III – The lanes for bicycles are labeled as a “bicycle route” and are shared with vehicles. They are separated by a pole barrier or clear white line and marked by signs. The route may also include sharrows.
- Class IV – This is a bike lane that’s physically separated from the road and has its own barriers, like cones, railways, and posts. It can be used for one-way or two-way travel depending on where you are.
What Are The Statute Of Limitations For Bicycle Accident Claims In California?
The statute of limitation is the time limit for filing a legal claim, based on the type of case. In California, the time limit for filing a bicycle accident claim depends on certain factors.
- If you are bringing a lawsuit against the government, you typically have six months from the date of the accident.
- If you are bringing a lawsuit against a private citizen, you typically have two years from the date of the accident.
There are some cases when exceptions can be made for the statute of limitations. If you only realize your injuries further down the line, the statute may be extended. Additionally, accidents involving minors have a different time limit where the countdown begins from the age of 18 instead of the date of the injury.
Contact Our El Segundo Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident in California and are suffering from disabilities, financial losses, and pain and suffering, don’t worry. Our team of dedicated El Segundo bicycle accident lawyers at Sheridan & Rund, PC Kahroba, are highly skilled and committed to helping victims in this difficult situation. We take on even the most challenging injury cases because we believe we can help you and your family through this difficult time. Contact our office today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.