Eisenberg Law Group

Los Angeles Bicycle
Accident Attorneys

Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Although bicycles are commonly used for recreation, transportation, and for exercise, bicycle accidents are both common and dangerous.  According to the United States government, there were over 850 fatal bicycle accidents in the U.S. in 2018 alone.  Because bicycle accidents can be life-threatening, it is critical to understand the laws that apply to bicycle riders.

The attorneys at Eisenberg Law Group are bicycle riders themselves.  They are very familiar with the ins and outs of riding a bicycle on the streets of Los Angeles, and they know that drivers often fail to keep a proper look out for bicyclists.  Moreover, due to their own experiences riding bicycles and handling bicycle accident cases, the attorneys at Eisenberg Law Group understand the mechanics of bicycle accidents, the devastating injuries they can cause, and the best way to prepare and prove your bicycle accident case so that you get full and fair compensation.

What Do I Need to Know About California Bicycle Laws?

Bicyclists Have the Same Rights and Responsibilities as Drivers: A bicycle is treated the same as an automobile for the purposes of the California Vehicle Code.  California Vehicle Code § 21200(a)(a)(1) provides that a person riding a bicycle has all of the rights and is subject to all of the rules applicable to the driver of a vehicle.

When Passing a Bicyclist a Driver Must Keep a Safe Distance: the law in the State of California mandates that where a car and a bicycle are going in the same direction and the car wants to pass or go around the bicyclist, the driver of the car is required to keep a safe amount of space between the car and bicyclist, and the driver cannot impede the bicyclist’s ability to travel safely.

Bicyclists Must Ride the Same Direction as Traffic: the California Vehicle Code requires that bicyclists and vehicles alike be driven on the right side of the road.

Bicyclists Must Ride in the Bike Lane When Possible: according to California Vehicle Code § 21208(a), a bicyclist must ride in the bicycle lane whenever there is one, except in the following situations:

  • If the cyclist is passing or going around a cyclist, car, or person walking
  • If the cyclist is getting ready to make a left-hand turn
  • If the cyclist needs to go around debris or other dangerous objects in the bike lane
  • If the cyclist is getting ready to make a right-hand turn

Wear a Helmet if You are Under 18 Years Old: according to California Vehicle Code § 21212(a), a person under 18 years of age must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

Have Lights on Your Bicycle While Riding at Night: the California Vehicle Code provides that when you ride your bicycle at night, you must have the following:

  • Your bicycle must have a light on it
  • Your bicycle must have a red reflective device or a flashing red light on the back of it
  • The rear of your bicycle must have a reflective device or flashing light on it
  • Your bicycle pedals should have reflectors on them
  • Your bicycle should have a reflective device at the front and rear of the middle of your bicycle

Bicyclists May or May Not be Allowed to Ride on the Sidewalk: California law allows local governments to put in place their own ordinances or rules regarding bicycles on sidewalks.  Therefore, each city, county, or municipality may have a different ordinance or rule permitting or prohibiting bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk.

Bicyclists May or May Not be Allowed to Ride on the Sidewalk: California law allows local governments to put in place their own ordinances or rules regarding bicycles on sidewalks.  Therefore, each city, county, or municipality may have a different ordinance or rule permitting or prohibiting bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk.

Am I at Fault if I Didn’t Follow All of These Laws?

You are not automatically at fault if you are involved in a bicycle accident and didn’t follow each and every one of these laws.  As a bicycle rider, you will be held to the same negligence standard that a driver of an automobile is held to.  The question is, did you act as a reasonably careful person would have in the same or similar situation?If you did, then you will not be found at fault for the accident.  In order to see if you have a case, you should immediately call Eisenberg Law Group for a FREE, no obligation consultation.

What Causes Bicycle Accidents?

These are some of the main reasons that bicyclists get injured in accidents:

  • Damaged or defective roadways
  • Driving and texting by drivers that are traveling near a bicyclist
  • Driving and texting by drivers that are traveling near a bicyclist
  • Drivers not looking out for bicyclists
  • Drivers making unsafe movements from one lane to another
  • Dangerous driving by other cars on the road

Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents

  • Cuts, bruising, scrapes, and bleeding
  • Injuries to the wrist bones, forearm bones, hand bones, and arm bones
  • Injuries to the cervical spine (the neck), the lumbar spine (the low back), the thoracic spine (the mid back), and to the shoulders
  • Injuries to the head including concussions, brain injuries, and possible lacerations or fragmentation of the skull

When is the Best Time to Make a Claim?

California law requires an individual injured in a bicycle accident to file a personal injury lawsuit two years or less after the accident date.  The exception is an injury caused by an individual acting on the government’s behalf or directly from the government.  Such an injury requires the entering of a Claim for Damages withing six months of the accident date.  However, you should start your claim immediately after your bicycle accident so that critical evidence and witnesses are not lost.

Legal Damages Following a Bicycle Accident

California law states those injured in biking accidents are permitted to recover both non-economic and economic damages.  Examples of economic damages are medical expenses pertaining to medical treatment, medication, and medical equipment.  Also, economic damages cover your lost wages and property damage.

Damages of the non-economic variety include but are not limited to emotional pain, inconvenience, reduced quality of life, physical pain, grief and mental anguish.  Our legal team is here to ensure you obtain as much money as possible for each type of damage in full accordance with the law.

How to Proceed After Your Bike Accident

The first thing to do is check everyone’s well-being.  If anyone is in considerable pain, contact emergency medical providers for assistance.  Next, reach out to the local authorities, such as the police or fire department, so a formal report can be filed.  Make sure to get the insurance information- including the name of the insurance company and the policy number- for every driver involved in the accident.  It is always best to take a photo of all drivers’ insurance cards.  Further, write down or take snapshots of the driver’s licenses and license plates for every car in the accident.  Make sure to get the names, mailing addresses, and telephone number of all people in the crash, including witnesses.  Be sure to take pictures of the damage to your bike, your body, the vehicles and the closest intersection. 

Our Law Firm is on Your Side

Reach out to our law firm for a no-obligation, no-cost appointment.  You can reach the Eisenberg Law Group by dialing 818-591-8058.  If you prefer to contact us by email, send a message to Office@gcelaw.com.  You can also fill out our contact form and we will reach out to you at our earliest convenience.

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