Bicycle accidents can result in devastating, life-altering injuries. Bicyclists have minimal protections in the event of a forceful collision with a larger vehicle. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in California, you should consult the Los Angeles and Ventura County bicycle accident lawyers at the Knoll Law Group. We also represent victims statewide.Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists have all the rights and are subject to all the legal provisions that apply to the drivers of larger vehicles, such as laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol. Like drivers of cars, they may need to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks at intersections. They must ride in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic. There are also special rules that apply to bicyclists. Bicyclists must use lights and reflectors when biking at night. They are also supposed to use bike lanes when bike lanes are available. Bicyclists under age 18 are supposed to wear a helmet.
Even when bicyclists follow the laws and rules of the road, they can be involved in serious accidents. They are particularly at risk of an accident at intersections or when drivers merge into traffic from the right. Drivers of cars and other vehicles owe bicyclists a duty to use reasonable care. You may be able to recover damages if a driver’s negligence caused your injuries. A bicycle accident attorney in Ventura County or Los Angeles will need to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care but did not use the care that was reasonable under the circumstances.
Drivers breach the duty to use reasonable care in many different situations, including by speeding, drunk driving, tailgating, weaving, failing to check blind spots, failing to yield, or failing to obey traffic signs and signals. If, for example, a speeding driver tried to overtake you in traffic and swerved into your bicycle, it is likely that a judge or jury would find that the driver failed to use reasonable care. Similarly, if you had the right of way through a green light, and a driver turning left failed to yield and drove into you, it is likely that a judge or jury would determine that the driver failed to use reasonable care.Comparative Negligence
Often, insurance adjusters for at-fault drivers try to show that bicyclists were partially or fully to blame for accidents. California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. A jury asked to consider comparative negligence will listen to all the arguments and evidence presented; it will determine the total damages that you sustained, and it will assign each party a percentage of fault for the bicycle accident. Your damages may be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if the total damages are $100,000, and you are found to be 30% at fault, you may be able to recover $70,000 from the driver. Our Los Angeles and Ventura County bicycle accident attorneys know how to prevent insurers from unfairly exploiting this rule.Damages
Bicycle accidents may result in serious or even fatal injuries to a bicyclist, even when the driver of a larger vehicle in an accident walks away without a scratch. Bicyclists may suffer traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, crushing injuries, broken bones, and contusions. The amount of damages that you may be able to recover depends on the severity of your injuries.
Generally, if we can establish liability, you should be able to recover compensatory damages. These can include both economic and non-economic damages, such as medical bills, lost income, replacement services, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, disfigurement, scarring, and pain and suffering. If a loved one died in a bicycle accident, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a wrongful death lawsuit.Retain a Knowledgeable Bicycle Accident Attorney
For most people, it is difficult to deal with the aftermath of a bicycle accident. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in California, you should consult the Knoll Law Group for advice and representation. Call us at (800) 954-5459 or complete our online form to discuss your case with a bicycle accident lawyer serving Ventura County and Los Angeles, as well as other areas throughout California.