Los Angeles, California, is known for being a city where having a car is a priority, yet plenty of bicyclists travel on these roads every day. Still, bicyclists face higher risks of injury and death when they share the road with vehicles, which can be intimidating in certain parts of Los Angeles where traffic congestion is high.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), bicycle accident deaths rose from 145 to 155 in 2018, showing a 6.89 percent increase since 2017. To compare this number to a national scale, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 857 bicycle fatalities in the United States in 2018.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, or if you lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you might be entitled to have your damages and losses compensated by the liable party. For more information on how to go about filing your case, call Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices at (888) 522-6291. We can also discuss what you might expect when working with a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer from our team.
Motorists Must Abide by Bicycle Laws to Avoid Collisions
To keep roadways safe for bicyclists and motorists, both parties must abide by laws written in the California Vehicle Code and give the right of way when appropriate. One of the general understandings all road users must keep in mind is that bicyclists have a legal right to share the road and follow the same traffic rules as everyone else.
Basically, bicyclists are allowed to use road lanes. However, they are required to use a bicycle lane if present or keep right on the road unless they are:
- Making a left turn
- Overtaking or passing another bicyclist
- Avoiding a road hazard or construction site
According to the California Vehicle Code (VEH) §21209, motorists must avoid driving in bicycle lanes unless they are about to turn, enter or leave the roadway, or park in a spot adjacent to the bicycle lane. Motorists must also abide by the Three Feet for Safety Act, written in the VEH §21760, which mandates that all drivers keep a minimum distance of three feet between their vehicle and a bicyclist when overtaking or passing on the road. Failure to do so may result in fines.
Your Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer can review the legal statutes that apply to your case and explain your rights further based on these laws.
If you would like to ask more specific questions about your case in relation to these bicycle laws, you may call Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices at (888) 522-6291 and receive a free consultation. From there, if you decide to work with us, we can begin setting up your client profile and start gathering information to support your case.
Your Lawyer May Help You Calculate Your Damages Before Pursuing Compensation
Whether you file a claim or lawsuit, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills and property damage if you were injured because of someone’s negligence. Within these two categories, that may include compensation for costs of:
- Emergency room care and hospitals stays
- Surgeries and other extensive medical procedures
- X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans
- Lab work tests
- Medical support devices, such as crutches, wheelchairs, or arm slings
- Repair bills for your bicycle
- The total value of your bicycle if it was destroyed beyond repair
- Replacement value of bicycle accessories and equipment
If you pursue a lawsuit, you might be able to pursue various non-economic losses, which are not always covered in an insurance claim. These losses might include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in activities, such as cycling
- Loss of quality of life if your injuries permanently affected how you live
- Permanent disability, whether partial or total
- Scarring and disfigurement
Damages Related to a Loved One’s Wrongful Death
Sadly, because bicyclists usually only have a helmet to protect them, they do not have much defense against motor vehicles that weigh over two tons. In the event that a bicyclist passes away because of a collision with a motor vehicle, certain family members may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit to recover compensation on their behalf. Per the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §377.60, eligible individuals include the bicyclist’s:
- Surviving spouse or domestic partner
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents or legal guardians if not spouse or child is present
- Personal representative
In wrongful death cases, plaintiffs may pursue damages related to their loved one’s death, such as funeral expenses and final medical expenses before death. However, they may also be entitled to damages related to their loved one’s absence, such as:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental guidance and emotional support
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
Keep Note of the Filing Deadline
You must make sure that you are still within the appropriate timeframe when bringing your lawsuit. The statute of limitations written in the CCP §335.1 generally allows plaintiffs to submit their lawsuit within two years of the injury event. You can confirm this date by reviewing the crash report, which you may get a copy of at the local police station where the accident occurred.
Please note that if you do not file your case on time, you might surrender your right to compensation and be forced to pay for your losses out of pocket.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices
When you need legal assistance, look to Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices to be the ones to help you. Our team works diligently to collect the materials you need to put your case together and prove your claims. We have handled bicycle accident cases and helped our clients fight for the compensation they deserved.
If you or a loved one was an unfortunate victim of a bicycle accident, our legal team wants to stand by your side and help you pursue the money you need to begin recovering from your losses. Call (888) 522-6291 for a free case evaluation and learn more about how a Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer can serve you.