Cycling is growing in popularity in Los Angeles. People enjoy cycling to get exercise, enjoy the balmy weather, reduce traffic and carbon emissions. But these benefits come with risks. Los Angeles poses many serious risks for cyclists that can sometimes result in grave injury or even death.
A recent case involved a 62-year-old Porter Ranch man who was riding his bike in a bike lane on Reseda Blvd. He hit a broken piece of pavement that had been pushed up by a tree root, crashed, and broke his neck. He will spend the rest of his life as a quadriplegic. The road he was on was recently graded F for its condition. The city of Los Angeles will pay $7.5 million to settle that personal injury lawsuit. His attorney stated the city had received several complaints about that dangerous road condition but did nothing.
Another cyclist suffered a traumatic brain injury when he hit a pothole and crashed in Sherman Oaks, and still another died in Eagle Rock after he hit a patch of bad pavement and went over the handlebars.
Costly Lawsuits Hitting The City Hard
The city of Los Angeles paid out $19 million to cyclists and their families last year for deaths and injuries on city streets. This is almost four times higher than any other year in the last 10. While the Bureau of Street Services states the city has 4,821 lane miles of bike lanes, the surge of payouts is making it harder for LA to brand itself as bike-friendly.
Fixing the most problematic streets is so expensive that the city is focusing resources on preventing less troublesome roads from becoming even worse. That is why some of the worst streets have not been touched. This includes some streets where bike lanes have been recently installed. According to a Los Angeles Times analysis, 19% of the bike lanes in the city, about 180 miles, are on streets graded D or F.
Funding for street repairs has increased since the last recession, but the Bureau of Street Services is not spending all the money in the budget; it states it has had difficulty filling vacant positions.
And in many of the most expensive lawsuits, the city failed to fully repair damaged roads even though it sent workers to perform other work in the area.
Bike accident victims and their lawyers say many city workers have ignored obviously dangerous road hazards as they do their work. They often walk past dangerous potholes as they fix another part of the road. One attorney, who sits on the board of the California Bicycle Coalition, says road crews just do what the work order tells them to do, and they will not fix anything else on the street that needs it.
If you are a cyclist in Los Angeles who has been injured by a poorly maintained roadway, it is important to speak to a personal injury attorney right away. The city of Los Angeles is aware of the problems with its roads and the dangers posed to bikers. This documented knowledge could be helpful in successfully pursuing legal action against the city for a biker’s injuries.
Hurt in a Biking Accident in Southern California? Contact Neale & Fhima Personal Injury Attorneys
Being injured in a biking accident usually results in serious injuries. You could even be permanently disabled. If you have been injured on your bike due to poor road maintenance, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You could be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and more. For a complimentary consultation about your bike accident case, please contact us online or by calling 949-661-1007.