As a bicyclist, being hit by a car or truck can leave you crippled with serious injuries. Neale & Fhima is an experienced southern California law firm that can help bicycle accident victims and their families recover maximum compensation for their injuries and damages.
Bicycle accidents happen every day across California and America. In 2015, 818 bicyclists were killed in accidents with motor vehicles, and 45,000 were injured. When a bicycling accident happens, serious injury or death is almost certain.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Given the size discrepancy between a motor vehicle and a bike, injuries in bicycle accidents are often severe, long lasting, and debilitating:
- Broken bones: Common broken bones are arms, legs, ribs and skull. Broken bones can take months to heal, and can cause chronic pain and disability. Many cyclists with broken bones lose weeks or months of work time and should consider filing a personal injury claim to recover lost wages.
- Blunt force trauma: Some injuries to cyclists do not penetrate the skin, but still are very serious. Bruising or rupturing of the spleen, liver, lungs or intestines can leave the victim with irreparable injuries that result in life-long diminished quality of life.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): TBIs can range from a concussion to severe brain injuries. In any brain injury, the victim will suffer some type of mental, physical, emotional or behavioral impairment. In the worst bicycle accidents, the victim may be permanently brain damaged or paralyzed, in need of expensive, life-time care.
At Neale & Fhima, we are experienced in helping bicycle accident victims in Los Angeles and southern California understand their legal rights. We help those seriously injured in these severe accidents to receive the maximum settlement or verdict for their accident losses. Contact us for a consultation today at 949-661-1007.
Common Bicycle Accident Scenarios
There are several common bicycle accident scenarios that occur every day in busy southern California:
- Car pulls out from side street: The most common bike accident is when a car pulls out from a street or parking lot and strikes the cyclist. Driving studies have shown that drivers often look in the middle of the roadway for traffic, but do not look at the side of the street. The driver usually is at fault; bike riders are afforded the same rights as motorists, and cars must yield to them.
- Driver opens door and hits bike: It is common for drivers to open their doors into bicyclists. Many fail to check side mirrors, and even if they do, they may not see the cyclist. This accident is always the driver’s fault. California law states that no driver may open a vehicle door on the side of moving traffic ‘unless it is reasonably safe to do so.’
- Car hits cyclist riding against traffic: If the driver is pulling out from the side street to turn right, he will usually look left to look for traffic. If a bike rider is traveling on the left side of the road, the driver could hit him. This could be a case of shared fault.
- Car turns in front of bike: A very common crash is when a car turns right or left in front of a bicycle. This is almost always the driver’s fault.
- Car hits cyclist traveling in same direction: When a car is passing a bike on the right side of the road, it is the driver’s obligation to do so safely. This accident is usually the driver’s fault. California has the “Three Feet for Safety Act” that requires drivers to maintain a three-foot space when passing bicycles. A driver hitting a cyclist in this scenario usually is liable for his injuries and damages.
Whatever type of bicycle accident you were in, an experienced personal injury attorney can look at your case to determine who was most likely at fault for the accident. California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that fault is allocated between parties and any settlement or verdict will be reduced according to percentage of fault.
For example, if the accident caused you $20,000 in damages, but it is determined that you were 20% at fault, your maximum compensation would be reduced by $4,000.
Assigning degree of fault in an accident is complex, and you should hire an attorney experienced in comparative negligence bicycle accident claims.
Have You Been in a Bicycle Accident? Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or your loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident, you should have a law firm in your corner to fight for your legal rights. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Neale & Fhima will not waver before we receive a fair settlement or verdict for your bicycle accident injuries. We can help you. Please request your free consultation today by contacting Neale & Fhima at 949-661-1007, or kindly complete our online consultation form.