Modified: November 20, 2022

What Happens If You Hit a Cyclist with Your Car?

Did You Run Over a Bicyclist?

Bicycle Lawyer L.A. County

Ultimate Guide to Understanding Car Strikes against Riders

You should be ready to defend your rights, understand your car insurance coverage, and familiarize yourself with the same rules governing bicycle regulations in your state and town in addition to recovering from the incident.

Sometimes lawyers will reject your case. For example, did you already admit fault? If so, good luck finding a passionate lawyer. I am Los Angeles bicycle lawyer Michael Ehline. With the information provided below, I am going to prepare you for what to do after the police arrive at a bicycle accident scene. Let’s go!

In Los Angeles, cyclists are typically allowed to ride on public streets without bike lanes. The same laws and regulations that apply to other vehicles must be observed by cyclists to share the road safely with automobiles. However, before riding onto a road, cyclists are not obliged to pass any sort of certification course.

Consider your legal rights and options to consult a lawyer if you hit a cyclist with your car. Please don’t make the mistake of doing it alone. You deserve the best legal representation before filing or making any statements to an insurance company.

Share-the-Lane Rules and Requirements

Ideally, cyclists and drivers are meant to share the same public roads, but this is not always the case. The victim of a cyclist’s car accident may seek compensation for anything from personal injuries to property damage. A beneficiary or a relative of the victim could file a wrongful death claim in the case of a fatality.

As bicycle use rises, keep share-the-lane laws in mind to prevent bicycle accidents from happening:

  • Cycling is permitted on public roads, and all traffic regulations apply.
  • A bicycle may use the entire traffic lane and share it with no more than one other bicycle.
  • A passing bicycle requires at least three feet of space.
  • When changing lanes, vehicles and cyclists must use signals; cyclists will often use hand signals.
  • On the road, keep a safe distance from bicycles, and when parked, keep an eye out for them before opening the doors.

In Los Angeles, you are required to remain at the scene of a car accident if you hit a cyclist or group of pedestrians in California or you could end up in jail. Similarly, if you hit a cyclist in Florida, you must remain at the scene of the accident, as delineated in the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act. Like California, penalties include harsh penalties, including potential prison time.

Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Now

Have you read enough? We offer free consultations 24/7. Call us right now at (213) 596-9642. Still not convinced? Keep reading.

Adhering to Traffic Laws in Personal Injury Cases

On public roadways, bicycles must abide by the same standards of conduct but are exempt from needing a driver’s license, insurance, or license plates. You can be responsible for damages if your vehicle hits a cyclist. There are other causes of bicycle accidents than the irresponsibility of drivers. You could get assistance from our Los Angeles personal injury attorney in determining who is the at-fault driver.

The Aftermath of a Bicycle Accident

Essentially, you can be asked to submit to a blood and urine test to check for alcohol and drugs if you hit a cyclist while driving. Since motor vehicles are far heavier and more destructive than people on bicycles, they are often held responsible for car accidents involving cyclists.

You should never leave the scene of a car accident without making an effort to inform law enforcement; the local law enforcement agency in the state where the incident happened should be notified right away.

Insurance Company in a Bicycle Accident

Receiving medical attention for injuries suffered in a bicycle accident can be emotionally taxing and unsettling. In cases when injuries require medical attention, personal injury protection should be started immediately.

This is crucial if the individual wasn’t at fault for the bicycle accident. However, they must submit a personal injury protection claim to the driver’s insurance provider because their injuries require immediate medical attention.

When Your Insurance Doesn’t Cover the Cyclist

Your liability insurance wouldn’t pay for the cyclist’s losses if they were the cause of the accident. For example, you would be responsible for paying for any property damage or injuries to a cyclist if you hit them when they were using the required lighting at night. However, you won’t likely be held responsible if they are not the required lighting and you collide with them as a result of being unable to see them.

Other scenarios in which a cyclist might be held accountable for an accident include:

  • Riding the wrong way on a one-way street
  • Failure to signal properly
  • Rolling through a stop sign
  • Not riding in the bike lane.

Contacting the Insurer

Sometimes, the claim can be submitted to the wrongdoer’s insurance company. However, it is crucial to submit a claim to one’s own insurance company if they are underinsured or do not have insurance.

Suppose the other party’s insurance has an adjuster on-site. In that case, they should advise the parties involved to submit a claim with their insurance company if they cannot reach the other party’s insurance. Our law office has extensive experience in various practice areas, including judgments and settlements, medical malpractice, and personal injury.

Ehline Law Firm’s expertise in a wide range of practice areas offers a competitive edge when handling complicated legal issues. If you’d like a free case evaluation, contact us.

The Damages a Cyclist Can Receive

Bike accident victims in Los Angeles have a number of options for recovering from financial and non-financial losses. Economic damages are actual expenditures and expenses, such as medical expenses. Noneconomic damages include factors like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium that are intangible in nature.

You may be covered by insurance for claims involving property damage and bodily injury. However, if the other party was seriously hurt or died, you may still be subject to legal action. Remember that a cyclist’s legal action against you does not guarantee that it will be successful.

However, if they prevail, they might be able to obtain compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Property damages
  • Childcare cost, if their health prevented them from taking care of their family
  • Pain and suffering and inconvenience.

If you hit a cyclist with your car, they’ll probably approach your insurance company first to get their damages paid for. However, they have the option of going to court if they cannot reach a settlement claim with your insurance.

Bicycle Personal Injury Claims

The victim of a bicycle accident in Los Angeles has two years following the accident to file a personal injury claim. It’s crucial for both you and the victim that you defend your rights and return to your regular life.

Unfortunately, injuries or losses of all kinds will come from bike accidents. Following an accident, cyclists often sustain the following types of wounds:

  • Traumatic head or brain injuries
  • Nerve damages
  • Road rash
  • Injuries to the spinal cord
  • Broken or fractured bones.

The list of injuries that a cyclist may allege after an accident is not exhaustive, and each situation is different. However, there is a good possibility that a cyclist’s injury is serious if they make any sort of claim following an accident.

The At-Fault Party

Usually, the motorist who fails to yield to a bicyclist while making a turn is to blame for a bicycle accident. Even when the cyclist has the right of way, the negligent driver may still be responsible for their injuries.

If a cyclist is at fault for a bicycle accident and ignores basic safety precautions, they may be held liable for the harm and injuries suffered by the other person.

Through a settlement agreement, the at-fault party and the other party may decide on a fault allocation. However, the police investigation and examining the patient’s medical records provide the basis for the ultimate judgment.

Therefore, the decision of the appeals court in a case involving two cyclists who collided leads to this conclusion. Suppose you failed to maintain a proper lookout or disobeyed a road sign and hit a bicycle with your vehicle. In that case, you may be held legally liable and prosecuted on criminal charges.

Even though it is always unfortunate when a car collision involves a cyclist, it is tragically even more so when the vehicle’s driver is to blame. Your insurance provider will change the amount of your claim if you accept responsibility for a car collision. A cyclist has legal rights in a bike collision, even if he’s partially at fault because he has a right to use the road.

The Accident Scene

An owner of a vehicle has the right to relocate it out of the way of traffic before the police show up. The issue is that if you move a car involved in an accident, it might be impossible to figure out what caused it.

If you hit a cyclist with your car, ensure he gets medical attention immediately to avoid more problems. When the police show up, they evaluate the positions of the motor vehicles involved in the collision.

Furthermore, if you hit a bicycle with your car, our attorney can provide a free legal consultation to help you manage your personal injury lawsuit.

Cyclists Road Safety

Even when using a contraflow cycle lane, a cyclist on a side street should always ride in the direction of traffic.

Wearing a helmet and a reflective jacket is the simplest approach to reducing your chance of getting hurt in automobile collisions. Additionally, good lighting makes cyclists noticeable. You should also keep a safe distance because you could easily hit a bicycle with your car if you don’t.

A bike accident can result in serious injuries, so if you or a loved one has injured another driver, contact our law office for a free consultation to learn more specific information about your legal options. At Ehline Law Firm, our bicycle accident lawyer has extensive experience defending clients hurt in car accidents requiring an ambulance ride to the doctor at the hospital emergency room.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you hit a cyclist with your car, you might need a lawyer to help you through the legal system, as well as the car insurance system. One error could cost you in the long run during this difficult time. This is because the complexities of lawsuits and insurance claims can be difficult to negotiate on your own.

Our staff at the law firm can look into the circumstances of the collision and gather the information that defers liability, including the police report. We will manage all interactions with the parties concerned. We will look into any pure comparative negligence issues to rule out any fault by you.

We can discuss your legal options with you, go over the laws governing bicycle accidents, and advise you on how to proceed after an accident. Calling our office to schedule a free consultation is never a hassle. Expect the best when you hire our bicycle crash attorneys for legal services. You can reach us at (213) 596-9642, and we can answer your questions and start working on your case right now.


Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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