Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Greater L.A. is a place with great Pacific views and lots of people and cars. Many people resort to bikes for fun and recreation. But riding a bicycle in Laguna Canyon, or along PCH in Malibu can be both fun and extremely dangerous. Bicycling is a common form of the portage, amusement, and fitness from one end to the other in California State. But bicycles afford minimal protection from the day to day perils facing bicyclists on the roadways of the Golden State. Riding bikes can, and often do pave the way to moderate injuries to riders on the small range. But it also leads to death and tragedy on a large scale.
- We help Riders in all of L.A. County
- Benefits of retaining experienced attorneys
- Examples of causation of injuries
- Classes of Riders (college, employment, recreation, etc.)
- Helmets don't prevent every injury
- Brain damage, a common injury
- Timing and who you hire is everything
- Intricacies of bicycle insurance claims
- Our passion on your side
- More resources
When people get hurt on bikes due to someone's negligence, they may need the help of a bicycle accident attorney. Ehline Law Firm has a vast record in achieving significant outcomes for bicyclists needing money for their legal issues.
What is a Bicycle? A bicycle, also known as a bike or cycle, is a pedal-driven, human-powered, single-track vehicle. "Bi" denotes two wheels, one after the next, attached to a frame. A bicyclist rides the frame. These riders are known as cyclists or bicyclists.
Are some bikes Better than Others? Not all bikes are made equally. The standard shape and configuration of a traditional upright frame are called a "safety bicycle." Traditional bikes are not much different than the original chain-driven model from around 1885. However, some details have become improved in modern variants.
With the advent of computers and computer-aided programs, faster and stronger bikes have been the norm. These have allowed for a proliferation of specialized designs for many types of cycling. So recreational injuries from mountain biking and BMX are more commonplace modernly. But bicycle delivery services often use bikes with no brakes that are designed for pure speed.
What About Bicycle Safety Gear? In any event, bicycle injuries still occur no matter how many layers of safety gear you wear. Sometimes another person is at fault. When that is true, an experienced bicycle lawyer helps victims get coverage to pay for medical and other bills.
Is L.A. Dangerous for Bicyclists?
Yes. Bicycle accidents are not to be taken casually, and they are rarely a certain event. They can be just as dangerous or as worse as any accident that happens on a big road. In many cases, they occur without a prior warning. News stories indicate L.A. County and its crowded Pacific Coast areas are notorious for rider deaths and disabilities.
Are Children More at Risk From Bicycle Accidents?
Yes. Catastrophic injuries to bicyclists from the roadway, accidents are tragically higher among kids. School-aged children face significant risks due to their smaller height. Because of this, they are less visible to a distracted driver.
Victims of bicycle smash-ups face unique challenges. Notably, this remains the case both medically and legally. As they convalesce, they also seek payment from the person(s) who caused their injuries. Plus, due to the laws of California and local municipal codes, their legal representatives must have specialized training and experience. Skills must include knowledge of the duties, rights, and obligations of bicyclists throughout the state.
Why Are Cars So Much Safer than Bicycles?
There are protections around you in a car to keep you safe when an accident takes place, but that's not the case with a two-wheeler. Bicycle accidents can give you serious injuries, and while you might calm down, the medical bills could empty your pockets and bank account all of a sudden. Injuries to your body can also result in an interruption in your work, resulting in loss of wages.
What are the Types of Fact Patterns Most Often Arising Bicycle Accidents?
The vast majority of bicycle accident claims Ehline Law faces comprise of fact patterns where there is contact between riders and passengers. Others involve drivers guilty of failing to yield the right-of-way at an intersection.
For example, cyclists can get cut off due to an un-telegraphed turn by a vehicle directly into the path of an oncoming bicyclist.
- Poor Judgment By Car Drivers.
Typically car drivers misjudge the speed of the bike or do not see the motorcycle. So they overestimate the safe space they should allocate for safe passage. Often, motorists fail to share the road equitably. On other occasions, a large vehicle like a bus or truck is not paying attention to smaller objects like bikes.
- What About the Blind Spots of Big Rigs and Bicycle Accidents?
In particular, larger vehicles can kill anything that remains unseen in their blind spots. This failure to see the bike has forced many a rider into a curb, or onto a sidewalk, or fixed object, and to their doom as the truck turns right at a signal, for example. This visibility issue is a massive danger to passengers. So we advise riders to avoid buses and big rigs like the plague.
What are the Forces In Bicycle Wrecks?
Bicycle mishaps can be due to other forces. And many of them remain particular to the utilization of this unique machine for transportation. Bicycle accidents may become exacerbated by coincidental factors. These include poorly designed roads, negligent repair, signage, or maintenance.
These factors often lead to a limited or severely impaired vision of the poor road and path conditions. Other adverse conditions riders face things like loose gravel, trash, oil spills, potholes, and other road debris. Riders make easy targets for free dogs, and many a fallen rider has fallen victim to packs of dogs pulling them down and tearing them to pieces.
One of the atypical twists facing California riders occurs after an unreasonable motorist negligently opens their car door into the path of a bicycle rider. Another stroke of bad luck common in the major cities like Los Angeles are people on foot getting slammed by bicycle delivery riders. Examples include process servers, legal messengers, and food delivery services. These service businesses hire out bike riders for tasks.
Why are Los Angeles Riding Accidents So Commonplace?
Los Angeles is a populated region, and a lot is happening here all the time. Riding accidents are pretty common here. Indeed, you can't bring the time back to avoid the collision. But you can always receive a financial recovery of the damages done to you. Ehline Law Firm is your go-to legal representative for this purpose.
Our clients rest assured we will get the required recovery done in a riding accident case. Plus, it's also mention-worthy that these are some of the most severe accidents to prove. The laws about them are tough to understand and complex for a layperson.
Do We Help With Bicycle Rider Mishaps and Spills in the many California Counties?
Ehline Law Firm is renowned in southern California for taking on and winning even the most difficult cases for our clients. We offer assistance for victims or their spouses/partners injured in bicycle accidents. Most of all, we can make sure they get proper care. Acute injuries usually require the help of experienced attorneys.
And these are people who must know how to challenge the negligent parties and their insurance companies in court. You could wish to pursue the settlement of the case on your own, but in most cases, the complexity of the laws makes it impossible.
Only a team of professional and most seasoned attorneys can understand these matters. Also, they provide suffering families with the necessary legal help.
Scores of people get injured and killed in bicycle accidents each year. Numerous types of accidents take place daily. Examples include being run over or struck by passenger vehicles and trucks.
Did You Know that Bicycle Accident Statistics Show Most Bike Crashes are Caused By Cars?
According to the NHSTA, in many of the cases, the bicyclist is not the person at fault. In 2011, the NHTSA reported that of 677 deaths and 48,000 in bicycle-related accidents in most cases, the motor vehicle operators were to blame. Michael P. Ehline, Esq., knows what it's like. He is a bicycle rider and has been in near-misses.
Ehline knows that there are even cases where bicyclists get targeted and converged upon on in road rage. He has even seen cases where they are simply run off the road by a drowsy or inattentive driver. At one point, it became so bad that in some L.A. metro areas, bikers are now actually legally able to ride on the sidewalks.
Even though often ignored, bicycles are an essential part of our daily traffic life. Pedal-driven recreational vehicle operators have the same rights, duties, and obligations as any other driver of motorized conveyance, except whereas provided by law.
In California, bicycle riders are subject to the same obligations and restrictions as cars, except where expressly provided for by law, such as bicycle lanes. Some municipalities allow bikers to ride on the sidewalk, such as parts of Los Angeles. L.A. County may also allow sidewalk riding, subject to the restrictions laid out in the Vehicle Code here, and County Code here.
But as discussed, riders need to obey the rules of the road just like operators of all other traditional motorized conveyances. (See safety tips here). But there is no rule requiring a cyclist to have liability insurance. Bicyclists under age 18, are also subject to helmet laws codified in California Vehicle Code §21212. In California, children under four-year-old, or weighing 40 pounds or less, remain prohibited from being passengers on bicycles.
But they can ride if in a seat which holds the child in place. No matter what, it must protect the youngster from moving parts. The child must also wear an approved helmet. (Source C.H.P. "Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents."). But helmets are not designed to stop all injuries. Rider awareness is the key to staying safe. Speeds and impacts of 15 to 20 miles per hour or under, may allow a helmet to lessen or prevent serious head injuries. But that isn't always true. And it does next to nothing at higher speeds.
How Do Most Bicycle Accidents Happen?
- Negligence of the drivers on the road.
- Drivers were driving under the influence.
- Drivers were not stopping at stop signs.
In many instances, drivers park and open their doors into a rider lawfully using the road or bike lane. Usually, this is because they do so without looking in their rearview mirrors. Another not uncommon incident is the infamous "California Stop." This takes place when a car slows but does not stop at a stop sign. Other cases include drivers making sharp turns into the path of an oncoming bike obscured by the sun. Sadly, some drivers brush or sideswipe riders off the road. In some instances, these cars run into another vehicle or person on foot.
Do DUI Drivers Pose a Threat to Bicyclists?
There are also cases where drivers are DUI or driving under drugs. Another common accident scenario is when drivers pull out backward and forwards, from driveways and alleys too fast, without looking both directions and putting the bicyclists and others in danger.
Why Do Bikes Remain So Unsafe?
Bicyclists, even with all the special laws and lanes carved out for them, are among the worst for victims. Riders are often thrown and pinned in a rain gutter, or underneath parked cars. Worse, they don't normally wear the same gear motor cycle riders will wear.
One of the key factors is that the bike has no roll cage or another form of internal safety device to minimize injuries to the rider as against a massive object like a car. If you or a loved one was mixed up in a crash while on foot while carrying your bike, or while pedal-pushing, California law gives you a legal right to sue.
That way, the at-fault party or parties are held liable. Claims will include those for mental and physical damages, as well as for lost earnings and even punitive damages in some instances. Ehline Law Firm is run by an experienced bicycle rider with years of technical and legal expertise. So we take on cities and greedy insurance companies all the time. In fact, we act as champions for consumer rights victims in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco counties.
But we are much more than just bicycle attorneys. We are heavyweights in our clients' corner. As a matter of fact, we have the reputation and record to back it up. So if you were hurt, you could gravel stuck in your elbows and knees. In fact, you may be suffering a split lip or fractured skull. It doesn't matter if you wore your helmet.
- Did You Know that Bicycle Riders Can't Escape the Wrath of an Oncoming Motor Vehicle?
In a bike versus motor vehicle case, the biker always loses most. Now your only chance is to win with the legal system. But you cannot delay in retaining a seasoned adviser.
- Why Do Bicycle Lawyers With Super Reputations Remain Vital to a Big Win?
Ehline is an expert on negligence per se. Also, we know the local municipal codes. Obviously, we are aware of the "bicycle" sections of the California Vehicle Code. In any event, we also know how to use them to get leverage over any opponents.
Many accidents involve broken teeth and smashed skulls– serious injuries that require an acute response. Ultimately, you or a loved one that has participated in an incident like this needs an aggressive, no-nonsense attorney that will fight for every cent of compensation.
Do Our Bicycle Lawyers Have Awards and Accolades in the Local Community?
Michael Ehline is a humble member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), and a supporter of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC). Also, attorney Michael Ehline supports The Bicycle Lawyers Lawsuit Center (BLLC), as well as The National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety. (Learn More).
What is Our Bicycle Case Promise?
If our attorneys take your case, we will see it through to the end. Most of all, it remains our policy to seek out medical experts. So we go the extra mile to determine your past, present, and future suffering. Also, we may even hire a biomechanic or accident re-constructionist. And we might utilize a life care planner as needed. So we make sure to go through every portion of the evidence. That way, every scenario becomes scrutinized.
What About Going to the Accident Scene?
We also use professional investigators. They help us acquire statements from first-party witnesses. So we can lock in their comments and recollections. Of course, we are local as well. Also, we know the high traffic danger areas. We go to traffic collision locations.
That way, we can see it for ourselves. So we try and place ourselves in your shoes. Most of all, we assure you that you have an empathetic, compassionate fighter in your corner.
Bicycles are a significant mode of transportation for people in their personal and professional lives. Many young people, especially college students, use their bikes to get around the greater Los Angeles area. Also, many other professions, such as couriers, use the bicycle as a primary way to get around.
Did You Know that Helmets are No Guarantee of Safety?
Helmets are very helpful in preventing severe injuries, especially to the head. Every person that rides a bike should wear a helmet and other safety gear. However, just because someone wears a helmet does not mean that they're safe. Riders need to follow safety laws to help prevent quadriplegia and paraplegia.
It is just a safety implement, not a guarantee or insurer of safety. Bicycle helmets are tested in 2-meter drops under U.S. benchmarks. In fact, they travel at drops of approximately 14 miles per hour (or 22.5 kph) on a flat, anvil.
However, the New England Journal of Medicine said in a famous piece that individuals wearing a bicycle helmet had at least an 85% lessened chance of a severe head injury. It says there was an 88% reduced chance of brain injuries. (See also, "A Case-Control Study of the Effectiveness of Bicycle Safety Helmets," Robert S. Thompson, M.D., Frederick P. Rivara, M.D., M.P.H., and Diane C. Thompson, M.S. N Engl J Med 1989; 320:1361-1367, May 25, 1989).
The experts have concluded that inconsequential skull and brain housing group injuries, typically arise from linear acceleration. Linear acceleration occurs when the head impacts with another physical barrier to free movement. Wearing a bicycle helmet helps prevent and mitigate severe or traumatic head injury. This mitigation is because a helmet can reduce of spread the inertia through the device.
Alternatively, more significant, and more devastating types of harm, typically arise from angular as well as rotational acceleration. This rotation can result in a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) or even subdural hematoma (SDH). Above are the standard head injuries afflicted upon unfortunate riders. And these have been known to set the stage for the loss of life upon spill victims.
Bicycle helmets are not engineered to reduce rotational injury. And the available scientific research does not look promising in a helmet's safety capacity improving anytime soon. (See also "Curnow WJ. The efficacy of bicycle helmets against brain injury." Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2003,35:287-292.)
When struck by a vehicle while riding your bike, you or a loved one could face a catastrophic brain injury. An accident can destroy lives and ruin someone's physical or mental health. These terrible cycling accident injuries can also prevent you from leading a fulfilling future and keep the lifestyle that you currently enjoy.
Having an attorney represent you in a case like this is more than just looking at the back of a phone book and calling the first number you see. There is tremendous work still ahead for your legal team in a case like this. There is a lot of research to do in a crash reconstruction case. This evidence is vital for a court trial. But you need to have a team to build up all of this information. Only then will you be covered.
So if you need compensation for terrible injuries such as cranial fractures, blown discs, dog bites, broken bones, and others are resulting from a bicycle accident, you need to call the Ehline Law Firm. We see these cases all the time at places like Ocean Beach in San Diego, California, and Goldenwest Street at Huntington Beach. And this is our territory– and we fight hard for our neighbors and friends!
Our vast legal knowledge and experience in the many facets and intricacies of cyclist claims give us expert knowledge about issues like:
- Government roadway pothole liability caused by a lack of reasonable maintenance;
- Dog attacks while riding your bikes;
- Slippery conditions on beach bike paths;
- Homeowners or workers comp insurance coverage that may apply in your bicycle injury case;
- Specialized legal knowledge about obtaining compensation for special needs victims remains vital. Also, this could be a short term, long term, partial or total disability.
But this may require you to have the power of legal attorney, conservatorship, or guardianship, such as a special needs trust. And it deals with third-party creditors who may simply need to hear what is going on.
If injured, you will be trying to deal with the insurance adjuster alone. Probably you are getting nowhere. It is almost impossible to get a resounding victory without a qualified bicycle lawyer. You need a pro to assist you in the resolution from start to finish.
Why Not Let a Lawyer Negotiate Your Bicycle Accident Case?
You could even hurt your chances of success if you negotiate with the insurance company. A Los Angeles-based bicycle accident attorney can deal directly with the insurance company. The good ones will do so in a way that positions you for the best outcome. Insurance adjusters and big, self-insured corporations attempt to low ball and destroy the whole case.
They are experts in psychological warfare. Of particular interest, this is the favored position or circumstance of the insurer. Sometimes the insurance company will try and run out the statute of limitations, all the while pretending to work for you. Don't say, or sign anything without speaking to a seasoned legal warrior first.
Does the Faster You Hire a Bicycle Lawyer Make it Better?
Let Ehline Law Firm know about any riding misadventure. Call us whether it has taken place with you, or with someone you know. The faster you get legal help, the better the chances of success. As a result of the unplanned event, you are eligible to receive financial compensation.
You are entitled to money for damages to you, your property, loss of income, and other things. We'll pick up your phone within seconds and help you fight for your rights. No matter what, we'll do all we can. After all, this is what we have done in the past, to settle the case outside the court. In most cases, this is how to get the maximum settlement amount of the damages. And this is fair since it remains conceded the negligence of someone else caused this suffering.
Know Your Rights with a Bicycle Lawyer Consultation. Get a free consultation now. You might be stuck with what most bicycle accident victims are stuck with – at the starting point. They are not sure where they must start. Most have no clue what the first thing they should do is. So this is why Ehline Law Firm chose to give all of its clients the initial consultation for free.
No matter what, don't stress your mind. Contact us for a free lawyer chat. Our bicycle accident attorneys will help you from start to finish. Contact us today and start the pursuit of money for your loss. Call now at (213) 596-9642.