Injuries resulting from a bicycle accident are often severe, requiring long term convalescence and causing significant pain and emotional trauma. As the number of cyclists increases in California, so too does the rate of injuries that result from bicycle accidents. Bicyclists and drivers must share the roads. Drivers must follow the same traffic rules with respect to cyclists as they do other vehicles sharing the road. Negligence is one of several possible theories that may be used to hold a driver accountable for injuring a bicyclist. To establish a claim of negligence, you must satisfy four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. An experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney knows that liability may depend, in part, on California’s application of its comparative negligence law. Comparative negligence allows a defendant to reduce the amount of compensation he owes a plaintiff based on the amount of fault the court deems the plaintiff “contributed” to the accident. Contact Prosmushkin and Davis, P.C., today. They understand the available remedies and defenses, and will help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Lawyers Who Fight for Your Right to Cycle
Although roads in California continue to be dominated by cars, bicycle use is on the rise. As the number of cyclists increases, so too does the rate of injuries that result from bicycle accidents. With so many cars on the roads and not enough bicycle infrastructure, it can be very dangerous being a bicycle rider.
If you were injured by another car while bicycling, you understand how traumatic and painful the experience can be. Bicycle accidents involving a car are not like other vehicle accidents. On a bicycle, a rider is entirely exposed and therefore highly susceptible to sustaining severe and sometimes life threatening injuries.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you deserve just compensation. A Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney at Prosmushkin and Davis, P.C., is available to help injured cyclists in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, San Bernardino County, San Francisco County, Sacramento County and all of California.
THE PRIMARY CAUSES OF BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
Many cite distracted driving and careless driving as two of the leading causes of bicycle accidents in California. However distracted or careless driving is no defense if you are a motorist responsible for injuring a cyclist. The injuries that can result from these accidents often include severe physical injury requiring long term convalescence and intense emotional trauma. If you have sustained injuries as a result of a bicycle accident, you may be able to obtain damages on the basis of personal injury law or other legal theories. Our lawyers handle bicycle accident claims that arise from a wide variety of situations, such as:
- Opening car doors into traffic
- Pedestrian traffic
- Drifting or swerving vehicles
- Crosswalk accidents
- Cycling team or racing accidents
- Driver inattention
- Hit and run accidents
California Cyclist Rights
Bicyclists and drivers must share the roads if there are no lanes specifically designated for cyclists. Drivers must follow the same traffic rules with respect to cyclists as they do other vehicles sharing the road. A Bicycle Accident Lawyer Los Angeles trusts, Proshmushkin & Davis, P.C. have several decades of familiarity with California’s bicycle laws and how to establish liability if a driver has been negligent. An initial consultation will help you understand what your rights are and what you should do if you have been injured in a bicycle accident. Our attorneys will evaluate the facts of your case and conduct an extensive investigation into the accident to build a solid claim against the person who caused your injuries. A good Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney will prove who was at fault and clearly demonstrate through evidence and expert testimony the extent of your injuries and losses to justify the full recovery of compensation that you are owed.
HOW IS LIABILITY ASSIGNED IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT CASE?
An experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney knows that liability may depend, in part, on California’s application of its comparative negligence law. Unlike some states which apportion liability based on a contributory negligence, California has adopted pure comparative liability. Under a theory of comparative negligence, the party bringing the legal action is entitled to the total amount of damages which they incurred minus any fault attributable to them. In other words, the injured party may recover only the damages leftover after subtracting the percentage the injured party is at fault. For example, If the court determined that you incurred $100,000 in damages, but were 20% at fault, you would only recover $80,000. Before all of this is determined, however, the Plaintiff must first prove that the driver was negligent.
WHAT NEGLIGENCE IS AND HOW TO PROVE IT
Negligence is a common legal theory used in personal injury cases to establish that someone failed to take proper care or action in a given situation such that harm or injury was caused to someone else. This is one of several possible theories that may be used to hold a person or company legally responsible for the harm that was suffered. To establish a claim of negligence, you must satisfy four elements:
- Duty: That is, that the driver owed a duty of reasonable care to the injured party. Typically this element is easily satisfied because all drivers have an implicit duty of reasonable care to pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists when they decide to share the road.
- Breach: This occurs when a driver who has a duty of reasonable care to another (i.e. a cyclist) fails to act in such a way that would be considered reasonable in a particular set of circumstances.
- Causation: This one actually consists of two subparts: actual causation and proximate causation. Both must be satisfied to prove one’s claim of negligence. To satisfy actual causation, the injured party must demonstrate that their resulting damages were actually caused by the other party’s negligence. To satisfy proximate causation, the victim must also show that the event was sufficiently related to an injury such that the court deems it to be the legal cause of the victim’s injuries.
- Damages: You must have actual damages that resulted from the other party’s negligence, whether they be physical or fiscal.
Overall, putting together a persuasive bike accident case is no easy task. It requires sorting through and organizing the facts, applying the law, and presenting a persuasive argument. If you or your loved one have been injured in a bike accident and in need of an experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer Los Angeles is home to, call Prosmushkin and Davis, P.C., today.
Product liability is another legal theory where an injured cyclist may have a cause of action, regardless of whether another vehicle is involved. Bicycle parts have been known to fail or malfunction, or the bicycle may be erroneously assembled, preventing the bike rider from avoiding a hazardous situation or stopping safely, resulting in injury. A defective bicycle that fails while in use can result in serious injury to the rider and pedestrians. The quality of bicycle manufacturing has improved greatly over the years, but bicycle components can still fail disastrously. Consequently, bicycle defect cases may involve multiple parties, including multiple manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and even a private person who sold the bike.
It is advisable to consult a bicycle accident lawyer to discuss the specific circumstances of your bicycle injury case and determine what legal remedies may be available to you.
In many cases, maintaining awareness of your surroundings can help to prevent a serious bicycle accident and help you to avoid injuries, as well as injuring anyone else. While some accidents are unavoidable, there are several ways to improve your safety while riding a bicycle.
- Cyclists who limit exposure to distractions will be more aware of their surroundings and are more likely to avoid a serious accident. Similar to driving, one reason for bicycle accidents that is on the rise is texting or talking on a cell phone while riding.
- You should always wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. There are hundreds of studies showing how a helmet can reduce a cyclist’s risk of head and brain injuries. While wearing a helmet might be uncomfortable or inconvenient to some people, it can mean the difference between an injury and a fatality.
- Do not drink and ride a bicycle. It is against California law to ride a bicycle on a public road, path or highway while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. It is often mistakenly believed that riding a bike while intoxicated is safer than driving. While drinking and driving is both unsafe and illegal, it is important to note that 37 percent of bicycle crashes involved alcohol in recent years.
- Many fatal bicycle accidents occur between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Avoid riding a bicycle at night when there is less visibility, or equipment your bicycle with appropriate lighting. This too can help to reduce your risk of being hit by an unsuspecting motorist.
- Bicycles are smaller than most motor vehicles. As such, they are more difficult to see. Remain as visible as possible, even during daylight hours. Brightly colored clothing can help.
- Watch out for and avoid dangerous road conditions. Bicycles are not as capable of navigating dangerous road conditions, like flooded streets, unpaved roads, or dangerous construction. When riding a bicycle, it is important to watch out for things like potholes, cracked roads, open or uneven sewer grates, faded traffic lanes, sand or gravel, train tracks, or poorly lighting.
Bicycle Accidents Involving Children
All too often, children are the innocent victims of driver negligence. Despite the best of efforts, children do not possess the same understanding of risk as adults, nor do they possess the same reaction times or reflexes. Though a child may be taught bicycle safety, drivers are too often hurried or engaged in distracting activities, such as talking on the telephone. This sometimes results in failing to check their rearview mirrors when pulling out of a driveway or away from a parking spot on the street. Too much confidence may also be placed in safety technology, such as rear view cameras and motion detection devices that are designed to identify people and things nearby.
Speak with an attorney at Prosmushkin and Davis, P.C., today if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident while riding a bicycle.