More Americans than ever are using their bicycles to commute, for exercise, and for leisure. But when cyclists take on the road along with cars and other motor vehicles, they are exposed to some of the greatest dangers of bicycle accidents. As you may expect, a cyclist is likely going to sustain severe or fatal injuries when they figure in crashes with motor vehicles. In 2014, 726 cyclists were killed in bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles, and thousands more have been seriously injured.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), many fatal bicycle accidents occur at night and in urban areas and not always at intersections. If you are a regular or avid cyclist, you might want to know your rights in case of a bicycle accident.
Bicycles are considered vehicles and bicyclists are legally required to follow the same rules and road responsibilities as motorists.
- Riding in the same direction of the traffic
- Obeying street signs, road markings, and road signals
- Not texting, listening to music, or using anything that distracts you from minding the road and traffic
Drivers and motorists, on the other hand, must exercise due care when traveling around cyclists.
They are expected to:
- Yield to bicyclists, particularly when about to make a turn at intersections while a cyclist is traveling on a straight path
- Search their surroundings when parking or before opening a car door to ensure that cyclists are not nearby
- Obey the speed limit and reduce speeds to avoid a crash with a cyclist
- Share the road by giving cyclists room and not passing cyclists too closely
Injuries in a Bicycle Accident
Without the protective covering that cars and other types of motor vehicles provide drivers and their passengers, bicyclists tend to suffer rather severe types of injuries when they are hit by motor vehicles. The most common injuries that are sustained in bicycle accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Face injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
In catastrophic accidents, the bicyclists often succumb to fatal injuries.
What to Do after a Bicycle Accident
If you or a person close to you has sustained severe injuries in a bicycle accident, your immediate concern is to get all the help you need from doctors, medical specialists, and an experienced personal injury attorney. Depending on the severity of your accident, your injuries may require extensive surgical procedures and long periods of rest and recovery in order to restore good health or the closest to the state of health you maintained prior to the accident.
After a severe bicycle accident, your medical bills can easily pile up and costs for home care and continued rehabilitation and therapy can leave a dent on your finances. You should be able to consult a Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney about your situation and get valuable advice about all your legal options. An experienced attorney can evaluate your situation and determine whether you have a right to claim compensation against the party who caused your injuries. In Los Angeles, the Bedford Law Group provides a free initial consultation where you can discuss your situation with an experienced attorney and receive legal advice.
Drivers are required to obtain auto accident insurance which can cover injuries and damages sustained by another person in an accident that was caused by the insured driver. You can report your injuries and file a claim directly with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
But people who deal with insurance companies often face some challenges during the claims process. Insurance companies are concerned more about their business rather than paying out claims. When faced with an insurance claim, insurance adjusters ordinarily try to assign fault or blame on the injured party in order to justify a denial of the claim, or a reduced value of the injured party’s claims.
At the Bedford Law Group, we represent clients before insurance companies and know how to deal with insurance representatives in order to obtain the maximum value under the insured driver’s policy. We are also prepared to go to trial and fight for your right to receive the true value of compensation that you legally deserve.
Contact the Bedford Law Group
We invite you to call us today at (310) 507-7900 to arrange for your free initial consultation. Our firm handles injury cases and wrongful death claims on a No Recovery, No Fee arrangement.