bicycle and helment laying on road after car crash

Bike Accidents- Too Many to Count

Tragically, too many bicyclists die each year in traffic collisions. Preventable deaths from bicycle transportation incidents increased 16% in 2020, according to the National Safety Council. They increased 44% in the last 10 years, from 873 to 1,260 from 2011 to 2020. 806 individuals in that group died in motor vehicle collisions, while 454 died in non-traffic incidents. The number of preventable nonfatal injuries declined by 39%, from 536,412 to 325,173, during that same period from 2011 to 2020. Efforts are made at all levels of government to try to reduce the number of accidents, including promoting safety measures, improving infrastructure and design of roads, and raising awareness of reasonable precautions.


What Are My Rights as a Cyclist?


In California, bicyclists have the right to use public roads unless restrictions apply (most toll bridges, freeways, and expressways). Motor vehicles are required to provide a safe distance when passing a cyclist. In most situations, that provides for a three-foot distance and prohibits cars from interfering with the safe operation of bicycles. Bicyclists have the right to use bike lanes and paths free from obstructions, interference, and harassment (such as honking and yelling)


Can I Sue Whoever Caused My Bike to Crash?


You can sue any parties who may be liable for a crash or damages. This includes car drivers, state and local governments and agencies like cities (for a dangerous condition of the roadway), pedestrians, and other bikers. If a person or entity was negligent, reckless, wrongful, or otherwise responsible for your crash or damages, you can pursue legal remedies against them. You should be aware of statutes of limitations, which are sometimes shorter for government agencies.



How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me After My Bicycle Accident?


A personal injury attorney can provide you with the following expert legal advice specific to your case. He or she can explain your rights, assess the strength of your claim, and guide you through the legal process, beginning with helping to gather important evidence. Attorneys have the resources and expertise to thoroughly investigate an accident. This can include processing and reviewing accident reports, strava/garmin data, gps data, witness statements, photographs, and medical records in order to build a strong case on your behalf.


Establishing liability is one of the first and most important steps in a bicycle accident case. An attorney can analyze the circumstances surrounding the accident, review applicable laws, and identify potentially liable parties, such as negligent drivers, municipalities, or product manufacturers. For example, there were numerous accidents related to wheels falling off of forks for the lack of a safety retention device. Fork drop-outs were re-engineered with tabs so that if someone forgot to close a quick release or tighten the axle nuts, the wheel would not immediately fall off. The useful protrusion was nicknamed lawyers lips and prevents thousands of accidents each year.


Dealing with insurance companies can be complex and challenging. An experienced personal injury attorney can handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. They will work to maximize your compensation and protect your interests. Calculating the full extent of your damages is essential for seeking appropriate compensation. A skilled attorney can help assess your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and any other damages you may be entitled to. If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, an attorney can represent you in court. They will advocate for your rights, present your case to a judge and jury, cross-examine witnesses, and present compelling arguments to support your claim.


In some cases, dealing with the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be emotionally challenging. A compassionate personal injury attorney can provide support, reassurance, and guidance throughout the legal process, helping alleviate some of your stress.


Ellis Riccobono, LLP is particularly adept in these types of cases.  For instance, the firm  recently obtained a $29,500,000.00 result in a case involving claims for the wrongful death of a cyclist.  This is believed to be the largest award for the wrongful death of a cyclist in the history of the State of California.


The experienced attorneys at Ellis Riccobono LLP invite you to meet with them if you have any questions about the information you have read above. The experts at our firm have represented many individuals who have been injured in bicycle and traffic-related incidents. We are dedicated to ensuring that your legal rights will be fully protected. We live and work in Southern California communities and want to be of service to you in a time of need.


Call 424-901-1202 or email today for a free consultation to learn what we can recover for you.