Los Angeles, with its sprawling cityscape and beautiful weather, is a haven for bicycle enthusiasts. However, sharing the road with vehicles can sometimes result in unfortunate accidents, leaving cyclists in dire need of legal protection and guidance. That’s where Kirakosian Law, your trusted advocate in LA, steps in.
In this comprehensive blog, we venture into the realm of bicycle accidents in the City of Angels, shedding light on the legal aspects and resources available to those who find themselves in the unfortunate aftermath of a bicycle collision. From understanding your rights and navigating the legal landscape to seeking justice and compensation, we are here to be your legal guardian on two wheels.
Cycling brings freedom, health, and a connection to the vibrant city. However, when accidents occur, you need to know where to turn for support. Join us as we explore the role of a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer and the steps you can take to safeguard your rights and well-being after a bicycle accident.
What To Know About: Bicycle Accidents
Every year, nearly 1,000 bicyclists lose their lives, and around 130,000 sustain injuries in accidents on U.S. roads, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bicycle collisions can affect people of all ages and collectively result in an estimated cost of $23 billion annually.
If you’ve been involved in a Los Angeles bike accident, it’s crucial to be aware of your legal rights. If the accident occurred due to a negligent driver, poor road conditions, or the fault of others, you might have the option to seek compensation.
Bike accidents can occur in various ways, such as when cyclists swerve to avoid animals, collide with objects, fall, or encounter road obstacles. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most frequent cause of bicycle accidents involves collisions with vehicles, and these often lead to the most severe crashes.
In accidents involving a vehicle, the responsibility may lie with either the cyclist or the driver. However, it’s often the driver who bears direct responsibility. Some common reasons drivers strike cyclists include:
- Distracted driving
- Reduced visibility
- Failure to yield
- Hazardous road conditions
Determining the cause of a bike accident is crucial because victims may have the option to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for their losses if someone else is found at fault.
What Legal Options Do You Have?
After a Los Angeles bike accident, you have several legal options to consider for seeking compensation:
- Health Insurance
If you have health insurance, it should cover your medical expenses resulting from the accident. However, it won’t typically address other losses like lost wages. It’s important to note that if you receive compensation from the at-fault driver, your health insurer may seek reimbursement for the medical expenses they’ve covered.
- Auto Insurance
Your own auto insurance may provide compensation for bike accident losses, even if the accident occurred while you were on your bike and not in your car. This could apply if you live in a no-fault state and have personal injury protection (PIP) as part of your policy. PIP covers medical bills and partial lost wages in cases of minor injuries. Additionally, your auto insurer might offer compensation under your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage if the driver responsible for the bike accident had insufficient or no insurance coverage.
These are some of the avenues to explore when seeking compensation after a bike accident, each with its own specific conditions and considerations. You should always seek full compensation for all your losses. This comprehensive compensation may cover various aspects, including:
- Damage to Property: If your bicycle or other personal property was damaged in the accident, you deserve reimbursement.
- Medical Bills: In cases where the bike accident resulted in injuries, all related medical expenses should be included in your compensation.
- Lost Wages: If the accident forced you to miss work, leading to income loss, compensation should account for these financial setbacks.
- Pain, Suffering, and Emotional Distress: The physical and emotional toll of the accident and resulting injuries should be considered in your compensation.
Additionally, in the tragic event that a bicycle accident leads to a fatality, surviving loved ones or the estate of the deceased cyclist might have the option to pursue a claim for wrongful death damages. These damages aim to provide support to the family and ensure justice is served in such devastating circumstances.
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Injuries resulting from bicycle accidents can be severe, often leading to significant physical and financial burdens. You might find yourself unable to work, facing substantial medical expenses, and dealing with emotional distress. In such challenging times, having an attorney by your side becomes essential to navigate the legal complexities and secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Negotiating on Your Own Is Unwise
After a bicycle accident, it’s common for the driver’s insurance company to reach out to you. While you have the option to engage in discussions with them independently, it’s crucial to remember that insurance companies are staffed with professionals and operate as for-profit entities. Their primary goal is to minimize their financial liability by denying or negotiating down as many claims as possible. To safeguard your interests and ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to, enlisting the services of an attorney is a wise choice.
Preserve Your Legal Rights With a Lawyer
At the time of your bicycle accident, you likely provided a statement for a police report, detailing your account of the incident and the damages you suffered. As time progresses, the full extent of your injuries and other losses may become more apparent. It’s essential to seek legal advice before making any further statements. Keep in mind that anything you say to the police, investigators, or insurance companies can potentially be used against you in your case. Therefore, consulting with an attorney before taking any action is crucial to protect your legal rights.
Kirakosian Law Can Help You
When you’re facing the aftermath of a bicycle accident, you don’t have to navigate the legal complexities alone. Kirakosian Law is here to provide you with the guidance and support you need. Our experienced team can assist in filing your lawsuit, negotiating with the driver’s insurance company, and ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve. Your well-being and legal rights are our top priorities.