Get Help From Top Rated Bicycle Accident Lawyers in West Covina
Whether you use your bicycle for transportation or recreation, there’s no doubt that it is a clean and efficient method for getting around. Unfortunately, as with any means of transportation, accidents can happen. Because bicyclists are exposed to the elements, there is nothing to protect them from suffering severe injuries as a result of a crash.
If you or a loved one is hurt and suffering because of a bicycle accident that happened in West Covina or the surrounding areas, you have the right to hold the negligent party responsible for your losses. The team at Lem Garcia Law is committed to providing you and your loved one with the personal attention and skill you need to build a strong case.
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Bicycle accidents often occur because one or more drivers behaved negligently. A driver may have overlooked the bicyclist in their blind spot, been confused about who had the right of way, or committed a traffic violation such as running a red light. Some of the common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Left-Hand Turns: This type of accident occurs when a driver is making a left-hand turn and doesn’t see the bicyclist, either because they failed to look or the bicyclist was in the driver’s blind spot.
- Dooring: If a driver fails to look before opening their car door, they could potentially hit a bicyclist that is in the bike lane or traveling down the street.
- Rear-End Crashes: This type of accident occurs when a driver isn’t giving the road their full attention and hits a bicyclist from behind.
Side-Swiping: If the driver accidentally drifts outside of their lane while traveling next to a bicyclist, they could hit the cyclist with the side of the car, causing an accident.
Some common types of negligent behavior that can lead to a bicycle accident include:
Distracted driving is an extremely dangerous type of driving behavior that includes activities like using a navigational system, talking to other passengers, or using a mobile device. Texting and driving is particularly dangerous because it involves three types of distraction: visual, where you take your eyes off the road, physical, where you remove your hands from the wheel, and cognitive, where your focus is off your driving. According to the CDC, if a driver spends just five seconds sending a text while traveling 55 miles per hour, they have covered the length of a football field.
Speeding is another extremely dangerous activity motorists frequently engage in. When drivers travel at high speeds, they reduce their ability to react quickly to avoid a bicyclist on the road or in the bike path. Speeding also increases the likelihood of severe injuries.
Drinking and driving impacts a driver’s ability to focus on the road and process information clearly. The CDC reports that with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%, less than the legal limit, drivers find it more difficult to steer and track moving objects like bicyclists.
Aggressive driving is also another common cause of bicycle accidents. Motorists sometimes do not give cyclists the right-of-way or are not always willing to share the road. Some types of aggressive behaviors that drivers sometimes exhibit includes:
- Following a cyclist too closely.
- Honking at the cyclist or flashing lights.
- Yelling at or threatening the cyclist.
- Dangerous passing.
- Accelerating to pass the cyclist only to turn directly in front of them.
Drowsy driving is a major problem across the country, as it makes it difficult for drivers to focus on the road and decreases their reaction time if they need to slow or stop to avoid a cyclist. According to the CDC, one in 25 adult drivers reports having fallen asleep behind the wheel within the last 30 days.
If you are injured because of a bicycle accident, you have the right to hold the negligent driver responsible for your injuries. One way to do this is by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Through this type of claim, you may be able to recover a number of damages, including:
- Medical expenses like hospitalizations, surgical procedures, physical therapy, and medication.
- Lost wages if you were unable to work because of your injuries.
- Loss of earning potential if you can no longer hold your regular job because of your injuries.
- Pain and suffering for the emotional trauma you endured as a result of the accident.
- Disability if your injuries temporarily or permanently impacted your quality of life.
The State of California has a statute of limitations of two years for personal injury lawsuits. That means you must file your claim within two years of the date of the accident or you are generally barred from recovering any amount of compensation for your injuries, although there are a few exceptions.
Cases involving bicycle accidents can be complex, as you must prove that the driver is responsible for causing the accident. An attorney who has experience working on bicycle accident cases can help by:
- Gathering evidence like witness statements and police reports.
- Investigating the driving record of the negligent driver.
- Working with accident scene reconstruction experts, if necessary, to determine liability.
- Analyzing medical records and gathering bills and receipts to calculate the total value of your claim, including the cost of non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
- Negotiating with the insurance company or defendant’s lawyer to pursue a fair settlement for your injuries.
- Fighting for your rights at trial if an agreeable settlement cannot be reached.
If you are suffering because of a bicycle accident that occurred in West Covina or any of the surrounding areas, you have the right to hold the negligent driver responsible to the fullest extent of your injuries. For a free review of your case, contact the team at Lem Garcia Law today.
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Lem Garcia | Law
1720 W. Cameron Ave., Ste. 210
West Covina, CA 91790
17777 Center Court Dr.
Cerritos, CA 90703
(By Appointment Only)