Injuries involving cyclists most often occur as a result of collisions with motor vehicles. Police officers are quick to blame the cyclist when these so-called “bicycle accidents” occur, but often deeper investigation reveals that the driver was to blame. In fact, statistics show that motorists are more often at fault than cyclists when these injuries do occur.
When a cyclist is gravely injured and their injuries can be traced to the carelessness or recklessness of the driver of a motor vehicle, that cyclist may be entitled to compensation. This compensation could include payment of medical bills, compensation for loss of use of limbs, brain trauma, or for pain and suffering resulting from the injury. Moreover, a motor vehicle does not necessary have to hit a cyclist in order to be responsible for an injury. If a driver swerves into a cycling lane, makes a turn without using proper turn signaling, or does some other action that results in a cyclist being injured, that driver should and often can be held responsible.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks bicycle accidents and circumstances under which cyclists are harmed by motor vehicles. Statistics from NHTSA show that a significant portion of cyclist deaths happen between 6 pm and 9 pm, and a majority – 68 percent – of cyclist deaths happen in urban areas, such as within the City of Los Angeles. Sadly, in almost a third of all bicycle crashes, someone involved in the crash had a blood-alcohol level of 0.08g/dL or higher.
If you or a loved one have been hit by a motor vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle, you should seek legal representation right away. Even if a police officer chose to cite you instead of the driver, this does not mean that all avenues of compensation are closed to you. Police officers sometimes misunderstand either the set of circumstances that led to the collision or even misunderstand the law itself. The more gravely you are injured, the more important it is that you do not wait to explore your options. Call our office today to find out how we can help you, the initial consultation is free of charge.