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Facts You Should Know About Bicycle Accidents

With the popularity of bike-sharing systems, such as Bird and Lime, in Beverly Hills, it is becoming more common for pedestrians to travel by bicycle. However, when combined with the city’s aggressive traffic and congested streets, many do not realize the danger they’re in.

Based on data compiled between 2007 to 2017, Beverly Hills was deemed as one of the most dangerous cities for a bicyclist in the state of California by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). To put that into perspective, injuries actually went up 40 percent from the previous decade. In 2019, there were reportedly 29 bicyclists injured in collisions in Beverly Hills.

If you were injured or suffered property loss in a bicycle accident, the party or parties responsible for your losses will generally have to pay for your damages. The first step towards recovering damages owed to you can be accomplished by filing a personal injury lawsuit. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our experienced Beverly Hills bike accident attorneys are available 24/7 to provide you with legal assistance. With our track record of recovering more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your case.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling (310) 919-5962 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Beverly Hills personal injury law firm. 

Quick Facts About Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents are an issue in the city of Beverly Hills and throughout the country, too. Here are some quick facts about bicycle accidents according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

  • In 2019, 843 bicyclists were killed in an accident involving motor vehicles.
  • A majority of bicyclist deaths (90 percent) were from those ages 20 and older.
  • Males were involved in fatal bicycle accidents more so than females.
  • About 62 percent of bicyclists who were killed were not wearing helmets.
  • 21 percent of bicyclists who were 16 and older were found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent.
  • The month with the most bicyclist deaths was July (12 percent) followed by August (11 percent).
  • The most common hours of bicyclist deaths occurred from 6pm to 9pm.
  • 78 percent of bicyclists were killed in urban areas, while 22 percent died in rural areas.

Beverly Hills Bicycle Safety and Regulations

Below, our experienced Beverly Hills bicycle accident attorneys will discuss bicycle hand signals.

  • Stop/slow down. This is a very important signal that can help prevent a bike accident. In order to let drivers know you need to slow down or make a complete stop, hold your left arm downward and make a right angle with your palm open.
  • The left turn. When you need to make a left turn, straighten your left arm out.
  • The right turn. There are two different ways to signal a right turn. The first option is to create a right angle with your left arm. Another way to signal a right turn is to hold out your right hand horizontally.

Where Can I Ride My Bike?

For the most part, if you are riding at the same speed as traffic around you, you are generally allowed to ride wherever you want. You are still allowed to take a lane if you aren’t moving at the same speed as traffic. However, you are required to ride your bike as close to the right side of the road as you possibly can.

The exceptions to this rule are when passing, when preparing to make a left turn, in order to avoid hazards, when a lane is too narrow to share, or when approaching a place where right turns are authorized.

Below, we have listed areas where you can and cannot ride a bicycle.

  • Freeways. Bicycles are never allowed on a freeway or an expressway.
  • Toll bridges. Bicycles are never allowed to cross a toll bridge unless they have permission from the California Department of Transportation.
  • Bike lanes. Bicyclists who are traveling at slower speeds than surrounding traffic must use an available bike lane except when passing, making a left turn, avoiding hazards, or when approaching a place where right turns are authorized.
  • Sidewalks. Different cities and counties will determine whether a bicyclist may ride on the sidewalk. Beverly Hills does not allow this, but other neighboring areas do.

Liability for a Bicycle Accident

The big question always is, who is responsible for a bicycle accident? The truth is that it depends. However, as with most personal injury claims, liability typically comes down to negligence. In other words, whose negligence caused the bicycle accident? When it comes to bicycle accidents, negligence is a form of careless or reckless behavior. Numerous parties can be found guilty of negligence. This includes drivers, pedestrians, a city or government entity for poor street maintenance, or even a bicycle manufacturer that designs or produces a defective product.

However, for the most part, it is generally a driver that is found guilty of causing a bicycle accident. In other words, if a driver is negligent and causes you to suffer injuries as a bicyclist, that driver will typically be held liable for any injuries caused to you, as well as the resulting damages.

What does driver negligence mean? A few common examples of driver negligence in relation to a bicycle accident include:

  • Disobeying speed limits
  • Making a left turn into a bicyclist
  • Not giving a bicyclist three feet of space to maneuver
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Not paying attention to the road
  • Texting and driving
  • Disobeying other traffic laws or signals

It’s not hard to see how driver negligence can cause a bicyclist to suffer serious injuries or even death. A bicyclist is really no match for the oncoming rush of a speeding vehicle. Negligent behavior behind the wheel is both immoral and against the law. All motorists have a legal duty of care while operating a vehicle. This means, at the very least, following traffic laws, obeying traffic signals, not being under the influence, and watching out for bicyclists. Some people don’t know that bicyclists actually have the same rights on the road as motorists. This means that they are entitled to the same protections.

In summary, a driver who does not use reasonable care while operating a vehicle may be found liable for causing a bicycle accident. If you were injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by a driver’s negligent behavior, you have to prove that negligence was the primary cause of your injuries.

The legal standard for negligence in the state of California will consider the following three elements:

  • The driver owed the bicyclist a duty of care,
  • The driver breached his or her duty of care through negligence, and
  • The driver’s negligence was the primary cause of the injuries sustained.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you were involved in a bus accident and have sustained injuries as a result of negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. A Beverly Hills bicycle accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered.

Contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (310) 919-5962 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Beverly Hills personal injury law firm.

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