Causes, Liability, and Damages Explained by Our Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyers
While good exercise, riding a bicycle can be dangerous. This is not always because of the actions of the bicyclist, but rather because of the reckless, careless, or negligent actions or inactions of another motorist. In fact, there are over 840 bicyclist fatalities each year in the United States. Most of these causes are entirely preventable like sideswipe bicycle accidents. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics reveal alcohol intoxication causes almost 40% of all fatal bicycle accidents. That is a staggering number of avoidable fatalities that our Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer knows affects families throughout California.
Here at the Broadway Law Firm, we are dedicated to representing victims of serious or catastrophic personal injury accidents. This includes sideswipe bicycle accidents due to the reckless, careless, or downright negligent conduct of another. Learn how we can help protect your rights to compensation by dialing 213.344.0067 for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced bicycle accident lawyers in Los Angeles.
What Are Sideswipe Bicycle Accidents
Generally, there are five main ways that a bicyclist could be injured in an accident with a motor vehicle. The most obvious are rear-end collisions or head on collisions. There are also t-bone accidents which is where the front of a vehicle collides with the side of the bicycle. Another common type is a “dooring accident,” where a motorist opens a door while a bicyclist is passing.
The last type is a sideswipe bicycle accident. This type of accident occurs when a motorist brushes against or runs along a bicyclist from the side. This is a serious type of bicycle accident for several reasons, including the following:
- A bicyclist could fall and get sucked underneath a vehicle, especially a truck’s tires
- A bicyclist could be knocked outwards into another vehicle or stationary object
- The car could force a bicyclist off the road and into an embankment
- The force of impact could knock a bicyclist forward and down, into the ground
- The side mirror could strike the bicyclist on the back of the neck or head, and
- Other serious reasons.
Common Causes of Sideswipe Bicycle Accidents
There are many causes of sideswipe bicycle accidents that could occur in California including the following:
- Motorist is speeding or loses control
- Drunk driver or intoxicated
- Drugged driver
- Fatigued or tired driver
- Failing to see the bicyclist
- Making a right turn without properly looking
- Using a cell phone
- Distracted driving
- Improper lane change
- Failing to stay within a lane
- Driving on the shoulder improperly, and
- Many other common and serious causes.
Liability for California Sideswipe Bicycle Accidents
Generally, there are two ways to prove liability against a motorist who sideswipes another vehicle. This includes through the common law or using the California Vehicle Code to establish a claim.
A negligence claim is a common law approach based on the reasonableness of the actions of another. The reasonableness could be based on improper conduct or the failure to do something (an omission). While operating a motor vehicle, this conduct is a duty of care.
Under California law, the duty of care owed while operating a motor vehicle is to use reasonable care under the circumstances in the use or operation of a vehicle. This means that a motorist must see what there is to be seen and hear what there is to be heard. Motorists must follow the law and drive defensively, including looking out for bicyclists.
If a motorist breaches this duty of care and a bicyclist is injured from that negligence, a bicyclist will have a cause of action for negligence and likely be able to prove it.
Negligence Per Se
The violation of a statute in California can also result in an automatic finding of negligence. This is through a legal doctrine known as the doctrine of negligence per se. In order to establish this, a victim must prove the following elements:
- The defendant violated a statute (like the Vehicle Code)
- The plaintiff was within the class of persons sought to be protected from harm
- The plaintiff suffered harm within the class of harms sought to be prevented from occurring
A victim who is injured in a sideswipe car accident may be entitled to use this doctrine of negligence per se depending on what statutory law may have been violated and caused the accident. Victims should rely on the exercise of an experienced Los Angels bicycle accident lawyer in order to prove their case.
Damages in a Bicycle Crash
There are many possible damages which could be caused in any type of personal injury accident, especially a bicycle crash. Some of the most common damages involve medical bills, lost wages, and a victim’s pain and suffering. The pain and suffering is based on the injuries that a victim may sustain in a crash. The most common types of injuries that a victim may sustain include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries or TBIs
- Spinal cord injuries or SCIs
- Broken bones or fractures, including the need for open reduction surgery to repair the damage
- Knee injuries or shoulder injuries, damage to the joints
- Nerve injuries and damage, including brachial plexus injuries or facial nerves
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Compressed vertebrae
- Neck or back injuries, including slipped discs or herniations
- Amputations or loss of a limb, and
- Other serious or devastating injuries that a victim may sustain.
Hurt in a Sideswipe Bicycle Accident in Los Angeles, CA? We Can Help
Bicycle accidents can result in serious or catastrophic personal injuries, including life-changing injuries that could permanently paralyze or disable an individual. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in any type of bicycle accident or another type of personal injury accident in California, learn how we can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering during a FREE consultation with one of our experienced bicycle accident lawyers in Los Angeles, California at the Broadway Law Firm by dialing 213.344.0067. Our legal team is standing by and ready to help you recover the compensation that you deserve.