California is a sunny state with thousands of hiking and bicycle trails open all year round. It is the capital of fitness and recreation for its residents which brings them true joy and a sense of freedom.
Many people love riding the streets or even use their bikes to get to work or run the week-end errands.
Unfortunately, according to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation provisional data, only last year 21 cyclists were killed by vehicles on the roads of Los Angeles.
People don’t feel safe on the streets anymore. The respect between drivers and riders is no longer there.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident and sustained serious injury, give our office a call as soon as possible for a free consultation. Our attorneys have excellent experience specializing in bicycle accidents.
With our help you will be able to recover the monetary damages you deserve and will be able to move on with your life after your successful recovery.
What is an accident?
A traffic accident is an event that occurrs during movement of a vehicle on a road and with its participation, in which people were injured or killed and vehicles, structures and property were damaged or other material damage was caused.
Let’s take a look at the most common ones:
- Driving under the influence
- Lane splitting
- Sudden stops
- Inexperienced drivers
- Left turn accidents
- Dangerous road conditions
- Vehicle defects
- Hazard on the road
- Weather conditions
- Unfortunately nowadays Los Angeles is considered to have the highest rate of traffic accidents resulting in injuries and fatal outcomes in the United States.
- In 2019 alone there have been roughly 54,000 collisions reported, making it a bit less than 2018, according to the LAPD including 236 reported deaths.
- It is a very disturbing fact that the amount of traffic collision deaths is 32% more compared to the previous 5 years making the pedestrians the majority of the victims.
- LAPD categorized over 25,300 crashes as hit-and-runs.
- Pedestrian fatalities raised by 69% over the past few years.
- Important to understand that fleeing the collision scene makes it a felony even in case it was not the driver’s fault.
- The main reason for the crash increase was caused by DUI and texting
What to do in a bicycle accident?
When you get into an accident you might feel many negative emotions, depending on the severity of the collision. It is important to pull yourself together (if possible) and take the following steps promptly:
- 1. Move to a safe area right away (if you can)
- Move your vehicle / bicycle out of the way, for example the road shoulder, in order to prevent further harm. If your car is impossible to move, turn on your emergency lights to let other drivers know that you’re going to be there for a while.
- 2. Stop your car and get out of it
- Make sure that your car has come to a complete stop and is no longer moving, turn it off, put it into the park mode or use the hand break if you’re driving a manual. Take a deep breath and look around to make sure it is safe to get out before you open the door. Flares and other safety items might come in handy.
- 3. Check on other people
- Walk over to the other parties involved (drivers, passengers and pedestrians) in order to make sure they are not hurt. If someone is injured it is time to call 911. A person may be severely injured even if showing no significant signs other than dizziness and bruises.
- 4. Report to the police
- It is always best to have a police officer come to the scene which will allow you to prove important details in the future when dealing with the insurance company. Be careful not to admit fault or put the blame on the involved drivers right away at the scene. This would be the police job to adequately judge the situation and conclude whose fault it really is. There are cases when police often don't come to the scene (usually when there’s no injuries), in which case you can simply report your accident to your local DMV.
- 5. Information exchange
- Try to gather as much information as possible according to the list below:
- Name of the driver and the passengers
- License plate number
- Insurance information
- All involved vehicles makes and models
- Accident location
- The police officer’s name or badge number
- 6. Documenting the scene
- Most likely you have your smartphone with a camera, use it to take a few pictures of the accident. This will be a great addition to the other claim details.
- 7. File your insurance claim
- All these steps will make the process much smoother and less stressful.
Life is unpredictable so it is good to be prepared. Amerberg Law Group Always here for you.