EXPERIENCE MATTERS...
LET US PROVE IT TO YOU.

view our case results read client reviews

Personal Injury Blog

Submit

Cycling Accidents at Intersections: Who is at Fault?

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Accidents at intersections are the most common cycling accidents throughout the world. As many cars don’t know how to share the road with a cyclist, they often neglect to pay attention to them, leading to a number of tragic accidents. However, who is at fault? In most states, cyclists have to follow the same rules of the road as a car does. So if a cyclist doesn’t follow the rules, could they be at just as much fault as the car that wasn’t paying attention?

Right of Way When There Are No Traffic Signals

When two people approach an intersection and there are no traffic signals, the vehicle (including a bicycle) that arrives first has the right of way. If two vehicles somehow end up there at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right of way. This also counts for intersections with stop signs. So if you were riding your bicycle and were clearly the first to arrive, you still have the right of way, because you do count as a vehicle.

Right of Way When There Are Traffic Signals

Unlike other intersections, crossing an intersection with traffic lights safely can be pretty tricky. Sometimes a bicycle is not able to trigger the signal sensors so the light may effectively stay red until a car comes along. If you are trying to cross at one of these intersections, you are given two options: try to trigger the sensors or wait until it is safe to cross against a light. To be clear, if you are unable to set the sensors off and choose to cross, if you get hit, it will still be the fault of the cyclist in most common cases.

If you have been in a cycling accident and aren’t sure who was at fault for it, contact us today. We can help you sort out the legal details and make sure you get the justice that cyclists deserve.

Bicycle Accidents on the Rise in Boston as Motorist Hog Bicycle Lanes

Thursday, December 01, 2016

In the wake of a series of near misses and serious bicycle accidents, Boston cycling advocates are now pushing back hard for city officials to prevent cars and particularly commercial truck drivers from veering into bicycle lanes. This has been a particular problem ever since university classes started up again and students are choosing to take bicycles back from classes or to part-time jobs. Now that more cyclists are on the road in the city, the flagrant abuse of bicycle lanes by motorists have become dangerous.

Boston is already a city that is known for its narrow streets and rampant double parking. As such, it is not uncommon for cyclists to have to veer into regular traffic and vice versa. It creates a perilous situation at best.

To prevent this deadly situation, cycling advocates are asking three things of city officials:

  • They want additional bike lanes with physical barriers in high traffic areas to protect them

  • Do more to better educate drivers

  • Bolster more enforcement of the cycling laws and have violators face more strict charges

While Boston already imposes $100 fines on driver that are caught breaking bicycle lane laws, law enforcement officials tend to be more lenient with bicycle law breakers as opposed to other motor laws. It is a frustrating situation for cyclists since Boston police often fine them for breaking laws while motorist go free.

Are you the victim of a cycling accident after a driver invaded your bicycle lane in the Los Angeles area? Then you might have some legal action available to you. Contact us today to find out what options are available.

Legal Protection for Bicycle Accidents

Thursday, May 12, 2016

An increasing number of people are commuting to work on bicycles in order to save fuel, as well as to get exercise en route. The number of leisure bicyclists is also increasing substantially. While biking is an admirable and beneficial activity, the unfortunate reality is that bicycle accidents are occurring at an alarming rate. In fact, bicyclists and pedestrians are hit by motor vehicles throughout the greater Los Angeles area on a near-daily basis.

The city has more than 1,200 miles of pathways that are specifically dedicated to bicyclists. However, many of these routes run along busy roadways where motor vehicles and bikes vie for space. In a statistical report that was compiled by the California Highway Patrol motor vehicle drivers were shown to be at fault approximately forty percent of the time where the bicyclist was seriously injured or sustained fatal injuries.

If you are injured in a bicycle accident in the Los Angeles metro area, your health and well-being are the first concern. It is advisable to seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not think you have been seriously injured. A trained professional physician can let you know the extent of the injury and advise you about the best ways in which to take care of yourself.

Here are some other things to do after a bike accident:

Documentation

As soon as possible after the accident, jot down when and where it happened. If possible, gather any names of people who were involved in or who witnessed what happened. If you have your cell phone or camera with you, it can help to take photos of the site where the accident occurred. Include pictures that show any damage to your body or property, and that, if possible, can be used to illustrate exactly how the accident occurred.

It is a good idea to call the police after a notable accident. They may be able to offer quick medical attention on the spot, if necessary, as well as to obtain any emergency services needed to treat any injuries. It is also important to file a police report at this time and to request a copy of the report to give to your attorney.

Any clothing worn at the time of the accident, the helmet or other related items should be kept so they can be used as evidence, if necessary. The same is true for receipts for bicycle repairs, replacements for protective equipment or accessories.

If the driver of the motor vehicle has insurance, chances are, you will receive a call from his or her insurance adjuster. At this time, one should obtain the name, address and contact information for the insurance carrier, as well as the claim number for the accident and any pertinent information. However, do not discuss any of the following or do the following when dealing with the insurance agent:

  • Do not discuss whose fault the accident was
  • Do not issue any general statements about the accident
  • Do not discuss settlements
  • Do not sign any forms

Instead, immediately call a qualified attorney who specializes in protecting those who have sustained personal injuries. If you are injured in a bicycle accident or would like to have more information, please contact us. We are a personal injury law firm serving Los Angeles and the surrounding metro areas, including the San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, Encino, Thousand Oaks and North Hollywood.


New Auto Safety Laws Go Into Effect in 2014

Thursday, February 06, 2014

A number of new traffic safety laws in California are expected to roll in or go into effect in the year 2014.

At least one of those laws targets distracted driving. California’s distracted driving laws are already some of the toughest in the country, and make it illegal for persons to use a hand-held cell phone or text while driving. The new law makes it illegal for drivers below the age of 18 to use handheld cellphones or texting devices at the wheel.

That applies to the use of hands-free sets by motorists below the age of 18. It also includes the use of voice-activated communication systems that do not require a driver to use his or her hands to operate the cellphone. Basically, motorists in this category are now prohibited from using any type of cell phone at the wheel.

Burbank car accident lawyers believe that this is an important law, specifically targeting distracted driving in the below 18-age category. Teenagers are some of the heaviest users of smart phones, and also are at the highest risk for distracted driving.

Another law that is expected to go into effect in September 2014 is related to bicyclist safety. Effective September 16, 2014, motorists in California will be required to maintain a three-foot distance when they are passing by a bicyclist. The 3-foot law was passed in 2013, and is specifically aimed at helping keep bicyclists safe from taunting, and aggressive driving behaviors by motorists.

A motorist may sometimes taunt a bicyclist by driving too close, or in other cases, may simply ignore the need to maintain a safe distance from a bicyclist while passing by. Driving too close to a bicyclist increases the chances that the bicyclist will panic and fall off his bicycle. From September 2014, motorists will be required to maintain a minimum gap of 3 feet when they pass by a bicyclist.


Office Locations

21900 Burbank Boulevard
Third Floor
Woodland Hills, CA 91367-7418

P: 818-992-2919
F: 818-992-2940


From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.