Trusted Long Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer Ready To Assist You
A bike accident can cause serious injuries. A careless driver who hits you could cause thousands of dollars or more in medical bills. The Beliz Law Firm, P.C. can help if this happens to you. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll listen to what you have to say and advise you on the best course of action. We do not charge a fee until after we earn a settlement or judgment in your favor. Contact an experienced Long Beach bicycle accident attorney today.
Case Spotlight$126,500 Settlement Amount
Classic Car Show Accident
The Beliz Law Firm settled a negligence lawsuit against a classic car show. The client was attending a classic car show in the Inland Empire. The client entered a roadway to attain a better view of the various hot rods and muscle cars that were parading along. Unfortunately, a 1966 Ford Mustang performed a burn out and struck the client. The client was hospitalized with skull and leg fractures.
The client signed with an attorney that sent him to medical providers for back pain. The client signed with a second attorney that also sent the client to doctors for the back pain. The new attorney filed a lawsuit against the driver and the car show, among others. The driver of the Mustang did not have auto insurance for the vehicle. For over three years, there was no settlement offer from any defendant.
The Beliz Law Firm was brought into the represent the client. After reviewing the medical records and realizing there may be a traumatic brain injury, the client was sent to a neurologist, who confirmed the diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury, and other brain experts to determine the severity of the client’s injuries.
After many witness depositions regarding the facts of the case and getting a motion for summary judgment to be granted in the client’s favor, the Beliz Law Firm took the case towards trial. About a month before the case was set to go towards trial, the defendants wanted to go to mediation. In a span of 9 months, the Beliz Law Firm was able to settle the case against the classic car show and the other defendants for $126,500.00.
Steps To Take After A Bike Accident
Getting hit by a car while riding your bicycle can change your life dramatically. The size and
speed of a car can create great force in an impact against a defenseless bicycle rider. The force
of a collision can cause serious and life threatening injuries.
The following steps may not protect you from getting hit by a car while riding a bike but it will help in protecting your potential personal injury case.
After the collision, you need to assess your body for any potential injuries. A bicycle helmet
may help against a head injury however other body parts especially your limbs are vulnerable
to serious injuries in a car accident. In many instances, injuries may happen not only from the
car itself but also from the impact to the ground. Therefore a bicycle rider has twice as many
chances to be injured from a car crash. Assess your body for any pains and injuries.
Immediately call and report the bicycle accident to local authorities. If possible, obtain the officer’s name, report number, and police agency. An officer may collect statements from the scene that will later be written in the report. In addition the report will have valuable information including all drivers’ names, owners’ information, addresses, and insurance coverages. Most importantly a report may have the cause of a collision and if there were any violations of vehicle codes.
Promptly seek medical attention for your injuries. Due to the fact a motor vehicle is heavier and faster than a bicycle rider, injuries can be severe to a cyclist. Plus bicyclists may incur two impacts, one from the vehicle and the other from the ground.
If your injuries are serious, you may be driven to the hospital in an ambulance. In many instances, pains and injuries are not immediately apparent at the crash site. It may take two to three day or even longer for your injuries to present. For example brain injuries and internal injuries may not present themselves immediately. Therefore, you should then promptly seek medical attention. Let the doctor know all of your aches and pains from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.
Common injuries are broken bones, disc bulges, road rash, and head trauma. After a bicycle accident, many injuries, even serious ones, are not readily apparent.
Gather Information and Evidence
Gather as much information as possible from the scene. Even if law enforcement officers arrived at the scene, you should try to gather as much as information as possible. Exchange information with the car driver; remember to receive their name, driver’s license information, and auto insurance information. Take photos of both your bicycle and the car, in addition to the accident scene and any other information like traffic control devices that may help your case. If there are independent witnesses, get their names, phone numbers, and addresses.
Call your auto insurance company. Even though you were hit by a vehicle while riding a bicycle, you may be covered for bodily injuries through your uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional insurance. Even though you are on a bicycle at the time of the incident, your uninsured motorist coverage may compensate you for your bodily injuries since the incident involved a car.
Don’t speak! Any information given to the other party or to their auto insurance company may be detrimental to your personal injury claim.
Contact a Long Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Contact a reputable and experienced Long Beach bicycle accident lawyer. A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claim and potential litigation side of your bicycle accident case. An experience attorney will speak with the other person’s insurance company. Additionally he or she will seek out the various parties who may be negligent in your claim and help you with the medical treatment.
Cycling In Long Beach
Bicycling is great for exercise, transportation, or just enjoying a great day. Long Beach has many fantastic bike routes and is a great city to see by bicycle. However, as the push for a more cycling-friendly city continues, bike accidents are becoming more common.
Over the last decade, the number of bike accidents have increased substantially in Long Beach. Bike accidents are often serious because of the massive size difference between cars and bikes. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), automobile traffic accidents kill over 600 bicyclists each year in the United States. Unfortunately, Los Angeles County has the highest number of bicycle accidents in the state in recent years.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries in Long Beach
Getting hurt in a bicycle accident in Long Beach can be devastating. Whether you regularly use your bicycle for transportation around town or ride more leisurely, a crash can result in debilitating and even life-threatening injuries, especially when bicyclists are struck by automobiles.
An article in American Family Physician cites the following as the most common injuries suffered
in bicycle accidents:
- Head injuries: skull fractures, concussions, brain contusions, and intracranial hemorrhages.
- Facial and eye injuries: contusion, facial fractures, dental fractures, and corneal foreign bodies.
- Musculoskeletal injuries: fractures, dislocations, and strain.
- Chest injuries: rib fractures and parenchymal lung injuries.
- Abdominal injuries: splenic ruptures, hepatic lacerations, renal contusions, pancreatic trauma, vascular perforations, small bowel contusions, large bowel contusions, ruptures, and trauma hernias.
- Genitourinary injuries: trauma to the urethra or vulva, rectal trauma, and pelvic fractures.
- Skin and soft tissue injuries: abrasions or road rash, lacerations, and contusions.
Head injuries are the most common of all types of injuries, occurring in anywhere from 22 percent to 47 percent of bicycle crashes involving personal injuries. Collisions with motor vehicles are responsible for about 60 percent of all fatal bicycle injuries. Unsurprisingly, off-road cyclists have a lower rate of serious head and upper-body injuries than do on-road and urban cyclists.
Common Causes of Long Beach Bike Accidents
If motorists and cyclists followed all the rules of the road, it could reduce a large percentage of accidents. Bicycles are not easy to spot, which is why motorists must always take extra care when driving in areas where a bicyclist might be present. It’s important for motorists to familiarize themselves with bicycle laws to better understand a rider’s rights and obligations.
Numerous factors can contribute to bicycle accidents. Some of the most common causes include:
- Distracted driving – When a driver is distracted by their phone, GPS, passengers, radio, etc., they can take their eyes off the road for a split second, which could result in hitting a bicyclist.
- Reduced visibility – Bicycles are not always easy to spot, which can become even more problematic at night or in adverse weather conditions.
- Failure to yield – Motorists often fail to yield to a bicyclist when they are supposed to, which can have catastrophic results.
- Not leaving enough space – When a driver doesn’t leave adequate space between them and a bicyclist, they can cause an accident.
- Speeding – Motorists who are speeding are less likely to be able to stop in time should they spot a bicyclist at the last second.
- Driver fatigue – Driving when you are fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel can have deadly consequences for other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
- Driving under the influence – Even one drink can impair your reaction time, and result in your inability to see a bicyclist until it’s too late.
- Fall – about 17 percent of all bicycle accidents in which riders get hurt involve the cyclist falling from the bicycle. In some cases, these are accidents involving only the bicyclist when, for example, the bicycle hits a dangerous pothole in the road. In some situations, bicyclists can also sustain fall-related injuries when swerving to avoid a distracted motor vehicle driver or an aggressive driver.
- Roadway or walkway in poor repair – about 13 percent of all bicycle accident injuries occur because the roadway or walkway was in poor repair. This statistic can refer to potholes or otherwise uneven roads or riding spaces.
Not all accidents are entirely the fault of a motor vehicle operator, either. Bicyclists can also contribute to their own injuries or have liability in an accident for failure to follow the law. People 18 and over are not legally required to wear a helmet in California when riding a bicycle.
However, that doesn’t mean the defendant’s insurance company won’t try to argue that you should receive less compensation for being unsafe. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced bike accident law firm who understands how these claims work.
ELIGIBLE COMPENSATION FOR BIKE ACCIDENTS
Potential compensation in a bicycle accident depends on the specifics of your case, such as the severity of your injuries and liability. If you are involved in a Long Beach bicycle accident, you may be entitled to the following compensation:
- Medical expenses for injuries suffered;
- Future medical bills;
- Loss of earnings and loss of future earning capacity;
- Property damage;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Emotional distress.
In limited scenarios, you could also be entitled to receive punitive damages. Courts reserve punitive damage awards for certain cases, usually involving intentional and egregious misconduct like malice, fraud, or a wanton disregard for the safety of others. For example, a motorist who intentionally hit you or was driving under the influence of alcohol might entitle you to a punitive damages award.
Calculating damages in a bicycle accident claim can be complicated. That is one of the many reasons you should consider hiring an experienced Long Beach bicycle accident attorney. When you have a skilled bicycle accident law firm—such as The Beliz Law Firm, P.C.—representing you, you can relax knowing we will work tirelessly to build the strongest case possible. We will open an independent investigation and gather all relevant evidence that supports your claim for damages.
Contact a Long Beach Bicycle Accident Attorney at The Beliz Law Firm, P.C.
If you are pursuing a claim for damages in relation to a Long Beach bicycle accident, you don’t have to do it alone. An experienced Long Beach bicycle accident lawyer at The Beliz Law Firm, P.C. is ready to help. For a free case review, reach out to Michael Beliz today.
Mr. Beliz has over 15 years of experience representing injured victims in Southern California. He has handled thousands of cases in all types of personal injury matters, including bicycle accidents. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us help protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation possible.
ADDITIONAL PRACTICE AREAS
Bike accidents aren’t the only type of cases we work with. Our services include, but are not limited to:
What Else Should You Look For In A Long Beach Bicycle Accident Attorney?
When you’re looking for the best legal representation for your personal injury case, you want to find someone you can trust.