Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents in California. Legal causes of bike mishaps. Cyclists rules of the road. Legal rights of bike riders in Los Angeles and throughout CA.

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Bicycle-Accident-Lawyer-Los-AngelesBicycling is an increasingly popular mode of transportation and recreation, offering numerous health and environmental benefits. However, it also comes with its own set of risks, particularly when sharing the road with motor vehicles. Understanding common bicycle accident scenarios and how to avoid them is crucial for ensuring safety. Here, we outline the top five bicycle accident scenarios and provide practical tips on how to prevent them.

1. The Right Hook

Scenario: A “right hook” occurs when a vehicle passes a cyclist on the left and then makes a right turn, cutting off the cyclist’s path. This can happen at intersections or driveways and often results in the cyclist crashing into the turning vehicle or being forced off the road.

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Ebike-Electric-Bike-Accident-Attorney-Los AngelesElectric bicycles have become increasingly popular among people of all ages as a convenient way to get around Los Angeles. They are especially popular among pre-teens and young teenagers who aren’t yet old enough to drive because they don’t require driver’s licenses. However, e-bikes can also be dangerous. Many of these bicycles are sold as direct-to-consumer kits, and some of the companies that manufacture e-bicycles cut corners on designs and components to maximize their profits. While this might also make e-bikes more affordable to end users, cost-cutting on components and design elements can also make these bicycles even more dangerous to riders as illustrated by a currently pending lawsuit filed by the parents of a young girl who died in an e-bicycle accident.

Tragic Outcome From Young Girls’ E-Bicycle Accident

On Jan. 31, 2021, Molly Steinsapsir, age 12, and her friend and neighbor, Eme Green, age 11, were watching television together after Green spent the night at Steinsapsir’s home. The two girls were close friends who only lived a few houses apart from each other and were excited to be able to spend some time together after the lockdowns of the pandemic.

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EBike-ElectricBike-Accident-Injury-Attorneys-Lawyers-LosAngeles-CAThe Growing Concern: Electric Bicycles and Car Accidents in California

As the streets of Los Angeles and throughout California become increasingly congested, more and more residents are turning to alternative modes of transportation to navigate the bustling byways. Among the most popular alternatives is the electric bicycle, or e-bike. Offering both manual pedaling and electric assistance, e-bikes have emerged as a favorite for those looking for a sustainable and efficient way to traverse the Golden State. But with their rise in popularity comes an important concern: the potential for accidents involving e-bikes and motor vehicles.

The Appeal of E-Bikes

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Los-Angeles-Bicycle-Accident-AttorneysCycling in Los Angeles, a city known for its sprawling urban landscape, endless traffic, and sunny weather, can be both exhilarating and treacherous. Recently, there’s been a concerning surge in bike accidents. Understanding the reasons behind this rise and the preventive measures we can take is crucial for every cyclist and motorist in the city.

The Rising Trend

Over the past few years, Los Angeles has seen an increase in bike accidents. With more people using bicycles for commuting, exercise, and leisure, the risk of accidents has inherently grown. According to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, cyclist injuries and fatalities constitute a significant percentage of all roadway accidents in the city. This upward trend calls for an urgent examination of its causes and effective solutions.

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As California bicycle accident attorneys, we like to inform cyclists of their legal rights when it comes to riding a bike in the Golden State. California has specific laws that apply to bicyclists. These laws are designed to help ensure the safety of bicyclists and other road users. If you’re a bicyclist in California, it’s important to understand these laws and follow them to avoid accidents and potential legal consequences.

Here are some of the key bicycle laws in California:

  1. Helmet Laws: In California, all bicyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that all bicyclists wear a helmet, regardless of their age.
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bicycle-accident-attorneys-Los-AngelesMany Californians enjoy bicycling as a fun recreational activity, an opportunity to get exercise while enjoying the outdoors, and as a means of transportation. As cycling has increased in popularity in the last few years because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of bicycle accidents and resulting injuries have sharply increased. An Oct. 2021 report by the American College of Surgeons found that trauma caused by bicycle accidents surged by 100% during pandemic-related lockdowns.

Some of the dangers involved with riding bicycles can be attributed to sharing the roads with motor vehicles. Both cyclists and motorists must understand the rules of the road and their responsibilities while riding or driving. To try to curb the number of bicycle accidents and their resulting injuries and fatalities, the California Legislature recently passed a bill that aims to protect bicyclists and decrease the danger that they will be involved in accidents. This law became effective on Jan. 1, 2023. Here’s some information about the new law and its impact on the rights and responsibilities of motorists who share the roads with bicyclists.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

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California-Bicycle-Accident-AttorneysIn Sept. 2021, an incident involving a 16-year-old teenager who struck six cyclists after blowing clouds of exhaust fumes on a group of cyclists was widely reported in the news media. The incident happened in Texas. Initially, the teen was released by the police from the scene without charges. However, the district attorney’s office in the county where the incident happened recently filed charges against the teen.

While the case is pending in Texas, if a similar incident happened in California, the perpetrator would also likely be charged with serious crimes. In either state, the injured victims would also be entitled to pursue compensation through personal injury claims regardless of the outcome of the criminal case against the defendant. Here is some information about the incident and how it might be handled if it happened in California.

Texas incident

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bicycle-accident-injury-attorneys-lawyers-LosAngelesLos Angeles should be the perfect setting for riding bicycles, but the lack of bicycle infrastructure and heavy traffic makes it dangerous. Fortunately, a long-running festival is set to return to the city this year. CicLAvia is scheduled to return to Los Angeles after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This open street bicycling festival will begin on Aug. 15 in Wilmington followed by events on Oct. 10 in downtown LA and Dec. 5 in South LA. CicLavia is operated by a nonprofit organization with the goal of promoting public health and mass transit. During the event, streets along the route will be closed and filled with cyclists, pedestrians, and vendors.

History of CicLAvia

The first CicLAvia festival was held in October 2010. Organizers modeled the event on the regular car-free festivals that are held in Bogota, Colombia each Sunday. More than 100,000 people attended the first CicLAvia festival in 2010, far exceeding the nonprofit’s expectations. The first event featured open streets stretching from East Hollywood to Boyle Heights, drawing many people outdoors to enjoy the open, traffic-free spaces and fresh air.

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In California, cities have immunity when people are injured while using paved or unpaved trails because of the design or location of the trail. The immunity does not apply when the injuries are caused by a dangerous condition that is unrelated to the trail, however. In Reed v. City of Los Angeles, Cal. Ct. App., Case No. B294531, the courts considered whether a badminton rope stretched across a bicycle trail was an unrelated dangerous condition or could have caused injuries to people regardless of whether they were using the trail.[1]

Factual and procedural background

On Sept. 12, 2015, Sells Reed III was riding his bicycle at 5:30 a.m. on a paved path that was adjacent to some sports fields in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. Some people who were not connected to the City of Los Angeles had stretched a rope of a badminton net across the path. Reed did not see the rope and struck it, causing him to fall backward from his bicycle and to suffer multiple injuries. He filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles, alleging that the city had constructive notice of the existence of a dangerous condition on public property or that the city’s public employees were negligent in the performance of their jobs, resulting in his injuries.

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los-angeles-bike-pedestrian-accident-attorneysCountries and cities around the world have started Vision Zero initiatives to eliminate all traffic fatalities. In 2015, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti started the city’s Vision Zero initiative to work toward the elimination of all traffic deaths by 2025. Unfortunately, data demonstrates that traffic fatalities have continued to rise despite the initiative. There are several reasons why the traffic fatality rates show no signs of slowing, including poor infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians, distracted driving, and traffic congestion on the city’s streets and roadways.


According to data released by Vision Zero and reported by the Los Angeles Times, 244 people died in traffic accidents in Los Angeles in 2019. While this represents a slight decrease of 0.8% from 2018, the statistics about pedestrian and cyclist deaths are more troubling. Since the start of Vision Zero in 2015 in the city, the total number of traffic fatalities has increased by 33%. Pedestrians represent a small percentage of accidents that occurred at 8%. However, they represent 44% of the fatalities that happened over the five years since the start of Vision Zero. In 2019, pedestrians represented 55% of the traffic fatalities that happened in Los Angeles.

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