Hurt in a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident? LA May Be to Blame
Municipal Negligence May Have Contributed to Your Los Angeles Bicycle Accident
If you've been hurt in a Los Angeles bicycle accident, you're not alone. The number of cyclists killed or injured on LA streets continues to be abnormally high. (Especially compared to other metropolitan areas.) Every year there are roughly 2,500 bicycle accidents in LA. But ridership accounts for just 1% of commuters. Compare that figure to the 5,000 accidents in New York City (whose population is twice as big and ridership is closer to 20%) and the problem is startlingly apparent.
But why are LA streets so dangerous?
Cars Pose a Threat to Cyclists on LA Streets
In 2013 the Governors Highway Safety Association rated California the most dangerous state in the nation for cyclists. LA was a hotspot of deaths and injuries. (Just how likely are you to be hit by a car in Los Angeles?) The association cited the shocking number of collision between cyclists and automobiles. Indeed, the previous year saw California clinch the second highest increase of fatal bicycle accidents in the nation. Only Florida had a worse safety record.
But drivers aren't to blame every time someone is hurt in a Los Angeles bicycle accident.
The vast majority of victims are indeed hit by a car in Los Angeles. But a significant portion of injuries stem from the city's failure to create and maintain safe bike lanes. Los Angeles is currently facing over a dozen lawsuits stemming from bike accidents in which victims claim injuries caused by:
- Cracked pavement
- Substandard road surfaces
- Poorly designed bike lanes
And other construction defects.
One family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit in LA after a man was killed on a particularly rough stretch of roadway.
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Road to Ruin—LA has Some of the Worst Streets for Cyclists
Cycling advocates have long chastised LA for having substandard roadways. These groups often point out that:
- Many bike lanes in LA were simply painted onto existing roads without any actual "engineering"
- Road surfaces are not often repaired before the creation of these new "bike lanes"
- LA is unable to keep up with maintenance schedules (due to understaffing or underfunding)
- Complaints don't often result in immediate action
And the city often agrees with these claims—from a compensatory standpoint.
In recent years, LA has paid out millions of dollars in settlements to end several lawsuits filed by victims hurt in a Los Angeles bicycle accident. While settlements don't require LA to admit culpability, the compensation afforded victims helps ease their recovery process.
Hurt in a crash? At a loss for what to do? Here are 10 things you should do if you're in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles
What is LA Doing About Its Poor Roads?
All the public attention these lawsuits have created has finally had an effect.
- LA has budgeted $25 million dollars to repair the worst of the worst.
- The Bureau of Street Services has surveyed all its marked bike lanes and classified each according to its need.
- City councilors are publicly advocating immediate repairs and reorganization of the effort to make LA streets safer for cyclists.
But there are still miles upon miles of poorly designed bike lanes. Lanes paved with crumbling asphalt and plagued by tire-eating potholes. Until all of these problems are fixed, the danger still remains.
Have You Been Hurt in a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Caused by Defective Roadways
how much could your injuries really be worth? Sally Morin and her team recently secured a $110 thousand settlement for a bicyclist injured at a construction site in LA.
Making a case against the City of Los Angeles isn't easy. But if you've been injured by poor planning, bureaucratic neglect, or city officials shirking their responsibility, you have the right to seek compensation. But getting it won't be easy.
You need an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles who focuses on bike accidents on your side who can fight for a fair insurance settlement or take your case to court if need be.
Get a FREE online case evaluation from our bike accident team now to see if we can help.