There’s been a movement in recent years toward encouraging people to use bicycles as a means of transportation to save on gas and promote good health. As new streets are built or old ones are repaved, bike lanes often are included in the designs these days. That means more bicycles sharing the roads with cars — which also means more possibility for cars and bicycles to collide.

Between 2010 and 2015 there were almost 9,000 crashes in Los Angeles involving bicyclists that resulted in injuries — and 32 bicyclist fatalities. And as a percentage of all crashes, bicycle crashes were on the rise, from 6.7 percent in 2010 to 9.8 percent in 2015.

More than half of those crashes happened at intersections, and the most injury crashes happened during rush hour. Fatalities tended to happen more at night between 8 p.m. and midnight.

Common Injuries in Cyclist Accidents Throughout Los Angeles

When a car, van or truck hits a person on a bicycle, the resulting injuries can be very serious. Compared to the person in the vehicle, a bicyclist has little protection. Helmets can help reduce the severity of injuries, but even a cyclist wearing the proper safety gear can be seriously hurt.

Common injuries include:

-Head injuries or concussions

-Spinal cord injuries or paralysis

-Broken bones

-Sprains or strains

-Dislocated joints or limbs

-Herniated disc in the neck or back

-Soft tissue injuries

-Cuts, scrapes and bruises

Common Causes of Los Angeles Bicycle Crashes

The California Department of Transportation found that the most common ways that automobiles and bicycles collide are through either the driver failing to yield or the bicyclist riding against traffic.

Los Angeles motorists are supposed to yield to bicycles when turning left at an intersection, and aren’t supposed to turn right in front of a bike. Disregarding control devices such as stop signs or red lights also is a common way that drivers cause crashes with bikes.

Sometimes the bicyclist may bear some of the fault for the accident if he or she was riding against traffic or crossing against a signal. Bicyclists generally are required to obey the same rules of the road as cars or other motor vehicles, such as obeying traffic lights and stop signs.

Another way bicyclists can be injured in a crash is through “dooring” — when a person inside a parked car opens the door and the cyclist hits the door. Usually the cyclist has no opportunity to stop before slamming into the door. A cyclist often may fly off of the bike and hit the pavement, which can cause serious injury.

Recovering Damages

If you were hit by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle, you may be able to have your medical bills and other costs paid by the driver’s insurance policy.

Among the types of costs, you can recover are the expense of treatment and therapy for your injuries and lost wages if you lost time at work. You also may be able to get compensation for future medical care you’ll need because of the injuries and future lost wages.

As the person making the claim, it’s your responsibility to prove your case.

An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you gather the evidence to support your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and file a lawsuit if necessary.

Contact us at 800-905-8777 for a free legal case evaluation of your accident.