According to a recent study, 77% of bicycle fatalities in Los Angeles occurred on multi-lane roads. Bicyclists and pedestrians are at risk on multi-lane roads because these highways are typically designed for high-speed traffic.
The following may cause bike accidents on multi-lane roads:
- the vehicle driver,
- the bicyclist, or
- a third party.
If you are driving on a multi-lane road, resulting in a bicycle accident, read on to learn who may be liable for the crash and how to claim restitution for the damages.
Is Biking on Multi-Lane Roads Dangerous?
Generally, biking is more dangerous than driving a vehicle because a bicyclist’s body is more exposed to possible dangers than a vehicle occupant. Additionally, there are other reasons why biking is dangerous on multi-lane roads, such as:
- Due to their size, road users, such as truck drivers, have difficulty noticing cyclists in lanes.
- Drivers tend to experience “inattentional blindness,” where road users fail to see unanticipated objects in plain sight.
- Multi-lane roads typically have higher speed limits.
Do Cyclists Have the Right-of-Way in California?
In California, bikes are treated as a vehicle similar to a car, truck, or any other automobile. This means that cyclists are expected to yield the right of way under the same circumstances as motor vehicles.
However, motorists must yield to cyclists if they are traveling in a bike lane. For instance, a driver can only cross or enter a bike lane after yielding to the cyclist’s right of way.
Can I Sue the Party Liable for the Bike Accident?
You may file a claim against the at-fault party if you are involved in a bike accident on a multi-lane road. However, you must establish liability to begin a case.
In general, negligence is determined by the following:
- The at-fault party is responsible for ensuring other road users’ safety.
- They neglected this duty.
- Their action led to your bike accident.
- The bike accident resulted in your injuries or other damages.
Like any other personal injury claim, you must have the necessary evidence to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused your accident. Otherwise, you will lose your case.
Who is Held Liable for Bike Accidents in Multi-Lane Roads?
Several parties may be held liable for bike accidents on multi-lane roads. This is because several vehicles use multi-highways, such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. The following may be held responsible for your bike accident:
The Vehicle Driver Caused the Bike Accident on a Multi-lane Road
The following circumstances can hold a vehicle driver responsible for a bike accident on multi-lane roads:
Multi-lane roads are often designed for high-speed traffic, making it challenging for bicyclists and pedestrians to cross or use the roadways safely. In addition, a driver has a limited time to stop and avoid a collision if they are moving at an excessive speed.
If your bike accident is caused by a driver who is driving beyond the speed limit, check for physical evidence at the accident scene to help you prove your case:
- skid marks,
- road debris,
- vehicle, bike, or other property damages
A bike accident injury lawyer can understand how the accident happened through the aforementioned evidence. So, you must capture the accident scene and damage to properties around you.
Drivers on multi-lane roads may be more cautious of other cars than bikes or pedestrians. Typically, a driver is distracted on the road if they do the following:
- took their eyes off the road,
- removed their hands from the wheel, or
- we’re thinking of something else while driving.
Common causes of accidents due to distracted driving are the following:
- The driver is using their phone while driving,
- The driver is eating on the road, or
- The driver is talking to the passenger.
To prove that a distracted driver caused the bike accident, you will need to have the following evidence:
- the accident report,
- the driver’s cell phone history,
- surveillance or CCTV footage,
- witness testimony, and
- accident reconstruction.
The Bicyclist Caused the Bike Accident on a Multi-lane Road
California mandates several bike laws that will protect the rights of cyclists and pedestrians on the road. However, an accident may occur if bicycle riders disregard these policies.
A bicyclist may be at fault for the accident under these circumstances:
- They ran a red light or stop sign.
- They were moving against traffic.
- They failed to signal or warn other road users when turning.
- They rode their bicycles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- They disregarded other traffic laws, which caused the accident.
If you are driving on a multi-lane road that leads to a bike accident due to the cyclist’s violation, you will be held liable for the damages of the crash.
A Third-party Caused the Bike Accident on a Multi-lane Road
Sometimes, bike accidents may be neither the driver’s nor the cyclist’s fault. A third party may cause the crash under the following circumstances:
Lack of Infrastructure
Several multi-lane roads don’t have dedicated bike lanes or sidewalks, which forces bicyclists and pedestrians to share the road with motor vehicles. This is significantly dangerous if the cars have a high-speed limit to maintain. 85% of traffic-related fatalities happened on roadways without bike lanes.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Poor road conditions may sometimes result in road accidents. It is difficult for drivers and cyclists to avoid accidents if the road has unsafe conditions, such as:
- missing barriers,
- defective road signals,
- unclear road signs, and
- unsafe highway design
In addition, drivers will have a challenging experience seeing and anticipating the road structure if they are driving under poor weather conditions, such as heavy snow.
In such cases, you may pursue a bike accident claim against the local government to claim compensation for the damages of the crash. A bike accident injury lawyer will help you gather evidence to support your claim and defend your case within the allowed timeframe.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive for My Bike Accident Claim?
Bike accident victims tend to focus on their bodily injuries and property damage when computing compensation for the crash. However, you can maximize your payout by including other damages, such as non-monetary losses.
In general, you may consider the following damages when calculating your total compensation:
|Economic Damages (financial losses)||Non-economic Damages (non-monetary losses)|
| || |
If you have non-monetary losses in your case, you are probably wondering how to calculate these. A personal injury lawyer has the knowledge to quantify non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, to maximize your settlement.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Bike Accident Claim?
Dealing with a bike accident entails several challenges. For instance, you were hit by a speeding driver while riding in a bike lane. Since the accident occurred at nighttime, the at-fault party decided to leave the accident scene without notifying you or the authorities of their information. In such cases, how will you be able to receive compensation for the damages?
A personal injury lawyer has the resources to collect evidence that can help locate the at-fault driver. If the police fail to find the driver, your accident attorney can check your insurance policy and determine the legal options that suit your situation.
Your bike accident injury lawyer will help you prove liability and obtain the compensation you deserve by:
- Gathering evidence to identify who is liable for the accident.
- Calculate the total damages from the crash.
- Negotiate for a fair settlement.
- Meet all legal deadlines.
- Defend your rights.
If you are searching for an attorney who will assist in sorting your case out, The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker has dedicated bike accident injury lawyers with extensive experience in winning bike crashes on multi-lane roads. Give us a call at 866-311-2457 to schedule a free legal consultation. We can examine your situation and provide legal options for you!