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How is Fault Determined After a Bicycle Accident in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is becoming increasingly scary for bicyclists as the advent of smartphones makes drivers more careless on the road. When a car and a bicycle crash, both parties will often try to assign blame to the other: The cyclist might allege the driver wasn’t paying attention or was overly aggressive, while the driver will likely argue that the cyclist was pedaling too close to the road. Fortunately, determining fault in a bicyclist accident often revolves around California’s laws regarding the duty of care, and an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney can help you argue for your rights.

To understand how fault is determined after a bicycling accident in California, we outline the state’s duty of care laws and attempt to resolve any questions you might have regarding your particular case.

Drivers in California Have a Duty of Care

In California, drivers have a legal duty of care to operate their cars in a reasonably safe manner to avoid collisions and injuries to others on the road, including cyclists. To be considered operating in a ‘reasonably safe’ way, drivers are required to pay attention to their surroundings and follow all traffic laws. As such, when a driver fails to adhere to this guideline, they will be considered liable for any resulting accident or injury. Thus, if a driver is distracted, driving under the influence, failed to heed local traffic signals or right-of-way rules, or even failed to look before opening their car doors or pulling in and out of a parking space – and those actions resulted in a bike accident – they will be considered responsible for that bike accident.

California’s duty of care laws put cyclists at an advantage when navigating motorists’ accidents, but they must similarly adhere to a duty of care. Cyclists must follow traffic signals, exercise caution and refrain from improper passing, and use designated bike lanes while biking. However, the law certainly puts the most onus on drivers, since their vehicles are generally far more dangerous and require much more care to avoid accidents on the road. 

A Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help You Determine Who is at Fault

Determining who is to blame after a biking accident should be left to a trusted legal ally who understands California’s duty of care laws and can help you build a case for compensation for your injuries. Your Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney will assess negligence by reviewing the specific evidence generated in a police report and witness testimony after the accident. Using this evidence, your attorney will build a claim that showcases how the driver’s negligence contributed to the accident’s occurrence, and petition the driver’s insurance company to cover your medical expenses and any pain and suffering.

Hiring the right attorney is critical. Don’t hesitate to contact our offices today to begin working on your case immediately.