Long Beach is the perfect spot for getting out on your bike and enjoying the beautiful scenery and the beautiful day. While you may make safety your top priority, there are far too many motorists out there who fail to take the necessary precautions when sharing our roads safely with bicyclists, putting you at undue risk.
If you have been injured on a bicycle in Long Beach as a result of someone’s negligence, it is time to consult with One Law Group’s experienced bike accident lawyers.
The Risk of Bicycle Accident Injuries in Long Beach
When you bike, your only protection from the impact of an accident is your helmet. While your bike allows you to enter the flow of traffic, it does not provide you with any protective cover in the event of an accident.
Some of the primary reasons that you are more vulnerable to the risks of the road when you are on your bike include:
- You take up less space, making you more difficult to see and making it far easier to disappear in a motorist’s blind spots (especially when that motorist fails to look before leaving their lane).
- You can stop more swiftly and efficiently than a motorist can, which leaves you more vulnerable to rear-end accidents.
- Because you travel on only two slim wheels, you are more susceptible to risk factors on the road, such as the dangerous effects of bad weather, poorly maintained roads, and more.
- You are vulnerable to dooring accidents (crashing into the flung-open door of a parked driver or driver-side passenger) when vehicle occupants fail to consider the safety of people on bikes.
Driver Negligence in Bicycle Accidents
Bike accidents are often caused when motorists simply fail to employ the necessary level of caution required to share the road safely with everyone, including bicyclists.
One of the primary forms of driver negligence on our roads and one of the most dangerous for bicyclists like you is driver distraction. When a motorist is more focused on their phone than on the traffic all around, it amounts to a perfect setup for traffic accidents, and bicyclists can pay the ultimate price.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares the grim statistic that, in 2020, 3,142 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving.
When a motorist texts, their attention leaves the road for an average of 5 seconds. In those five seconds, the driver can travel the length of a football field (when driving at highway speeds), which can translate to considerable damage. It is not difficult to understand why NHTSA identifies texting as the most alarming distraction.
Bicyclists are vulnerable to the dangers of the road at the best of times, but when you share the road with an impaired driver, the risk rises considerably. Drunk drivers not only experience physical, cognitive, and sensory impairments but also face deficits in impulse control and lapses in judgment – none of which bode well for others on the road, including bicyclists.
NHTSA reports that the incident rate for drunk driving in the United States rose 14 percent in 2020 from the previous year, and 11,654 people lost their lives.
When a motorist exceeds the speed limit or drives too fast for the actual condition of the road, they have less time to react safely to whatever they encounter on the road, and they ensure that any resulting accidents will be much more dangerous.
By the time the offending motorist sees you and your bike on the road, it may be too late for the driver to react safely. In fact, over the last 20 years, excess speed played a primary role in about a third of all traffic accidents, contributing to 29 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in 2020 (according to NHTSA).
Drowsy driving is underreported, which means that the danger associated with drowsy driving does not get the attention it should. Too little sleep can lead to impairments that are not dissimilar to those experienced by drunk drivers, which makes exhausted drivers exceptionally dangerous.
Your Losses From a Bicycle Injury
If you are injured in a bike accident caused by a negligent person, your losses – or legal damages – can be immense, and obtaining just compensation for every category of covered loss is likely to play a critical role in your ability to fully heal.
Your medical expenses
Bike accidents tend to cause serious injuries. The size and weight differential between you and the vehicle involved is so extreme that even accidents at slow speeds are likely to result in serious injuries. Your medical expenses, however, are unlikely to end with your initial treatment – serious injuries often require ongoing care and can lead to secondary and even chronic health concerns.
Your lost earnings
A bike accident can leave you off the job for a considerable stretch, and as a result, you can expect to experience decreased earnings. This category of loss can be even more considerable if your earning potential is affected or your career path is altered.
Your pain and suffering
Bike accidents are often violent and terrifying events that can leave you reeling both physically and emotionally. Many bike accident victims suffer PTSD-like symptoms that can make it difficult to get back on a bike or get back in traffic behind the wheel of a car.
An Experienced Long Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
The accomplished bicycle accident lawyers at One Law Group in Long Beach have impressive experience guiding cases like yours toward optimal outcomes, including successfully litigating favorable court awards. We are on your side and here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 310-923-9420 for more information today.