Burbank has a reputation for being bike-friendly, even offering an indoor parking garage, the Burbank BikeStop, at the downtown Metrolink Station for commuters who bike from home to the transit hub. However, the downside of all this healthy activity is a high accident rate from sharing the road with motorists.
For the past five years, an average of 3,400 bicyclists have been injured in Los Angeles County. The good news is that the number is inching downward, although UC Berkeley’s California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages (CATSIP) says some of the downward trend could be because fewer accidents are being reported. A Burbank bicycle accident lawyer could help you get the compensation you deserve after being injured in a crash. Call one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today to discuss your case.
Bicycle Helmets and Fault
The Cleveland Clinic reports that bicycle helmets are one of the most effective ways to protect riders from brain and head injuries and can reduce cyclists’ deaths by 34 percent. However, four out of five adult riders do not wear them.
The California Vehicle Code § 4-21212(a), requires all bicyclists and passengers under age 18 wear an approved helmet when cycling on public roads and paths. Skateboarders, roller skaters, and scooter riders must also wear helmets.
Youths who are not wearing helmets can be fined up to $25, but the medical consequences are usually more consequential, as are the parameters for insurance settlements. Adults not wearing bike helmets are giving insurers an excuse to lowball settlement offers as insurers will often claim an accident in which a motorist hits a bicyclist would not have been as severe if the cyclist wore a helmet. A Burbank bicycle accident attorney could assess the damages after a wreck and negotiate for appropriate settlement amounts.
Damages When a Bicyclist Is Partially at Fault
Because adults are not required to wear bike helmets, they cannot be blamed in part for not wearing one when they crash with a motorist. But in some cases, cyclists do bear some fault for their accidents, for instance, by breaking traffic rules.
California’s legal system has adopted pure comparative fault, which allows an injured cyclist to recover a portion of damages, even if they are 99 percent responsible for the accident. Juries decide how much liability each party bears, and an award will be reduced by the amount apportioned to the injured person.
How Bicycle Accident Attorneys Help Clients
Personal injury attorneys strive to get clients compensated when someone else behaves negligently and harms them. An attorney can:
- Depose and interview witnesses
- Hire expert witnesses if necessary
- Assess how an accident happened via the police report
- Negotiate with a negligent motorist’s insurance company or litigate if negotiations break down
- Connect California and local law to support the proper actions by a cyclist and improper ones by the motorist
- Study medical records and determine the amount of money an injured plaintiff will need to carry on comfortably
A Burbank attorney with a proven track record of wins could advocate for cyclists injured when motorists cause bicycle accidents.
Contact a Burbank Bicycle Accident Attorney for Assistance
Burbank continuously attempts to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable for residents, but accidents still occur. A cyclist’s vulnerability against a two-ton vehicle often results in severe injuries causing medical bills to mount during your recovery. Fortunately, one of our skilled team members could help you pursue proper compensation to get back on your feet. Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case with a Burbank bicycle accident lawyer.