Bicycle Accidents at Intersections
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that more than one-third of all bicycle accidents occur in intersections. This statistic should raise some eyebrows in light of the fact that intersections are only a small segment of a bicyclist’s travels. Like many other bicycle accidents, intersection accidents most often occur between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Business Districts, Driver Distraction and Intersection Accidents
There are a variety of reasons why intersections are so dangerous to bicyclists. Riders present smaller and narrower profiles on the road than motor vehicles. Most often, motorists aren’t looking for bicycles, especially in business districts. They either don’t see them, or they don’t see them until it’s too late. Even if a motorist sees a bicycle, it might not register on his or her mental radar screen, especially if that driver is distracted and using a cellular device. If that bicyclist is hit by the motorist, it’s likely that he or she will suffer serious injuries.
Left Turn Intersection Accidents
Perhaps the most common turning crash that our Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers see is when a motorist makes a left turn in front of a bicyclist when the bicyclist is oncoming and proceeding straight ahead through an intersection. These accidents are often referred to as left cross crashes. Determining who was at fault in such an accident can get complicated quickly, but if the bicyclist was following all rules of the road, the driver of the turning vehicle might be held to be solely at fault.
Right Turn Intersection Accidents
In these right hook crash scenarios, the bicyclist is on the right side of the road, and often in a bike lane and traveling in the same direction as a motorist. The motorist will quickly pass the bicyclist and turn right. That’s when the crash occurs. A determination of fault on a right hook crash can also be difficult, but again, if the bicyclist was following all applicable traffic laws, the motorist may be held 100% liable.
Don’t Give a Statement
Drivers of motor vehicles must not only be aware of what’s approaching them, they must also pay attention to what is behind them or on their side, especially if there is a bike lane. If you were bicycling, and you were injured in a crash anywhere in or around Los Angeles when a motor vehicle was turning, you can expect the insurer of that vehicle to try and push some or all of the blame for the accident over onto you. No matter what the insurer’s representative says, don’t give that insurer any type of a written or recorded statement. California law doesn’t require you to give any type of a statement without an attorney being present on your behalf.
Instead of giving a statement, contact our offices right after an accident for a consultation with one of our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys at no cost whatsoever. Our practice is concentrated solely on the representation of bicycle accident victims. We’ll be pleased to answer your questions and advise you on all of the legal choices that are available to you.
Contact a Bicycle Injury Lawyer
Los Angeles Bicycle Law represents bicyclists because we are bicyclists. We know first-hand how rewarding, yet dangerous, cycling can be in the Los Angeles area. Even though the law treats bicyclists with the responsibilities and rights of a motor vehicle, the road itself offers far fewer protections. That is why we actively fight to protect bicyclists in our community. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, contact Los Angeles Bicycle Law today.