The CDC reports that while only 1% of trips taken in the United States are by bicycle, cyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants of motor vehicles do. Each year, more than half a million emergency room visits are attributed to bicycle-related injuries. Major risk factors of bike and cycling accidents in the San Fernando Valley include:
(1) age – adolescents age 15 to 24 and adults over age 45 have the highest bicycle death rates,
(2) gender – men are much more likely to be killed or injured than women, and
(3) location – most deaths occur in urban areas and at non-intersection locations.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney about your injuries and your legal options can bring peace of mind as you begin your recovery.
Types of Bike Accident Injuries
Injuries that can result from cycling accidents range from minor falls to more serious internal bleeding or even death. U2’s lead singer, Bono, made headlines due to the injuries he suffered following a bicycle ride in New York’s Central Park in which he attempted to avoid another cyclist. His injuries included a fracture over his eye, a shoulder blade fracture, and a very severe elbow fracture. He also had surgery to his hand for one of his fingers. Bono is expected to undergo intense therapy and to make a full recovery.
Whether you or the driver is at fault in an accident will come down to an issue of negligence. In other words, did one of you fail to follow the rules of the road, including the local traffic laws and any relevant state laws? Both drivers and cyclists have a duty to exercise “ordinary care” to avoid causing an accident and any resulting injuries. In other words, would a reasonable driver or reasonable cyclist, following the laws and paying attention to others on the road, exercise the same care as in your situation?
The Reasonable Person Test
The test for a reasonable person is an objective one and takes into account particular attributes of the person who may be at fault (the defendant). The facts matter greatly, as the law recognizes that if someone who is required by a doctor to wear glasses while driving at night forgets them and causes n accident, that person was not exercising the same care as a reasonable person. A reasonable person would have worn glasses to drive at night, and therefore, the driver may be found to be negligent in causing the accident. A jury would usually decide whether a defendant has acted reasonably after considering what the defendant knew, experienced, or perceived at the time of the accident.
To discuss your cycling accident, contact experienced Woodland Hills lawyer Barry P. Goldberg today.