Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney
Half a century ago automakers and the federal government got serious about vehicle safety, and car accidents declined every year for 50 years until just a few years ago, when they started rising again. Distracted driving seems to be the most likely reason, caused by the explosion in smartphone use and social media. One key indicator that distracted driving is on the rise is that bicycle and pedestrian accidents are the categories seeing the fastest rise in auto accidents. Being smaller and harder to notice, cyclists and pedestrians are most at risk of injury or death at the hands of a distracted driver.
In Los Angeles, personal injury trial attorney Jeffrey Fleitman focuses on representing bicycle accident victims in southern California. Learn more about bicycle accidents below, and contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey Fleitman for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been harmed in a crash.
Driver error is a leading cause of Los Angeles bicycle accidents
Cyclists for the most part realize the risks involved when riding in city traffic, and they generally make great efforts to ride visibly and predictably with safety foremost in mind. Most often, it is driver error that is responsible for bicycle accidents in Los Angeles, including the dozens of deaths in Los Angeles and southern California that occur every year. Common driver errors include:
- Passing a bicycle too close to the cyclist
- Making a right turn when a bicycle is entering the intersection
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to a cyclist
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
California rules of the road require care and attention when overtaking and passing a bicycle
In 2013, the California legislature passed the “Three Feet for Safety Act,” found in section 21760 of the California Vehicle Code. As the name implies, this law requires car drivers to leave at least three feet between the car and the bike when driving next to, overtaking or passing a bicycle. If the driver can’t give three feet of space, the driver is required to slow down to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass if it won’t endanger the cyclist. Drivers are always required to drive at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the bicycle, considering the size and speed of the car versus the bicycle, as well as traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the road.
Failure to comply with the Three Feet for Safety Act is a traffic infraction that can result in a $35 fine, or $220 if the driving behavior resulted in a crash and injury to the cyclist. While these fines may not seem like very much, they do help the injured cyclist prove a case of negligence against the driver. When a person is injured because another violated a law that was enacted to protect the victim, the victim may claim the person was negligent per se. If found negligent per se in causing a bicycle accident, the injury victim is not required to produce other evidence showing the driver was at fault, making it easier to hold the driver liable and collect damages for the victim’s medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other legal damages.
Attorney Jeffrey Fleitman has been handling personal injury cases on behalf of injured bicyclists and others in Los Angeles for over 20 years. He knows the steps to take to build a strong case providing the negligent driver’s liability and the full extent of damages to the injury victim, so he can negotiate a settlement that compensates his clients to the fullest extent of the law. When insurance companies are acting in bad faith or unwilling to negotiate a fair settlement, Mr. Fleitman is ready and able to take the case before a jury on his client’s behalf. You can count on Jeffrey Fleitman to go to bat for you when you are injured by the negligence of another.
Attorney Jeffrey Fleitman is Here for You after a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident
For immediate assistance after a bicycle accident in Los Angeles or southern California, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey Fleitman at 310-399-2889. Your consultation is free, and we don’t charge a fee unless and until we recover for you.