Bike Accidents: What to Do If You Have Been Injured

In the San Fernando Valley, more and more residents are “going green” and using their bikes to cruise around town. Whether riding to a new spot on Ventura Blvd for dinner or meeting friends for brunch on Calabasas Road, riding a bike can be a perfect opportunity to enjoy nice weather and help the environment, all while getting a great workout.

Many adults feel invincible on bikes, but bike accidents are not just for kids. In fact, the most recent statistics show that over 700 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles and that 84% of these bicyclists were 20 years old or older. This means that if you or your loved one are riding your bike on the same roads that drivers travel, it is important to be extra cautious.

Bike accidents most commonly take place at intersections. With 45% of bike and motorist accidents taking place at intersections, it is crucial that cyclists take certain precautions, including:


Can I Recover for My Injuries If I Was Partially At Fault for the Accident?

Since the mid-1970s, California has adhered to the rules of “comparative negligence” when determining who is at fault for auto accidents and multi-car accidents in Woodland Hills when more than one party may be to blame.

What is “Comparative Negligence”?

When a driver’s negligence (texting and driving, falling asleep at the wheel, speeding) causes a car accident, California law assigns blame to the at-fault driver (the defendant) and the victim (the plaintiff) is allowed to recover financial damages associated with the accident from the defendant.

What happens, however, when the plaintiff is partially responsible for causing the accident? The situation gets a bit more complex and speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney in Woodland Hills may be necessary.


Is the Employer of the Person Who Caused My Car Accident Liable?

Were you recently injured in an auto accident in Woodland Hills? Sometimes, the parties who may be ‘at fault’ are not always apparent at first glance. This means that you may be able to file a claim against more than one individual or entity.

Many employees are on the road for work-related reasons and/or are driving work vehicles. If an employee was acting within the “scope” of his or her employment when he or she caused the car accident that injured you, the employer may also be liable for the employee’s actions. The scope of employment is defined by those actions that either have a reasonable relation to the employee’s job performance or are reasonably foreseeable by the employer and an experienced auto accident attorney can discuss this legal concept with you in further detail.

What is Scope of Employment?

While it is not always clear if an employee is driving for a reason within the scope of his or her employment, some scenarios have long been considered within the scope of employment rule, including:


Construction-Related Auto Accidents

As any driver in Southern California can attest, our roads and highways are always “under repair”. While these construction zones not only slow down traffic, adding to your already slow drive home from work, they can also be a safety hazard to both the construction workers and the drivers trying to maneuver safely around them. According to the Federal Highway Administration, auto accidents in work zones are not uncommon. Indeed, of the more than 37,000 work zone accident-related injuries reported, many involved passing motorists.

Road Construction-Related Auto Accidents


What is a Brachial Plexus Injury?

Were you recently injured in a car accident only to find that your fingers are tingling or numb? An injury which causes trauma to the nerves in the neck can result in a brachial plexus injury. Injuries to the brachial plexus are quite common and can result from a variety of personal injuries, including:
• Car or motorcycle injuries;
• Slip and fall accidents;
• Motorcycle accidents.

A brachial plexus injury involves injuries to the group of nerves that connect your spinal cord to your shoulder, arm and hand regions. Brachial plexus injuries can be severe, resulting in nerve damage, weakness in the hands or forearms, pain, lack of muscle control, numbness or even complete paralysis in these regions. Many times, slip and fall accident and/or automobile accident victims find themselves suffering from such an injury.


Steps to Take After Being Involved in a Car Accident in Woodland Hills

Being involved in an auto accident is often a disorienting, stressful event, especially when you are not at fault. Fear and anxiety are natural under such circumstances, but it helps to stay as calm as possible.

If you are involved in an auto accident in the Woodland Hills, the following are a list of “dos and don’ts” to consider in the moments and hours following the accident.


1. Seek immediate medical attention for yourself and anyone else who may have suffered an injury. Do not move an injured victim until medics arrive unless they are in continued risk of danger in their present position.


When an Accident Results in a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries can be among the most serious form of injuries caused by a Woodland Hills auto accident. Your spinal cord carries is your body’s “communication highway” and its vital, sensitive nerves act as messengers between your brain and other parts of your body. Traumatic spinal cord injuries can result in on-going pain, loss of control over bodily functions, numbness and tingling, impaired movement, and, in extreme cases, even complete paralysis. Learn more about paralysis and the expenses associated with a paralysis injury here.

Spinal cord injuries can result from a number of personal injuries, including:

  • Car or auto accidents
  • Motorcycle and bike crashes
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents

This list is not exhaustive. If you were injured by another person’s negligent driving or behavior, contact an experienced Woodland Hills personal injury attorney about your legal rights and potential for financial recovery.


CA Laws Pertaining to Texting and Driving

The number of auto accidents in the San Fernanda Valley that are caused by distracted driving has jumped in recent years, fueled primarily from an increase of drivers who attempt to text or use their cell phones while operating their vehicles. Distracted driving results in hundreds of thousands of injuries and thousands of fatalities each year – many of which are the result of younger drivers using cell phones. If you or a loved one were injured by a distracted driver, whether in an auto accident, pedestrian accident, or bike accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

CA Vehicle Codes and Texting and Driving

California has a number of laws that address cell phone use and texting while driving. One such law prevents drivers from using handheld cell phones, another which prevents drivers under 18 from using any form of cell phone in the car (even if it is “hands free”), and another law which bans texting while driving.


Whiplash Signs and Symptoms

While often made fun of, whiplash is a serious and, in many cases, debilitating condition that results in damage to the soft tissues or joints in the neck. Auto accident victims suffer from a “snapping” sensation where their body and head move in different directions along the axis of their neck joints, causing short-term and long-term pain and suffering. If you or a loved one are suffering from whiplash after being involved in a Woodland Hills auto accident that wasn’t your fault, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and potential for financial recovery.

Many cases of whiplash occur after a rear-end auto collision, but whiplash can also result from things such as bicycle accidents, motorcycle accident, and slip-and-fall accidents. It does not take a particularly high-speed or forceful crash to cause whiplash; even low-speed “fender-bender” auto accidents can result in this injury. For more information on whiplash injury risk factors, view this colorful infograph.

Common symptoms of whiplash


Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Should you ever have a legal claim against a party, including a personal injury claim after being in a Woodland Hills car accident, one of the most important reasons to consult an experienced attorney is to avoid problems with the statute of limitations that can eventually bar you from bringing suit and recovering financial compensation if you delay too long.

What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Most of the time, the clock begins to run from the time an injury or wrong occurs. Each state sets its own statue of limitations for different sets of claims, with the federal government having a separate statute of limitations for federal claims as well. In California, an auto accident victim generally has two years to file a claim. If the injury was not discovered right away, then it is 1 year from the date the injury was discovered if they delay in the discovery was reasonable.