Torrance Bicycle Accident Attorney

Torrance Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicycling can be enjoyable and efficient, but also dangerous. Tragically, many cyclists over the years have lost their lives while riding their bike in Torrance and the South Bay area. 

With the rise in electric bicycles (e-bikes), especially among teens, getting around two wheels has never been more popular or widespread. But bicyclists and motorists can make for a deadly combination, as one or both parties may fail to follow the traffic rules, pay attention to their surroundings, or respect each other’s rights on the road.

If a negligent driver caused you to suffer serious emotional and physical injuries, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call to our Torrance bicycle accident attorney today to learn about your legal rights.

Torrance bicycle accident attorneys

Bicycle Accident Statistics in L.A. County

In a study released in 2022, BikeLA discovered four contributing factors in fatal bicycle accidents in Los Angeles County: speeding, a lack of bike lanes, multiple travel lanes on roadways, and insufficient street lighting. These factors consistently play a role in bike accidents where the bicyclist is hit by a motorist. 

Nationwide, the number of preventable bicycle fatalities has increased 37% in a 10-year span from 2012 to 2021. Fatal bicycle accidents tend to peak in July and August. 88% of those killed were males.

How Can a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help Me?

Dealing with the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be very stressful for victims. You may not even grasp the full extent of your injuries due to the shock. However, it is important to know that you have legal recourse if you were hit by a car while on your bicycle. 

A bicycle accident lawyer can be your lifeline if you are dealing with an uncooperative insurance adjustor or disputed liability. They can open an investigation into the cause of the accident and help you determine fault. A personal injury lawyer will communicate with the driver’s insurance company and outline a demand for compensation. If their settlement is unfair, a bicycle accident attorney can take your case to court and represent you in a trial. 

It is important to work with a California bicycle accident lawyer if your accident happened in California. Bike laws and personal injury laws differ from state to state. To see if you are eligible for financial compensation, contact our Torrance personal injury law firm to schedule a free consultation. 

Common Types of Bicycle Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a vast majority of bicycle injuries and deaths happen in urban areas, away from intersections, and in broad daylight. 

Types of bicycle accidents in Torrance

Many bicycle accidents in Southern California happen because a motorist fails to see the cyclist, is distracted, or impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. While the cause can be driver negligence, there are many different types of bike accidents. 

Rear End Collisions

Rear end collisions can happen two different ways. Firstly, when a bicyclist fails to brake properly and hits the vehicle from behind. It can also occur when a motorist hits a bicyclist from behind. 

This can happen for a variety of reasons: the cyclist swerved to avoid a road hazard, the driver was distracted or impaired, the driver followed the cyclist too closely, the driver cut off the cyclist with an unsafe lane change, or the driver slammed on the brakes. 


Dooring is a collision caused by a driver or passenger opening a car door into an oncoming cyclist. Under California Vehicle Code, it is against the law to open a door “unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic.” 

Riding Against Traffic

Riding against traffic is dangerous and is responsible for a large number of bicycle accidents. Traffic cannot see you, there is less time to react, and the impact of the crash is much higher. It is also illegal. According to California Vehicle Code 21650, all cyclists must travel in the same direction as traffic. 


Many motorists do not safely pass a bicyclist on the road or know the law. In California, drivers are required to give a 3-feet minimum distance when passing a cyclist. This law was recently amended to include another safety practice. If another lane is available, the driver must make a lane change into the other available lane before overtaking or passing the bicycle. 

Left turns 

Also known as a left hook accident, this is when a driver makes a left turn in front of oncoming cyclists, forcing them to brake. Left turn accidents are a frequent cause of serious and fatal bicycle accidents, as well as pedestrian accidents. Drivers should always yield to the oncoming vehicle or bicycle before completing a turn. 

Right turns

A right hook accident happens when a driver makes a right turn in front of a bicyclist and causes a crash. The larger the vehicle, the greater the blind spot and potential for a collision. Drivers must use good judgment and check their blind spots before turning right. 

Who Is At Fault: The Bicyclist or the Driver?

After an accident occurs, many people want to immediately place the blame on the other party. Yet it is not so easy. Only a personal injury attorney or the insurance company can determine fault after a thorough investigation. 

Fault in a California bicycle accident is based on whether one of both parties acted negligently, which means they breached their duty of care. Drivers have a duty to operate their cars in a safe manner to avoid collisions and harm to others, including cyclists. Some forms of negligence include driving under the influence and running red lights.

Cyclists also have a duty of care and must follow all traffic laws, signals, and be aware of their surroundings. Examples of a bicyclist’s negligence include ignoring a stop sign or riding while intoxicated. 

An experienced Torrance bicycle accident lawyer can examine the details of the accident and help determine whether one or both parties were at fault. 

Bicycle accident cases for personal injury lawyers

Compensation for Bicycle Accident Victims

If there is negligence involved, bicycle accident victims can be compensated for their damages in bicycle accident claims. Damages are the losses and harms that a person suffers as a result of an injury. Damages can be divided into two categories: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages are the quantifiable and objective losses that a person incurs due to an injury. They include:

  • Medical bills: Cost of medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and future care.
  • Lost wages: The income that a person loses or will lose because of the injury, such as salary, bonuses, tips, and benefits.
  • Repair or replacement of personal property: The costs of repairing or replacing the bike or other personal items that were damaged or destroyed in the accident.

Non-economic damages are the subjective and intangible losses that a person experiences due to an injury. They include:

  • Pain and suffering: The physical and emotional distress that a person endures because of the injury, such as pain, discomfort, anxiety, depression, and trauma.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: The diminished ability to enjoy the activities and pleasures that a person used to enjoy before the injury.
  • Disfigurement or disability: The cost of care if a person is permanently disfigured or disabled due to the injury. 

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries 

Aside from a helmet and knee or elbow pads, bicyclists do not have extensive protection if they are hit by a vehicle. This leads to more serious injuries, many which are life-threatening if not treated promptly. 

Bicycle crash injured cyclists

Some of the most common bike accident injuries are: 

  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Face/eye injuries
  • Chest injuries
  • Broken bones 
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Wrongful death

Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Drivers

Both bicyclists and motorists are instructed to share the road in California. That means both parties have an equal responsibility to avoid accidents and injuries. Whether you are a bicyclist, a vehicle driver, or both, here are some important safety tips to keep in mind. 

For Bicyclists

  • Wear a helmet: Helmets reduce serious head injuries by 60%. 
  • Be predictable: Signal your moves to others, ride in a straight line, and check behind you before turning or changing lanes. 
  • Do not wear headphones in both ears: Listening to music can impede your ability to hear surrounding traffic. Listen for vehicles and stay alert. 
  • Check driveways before crossing in front of them. Cars backing out may not see you approaching.  
  • Wear reflective clothing: Reflective or bright clothing and reflectors on your bike make yourself more visible to others, especially at night. 
  • Ride with traffic: By law, you must ride with traffic, not against it. Riding with traffic helps you be more visible to others. 

For Drivers 

  • Slow down at intersections: Intersections can be deadly for bicycle riders if drivers speed, run red lights, or fail to yield. When approaching an intersection, check to make sure there are no pedestrians or cyclists. 
  • Be careful when opening car doors: Before opening a car door, check to make sure a bicyclist is not coming. 
  • Do not park in bike lanes where it is not allowed: If there is not a “No Parking” sign, you may park in a bicycle lane if necessary. 
  • Take your time when passing: Leave a safe distance of three or more feet between your vehicle and the bicyclist. 
  • Be extra cautious of children: Be mindful in residential areas or schools where children and teens are riding their bikes. 

Bicycle Accident FAQ

How long does it take to settle a bicycle accident case?

The time it takes to investigate and settle a bicycle accident lawsuit can vary widely. For minor injuries and damages, it may only take a few months to settle. For more serious injuries, a case could take a year or longer to settle. It is best to be patient, as it takes time to complete an investigation and negotiate with the insurance company. 

What is the statute of limitations in California?

Injured bicyclists must file a claim within two years of their accident or discovery of the injury. If they fail to file within this timeframe, they lose the right to pursue compensation in a personal injury claim. Keep in mind that minors have until they turn 18 to file a claim. 

What if I was partially at fault? 

Even if you are partially at fault for causing the accident, that doesn’t mean you lose the right to recover compensation. Under California’s pure comparative negligence law, accident victims can recover compensation based on their degree of fault. So, if you were 20% at fault, you would still be able to recover 80% in damages. 

What if I wasn’t wearing a helmet? 

If you are over 18 years old, you are not legally required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. However, it is highly recommended that all bicyclists wear helmets, regardless of age or experience. 

A bicycle safety helmet is the single most important piece of protection in the event of a collision. The other party’s insurance company may try to offer you a lower settlement if you were not wearing a helmet. 

Are e-bike laws different from regular bike laws?

In general, e-bikes are treated like regular bicycles, so they follow the same laws. According to the California DMV, an e-bike is defined as a bicycle that has working pedals and an electric motor with a maximum power of 750 watts. 

There are a few differences when it comes to riding an e-bike versus a regular bike. Riders must be at least 16 to operate a Class 3 e-bike, and all Class 3 riders must wear helmets.

Contact Torrance Bicycle Accident Lawyers

While Torrance may be an auto-centric city, that doesn’t mean bicyclists don’t have the same rights as drivers. If you were injured in a bicycle accident because of a negligent driver, you should be able to recover financial compensation from them. 

South Bay Accident Lawyers can help you obtain maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We will help negotiate a fair settlement so you have what you need to return to your normal life. Our Torrance personal injury attorneys have years of experience representing motor vehicle accident victims and their families. Call our law firm in a free consultation so we can begin investigating your case.

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