Los Angeles Now Facing Rising Costs for Bike Crash Lawsuits

Bicycle Accident / March 29, 2018

Bike crashes could lead to many injuries and even lawsuits against the responsible parties. While a driver who wasn’t paying attention could also be held responsible in a lawsuit with severe injuries, sometimes the city responsible for maintaining a portion of the street could also be named in a lawsuit. That’s been the case for numerous lawsuits against the city of Los Angeles in the past couple of years.

A rising number of bike crash lawsuits are pending across Los Angeles. In 2017, more than $19 million was paid out by the city to cyclists and their families for injuries and deaths that occurred on local streets. When looking at city records, this amount was four times higher than any other year during the past ten and a surge of payouts to injured cyclists may indicate dangerous conditions at intersections that could put cyclists at risk for catastrophic injuries.

Although there have been marketing efforts to rebrand the city as the place that welcomes bicyclists and the addition of bike lanes, the city has faced spiking costs for fixing badly broken streets. For this reason, the city has shifted their focus to preventing salvageable roads from sliding into disrepair rather than making the necessary upgrades to existing problems. The worst streets across the city and county of Los Angeles have been largely untouched, including some of those where bike lanes were ultimately installed.

A Times analysis identified that nearly 20% of the bike routes and lanes across Los Angeles were graded as a D or an F. That made up approximately 179 miles throughout the area. Since the recession, the Bureau of Street Services has received more funding. However, the city has rarely taken on the option to fully repair damaged streets, even though crews were sent in to do work in the area and residents have made greater complaints in recent years. Anyone who has been injured in a bicycle accident that can show that the city may have had responsibility for dangerous conditions could pursue a lawsuit against the city.

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