Each day across Southern California, another bicyclist risks suffering an injury due to uneven, broken or potholed pavement. Just last year, bike crashes were apparently so frequent in Los Angeles alone that 17 claims totaling $19 million dollars in damages ended up being paid out to injured residents or deceased individuals’ families. This amount marks a 75 percent increase over any other year during the past decade.
With the average settlement amount as high as it was last year, it’s evident that the injuries that bicyclists are suffering aren’t simple bumps, bruises or scratches.
Instead, there are cases in which bicyclists have broken their necks while out riding their bikes, ultimately ending up as quadriplegics. There are others in which a bicyclist, after striking a pothole, has ended up suffering a traumatic brain injury. There’s even the case of one bicyclists who died after he was sent flying over his bike’s handlebars after crossing uneven pavement.
These injuries have come at a time when the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services administration has said that they’ve repaved as many as 4,821 miles worth of the city’s roadways during the past two years alone. They note that this has resulted in the city’s streets being upgraded to C from far worse grades before.
As a budget saving measure, the city has begun simply doing the bare minimum to salvage roads as opposed to repaving them.179 miles worth of the city’s bike lanes that they’ve attempted to simply salvage currently have D or F grades.
Although the city says that have their workers methodically check every single city street at least four times a year, their own internal records don’t seem to support this claim.
Instead, recent injury or wrongful death claims that have been filed against the city have revealed how they tend to handle street repairs instead. They only look into and attempt to make repairs to them once they receive a complaint. Often times, it takes a catastrophic injury, like the ones described above, before any real change is made.
If you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries while out riding your bike, then a Southern California bicycle accidents attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit your city to recover medical costs.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “L.A. faces skyrocketing costs for lawsuits over bike crashes,” Emily Alpert Reyes, Feb. 03, 2018