Video: 4 Things Bicycle Riders Must Know About Traffic Accidents

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There is a movement in California to get people out of their cars and onto their bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation. Thousands of bicyclists took over the streets of the San Fernando Valley for a day recently in the major CicLAvia event. 

The downside of more bicycle traffic is more bicycle accidents, according to Los Angeles personal injury attorney Steven Sweat

In the video interview with Editor in Chief Larry Bodine, Sweat offered practical tips for bike riders:

•    You must share the roadway like any other vehicle.
•    Stay to the right as much as possible when riding.
•    Ride with traffic, not against it.
•    Wear a helmet. There is a bill in California legislature to mandate helmet use for adults. “I’m for it because I’ve seen so many head trauma cases resulting from bike accidents,” Sweat says.

Bicyclist cut off by truck

Recently he obtained an important recovery for a bicyclist who was hit by a park ranger in Griffith Park, one of largest parks in Los Angeles. “It has bike lanes throughout so you’d think it would be a fairly safe place to ride a bike,” Sweat says. Unfortunately, his client was riding down an incline and a park ranger turned right in front of him, causing the bike to hit the truck. The rider flew through the air, and landed hard enough to shatter his pelvis.

He sued the city of Los Angles, which tried to blame the bicycle rider -- and offered only $50,000 to settle his claim. Sweat took it the case to trial and obtained a $250,000 verdict, which increased to about $300,000 when legal costs were awarded.

Sweat’s website has a whole page on bicycle accidents and blog posts, plus useful links to bicycle organizations, government and to state vehicle codes. He can be reached at 866-229-0101 and via the web.

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