During 2017, the City of Los Angeles spent just under $19 million as settlements to several bicyclists who had either been previously killed or seriously injured while riding their bikes down any number of the city’s decrepit streets. This payout amount was at least four times the amount of any prior year.
With a growing number of injury or wrongful death lawsuits being filed in recent years, on Tuesday, Feb. 20, the Los Angeles City Council decided to come up with a plan to inspect area roadways for potential repairs. This vote comes at a time when a reported 19 percent of the bike lanes in the city have received grades of either D or F.
It used to be where streets in the city were inspected at least four times a year. Recent depositions taken those who formerly worked with the city’s Bureau of Street Services suggests that this may not be the case anymore. It’s since that time that some of the biggest lawsuits have been paid out.
The largest payout to date was for $7.5 million, a sum that was paid to an area resident became a quadriplegic after crashing his bike on a poorly maintained street.
During the discovery phase of his case, the man and his attorneys had obtained documentation from the city showing that they’d previously received complaints about the same stretch of roadway where he was injured. They sent a worker out, but never performed any work to repair it.
As a condition of the City Council’s unanimous vote, the Engineering and Street Services departments will be charged with going out and inspecting all bike lanes or paths classified as either Class I or II in their jurisdiction. If they deem that they need repairs, then they’ll be responsible for producing both a cost and time estimate for making it safe.
It will then be the responsibility of the city administrators to actually authorize the repairs.
The council also voted to have Los Angeles Department of Transportation communicate with the city’s Bureau of Street Services before any new lanes are installed so they can determine how to keep them safe.
If you’ve been seriously hurt while out riding your bike due to poorly maintained roadways, then a Los Angles bicycle accidents attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit in your own case.
Source: CBS Los Angeles, “LA to improve bike lanes after paying out over $19 mil last year,” Feb. 20, 2018