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On Thursday night, December 22, 2022, a fatal accident involving a truck and a bicyclist happened in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County. Let’s explore the details of the incident with Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys.
At around 10:25 PM, Thursday night, the local law enforcement authorities in Paso Robles received a call about a fatal accident on the northbound Highway 101 at Monterey Road.
When the police officers arrived at the accident scene, they found debris, a crushed bicycle, and a slightly damaged Dodge Ram, suggesting that the driver crashed into the possible bicyclist.
The Paso Robles officers also found the cyclist, who remained dead at the accident scene, and the Dodge Ram driver, who was not injured in the fatal collision.
As the police started their investigation and questioning, they closed off one lane of northbound Highway 101 until 11:25 PM before reopening it.
The investigation is ongoing, and there is no further information about the incident.
Without a proper investigation into the incident, it is too early to state who is liable for the fatal bicycle accident on Highway 101. However, in most bicycle accident lawsuits, the following parties are often the defendants.
It could be possible that the bicyclist was responsible for the accident on Highway 101, north of Paso Robles. Perhaps, they were not wearing a high-visibility jacket and were driving on the road instead of the designated bike lane.
Or maybe the bicyclist had a little bit too much alcohol before their ride and ended up losing control before the crash happened.
Certain sections of the northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 101 are not accessible to bicycle riders. If the bicyclist was on one despite the warning signs, they might be liable for the incident.
Under California Vehicle Code 21209, drivers do not have the right to drive in dedicated bike lanes. Anyone violating this section and causing injuries to a bicyclist may be liable for the damages.
The driver is responsible for driving safely and obeying all traffic rules to prevent accidents. A negligent driver driving recklessly can cause serious accidents leading to liability in case of damages. Drunk driving, distracted driving, fatigued driving, or reckless driving are all examples of negligence for which the drivers may be responsible for the damages.
After a bicycle accident arising from cracked pavements, roads, or potholes, the bicyclist often blames themselves for the incident. However, it is essential to note that the California premises liability law holds the City responsible for any injuries caused due to improper road conditions, such as potholes, cracked or uneven pavements and sidewalks, loose gravel, and damaged or missing road signs.
In 2017, according to Los Angeles Times, the City paid out 17 claims totaling $19 million for catastrophic accidents, revealing that 20% of the City’s bike lanes are in poor condition. In most of these accidents, the City was aware of the dangerous road conditions, especially after multiple complaints from the public and city employees. However, the City continued to ignore the hazardous road conditions.
If the incident on Highway 101 north of Paso Robles occurred due to the government’s negligence, the City might be responsible for the damages.
Besides road conditions, the government may be liable for the damages if their pickup truck (California Highway Patrol) smashes into another vehicle, motorcycle, bicyclist, or pedestrian due to the government employee’s negligence and causes them injuries or death.
It could be possible that the bicycle underwent a shoddy repair job earlier that day, causing the bicyclist to lose control, or perhaps the bike was a recently purchased one and was already defective before the crash occurred.
An incident happened in 2019 when the driver lost control of their Chevy Tahoe, and the car rolled down the steep embankment on the northbound Highway 101 south of the Spring Street off-ramp. There were many speculations that the accident could’ve happened due to a shoddy repair job or a tire blowout.
A proper impartial investigation can identify the party(s) liable for the accident, which is a critical step towards recovering damages.
Under California law, surviving family members have the first right to recover compensation when pursuing a wrongful death claim. It is important to note that California follows the comparative negligence rule. Even if the bicyclist was partially responsible for the accident, the surviving family members might still be able to pursue compensation.
However, under the rule, the damages awarded will reduce according to the degree of fault of the bicyclist. Surviving family members must reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their case and help gather evidence, such as a police report, pictures, CCTV footage if available, and other necessary evidence to build a strong case.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a bicycle accident or lost a loved one, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation, as you may be able to obtain compensation.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.
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