Redondo Beach Injury
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Table of Contents:
- About Redondo Beach
- Commercial Activities in Redondo Beach
- Accidents in Redondo Beach
- Top Employment In Redondo Beach
- Unintentional Accidents in Redondo Beach
- Redondo Harbor Gateway and Bike Path Improvement Project
- Discussion of Other Problems with the New Bike Path
- Bicycle Accidents in Redondo Beach, CA
Of particular interest, North Redondo houses around two-thirds of the city's children. Many of these kids ride bicycles and skateboards. With so many schools in operation, during the week, injuries to kids and teachers are higher immediately before, and right after designated school hours.
Redondo Beach is a small, sleepy beachside city with excellent weather. Sandwiched in between Hermosa, Manhattan Beach, and Torrance, it's just due north of Palos Verdes Estates. These bordering cities are collectively known as the South Bay. Of particular interest, Redondo is now home to several past and current professional sports stars. Also, it houses glamorous movie icons and other famous celebrities.
Its great geography, climate, views of Torrance Heights, Catalina Island, Palos Verdes, Santa Monica, and Malibu are breathtaking. Because of its closeness to world-class food, a comedy club, boardwalks, piers, LAX and PCH, it remains especially attractive for vacationers, entrepreneurs, and people in the jet set.
For that reason, coupled with the fact its one of the more affordable places to live along the LA coast, its population has dramatically enlarged over the years.
Many former homeowners were World War II war veterans who had relocated to California in the late 1940s after returning home from the hostilities. These discharged warriors bought one of the many postwar bungalows. After all, there were jobs and the homes were subsidized by the U.S. government, for around a thousand dollars or less.
A lot of these ex-GI's went on to work in the defense industries or entered into other private services and industries, to become successful businesspeople. And with a history of so many war vets living here, its fitting that several Veteran's Memorial Parks exist throughout the South Bay.
Sources of New Commercial Activities
But alas, as this greatest generation passed away, many left their homes to their offspring. Contrasting these war vets, their offspring grew up in the counter culture of the 1960s. After reaching adulthood, many of these survivors sold off and moved away to cheaper neighborhoods.
But other landowners decided to hold on to these bungalows and plant their roots, as property values skyrocketed. More and more, however, this demographic cross-section of landowners are selling off for large payouts. Many residents are relocating to lower tax states. As a result of people moving away, run down bungalows are being freed up. Many new homeowners have conducted the process of tearing down, partially demolishing, or remodeling.
Needless to say, building activity is a regular thing here. So there are dangerous objects and things deposited into the streets. These items include things like trash, 16 Penney, masonry, drywall, and carpenter-type nails. Debris and sharp objects from job sites along the highway will regularly pierce and deflate passenger vehicle tires. Also, potholes from too many heavy construction vehicles can wreak havoc on car suspensions, wheels and tires, causing loss of vehicle steering and control. Because of this, blowouts and flats are potential contributing factors with respect to bad crashes here.
Types of Accidents in Redondo Beach
Besides the increased vigorous commercial bustle in this 6.2 square mile city of around 66,748 people, other causes of nonintentional calamities exist. For example, dog attacks, slip and falls, falling or flying objects, fender benders, sideswipes, and rear-enders involving motor vehicles remain a familiar spectacle for both residents and visitors alike. Drunk driving arrests, as well as DUI accidents with injures, remain a common sight to behold as they do in most beach cities with drinking and partying going on.
On the other hand, the increased traffic from recreation, home-building, clubs, and bars is helping to make Redondo's infrastructure strong. More and more, it is evolving into an amazing place to work and live. For example, it maintains one of the most highly rated public school districts in the U.S. Plus, the real estate market is hot. The city recently remodeled their pier and re-engineered a major cross-section of car, bike and pedestrian lanes as well.
Naturally, sunny Redondo lures many visitors not used to navigating the winding, park, and school filled neighborhoods. Distracted onlookers are constantly doing business here and driving around. A robust tax base remains, with little residential blight.
True to its military roots, Northrop Grumman remains the top employer in Redondo. Coming in close are government employees. So number two is the Redondo Beach Unified School District, closely followed by the City of Redondo Beach.
Needless to say, there are a lot of government employees navigating the pavement to and from the same locations during the week. In other words, many people don't drive to the freeways on-ramps in order to get to places of employment. Instead, workers stay in the city, and possibly even work from home.
Of particular interest, North Redondo houses around two-thirds of the city's children. Many of these kids ride bicycles and skateboards. With so many schools in operation, during the week, injuries to kids and teachers are higher immediately before, and right after designated school hours.
Also, many residential neighborhoods lack sidewalks. Because of this, visitors should pay special attention to the school zones and crossings. There are a lot of schools and crossing guards. But imagine how easy it would be for a distracted driver to clip a person walking in the lane of travel? So do us all a favor, remain vigilant and stay off your cell phone when driving in Redondo Beach.
Elders too have their own exclusive carved out retirement areas. For example, 55 and over living facilities exist in near Emerald and Coast Highway. Naturally, elder financial abuse and neglect are not an uncommon occurrence. Old folks also tend to walk slower than the average person under 55. So they remain a present target for a distracted, or inattentive driver at a road crossing, for example.
Other Unique Issues with the City
Aside from tightly packed homes offering little privacy or yard space, each part of Redondo presents its own unique risks and benefits to people of all ethnic backgrounds. Primarily, the jury pool here is made up of whites. Following this are many Native Americans, and Asiatics, of Tongan, or Samoan descent. But all these people can find themselves in the zone of danger too. They also remain at risk for unforeseen disasters. Despite the common pitfalls presented by circumstances like a burgeoning population from increased economic activity, most accidents do not normally happen unless someone was negligent.
Most of all, a great portion of accidents here involve bicycle riders and automobiles. Many residents here are into the more green side of things. So Redondo remains a choice haven for bikers in the "bike to the grocery store" society. Now more than ever, the South Bay sees a lot of riders traversing the many winding bikes lanes, sidewalks, and asphalt at any given time of the day or night.
Making matters worse, is the sheer number of leashed and unleashed dogs on sidewalks, streets and bike paths. Adding to this number of dogs is the law allowing pretty much any dog to be a "service dog." Now, even people with no medical necessity take their dogs everywhere. The unintended consequences for business and the bike paths of this feel good law have been grave.
Imagine a large pit-bull or other stray dog chasing your bike with its spinning spokes and cranks. It considers you to be prey as it lunges at your hind quarters. Any dog is more agile than a human, and the faster you peddle, the more the dog wants to bite you. So now, a possibly unneutered, powerful, fearless and aggressive dog has punctured your riding shorts and tender skin.
Some specialty dogs have jaws exerting 600 pounds of pressure or more. Depending on the size of the dog and location of the bite, injuries can range from a significant bruise, to a life threatening punctured artery. For a child or vulnerable adult, even a nip from a small dog can be devastating.
An uptick in Unintentional Accidents
Sadly, we have recently seen an uptick in deadly street accidents. For example, a Metro bus near Knob Hill, recently killed helmeted children while they were bicycle riding along PCH. The bicycle-friendly reputation of this city is belied by the local government's failure to create common sense solutions to the substantially changed conditions presented modernly.
Other examples of needless hardship here include a church-going family run over and killed by a drunk, impaired, inattentive lead-foot. Statistics from 2016 alone show there were four fatal road accidents involving a total of five vehicles. One fatal accident was due to a drunk person.
A total of five people were involved, with a total of two pedestrians having been killed. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2009 statistics revealed 630 fatal bikes versus automobile crashes with 51,000 bodily injuries in 2009 nationwide.
In more recent news, we've read sensational reports of motorcyclists hitting joggers at high speed along PCH. Bike-crash hotspots include Artesia Blvd, Catalina Avenue, and Artesia Blvd. True, no amount of laws can force drivers like that to look out for riders. But what about when the City Council and planning departments cause or create conditions making this town less safe for clean energy and recreational riding participants? Adding to the clear and present dangers to Redondo's riders is a new menace to the public along the Marvin Braude Bike Trail.
The New Redondo Beach Bike Path - Deathtrap
Many are up in arms over the Redondo Harbor Gateway and Bike Path Improvement Project. So now, bike commuters aren't just grumbling about loose dogs, honking drivers chatting on cell phones, buses cutting them off, or cars drifting into their lanes. Now, whether you're at the wheel trying to coexist with bicycles, or holding on to a set of handlebars, more caution than ever must be taken when riding here.
Adding to the traffic snarls and hazards of the dangerous activity of bicycle riding, are new and unique problems presented by Redondo's newest bicycle lane revamp. Many experts think the infrastructure should have been used to build this "work in progress" along the opposite side of the street, on South Harbor Drive.
North Harbor Drive's new bike trail is not a safe location for riders, and here's why.
Despite what politicians and their nonprofit bicycle association friends are saying:
“Everyone is turning right into the bike lane,” he said. “It’s pretty bad. Having the bike lane on this side of the street was not wise.” (Source.)
This newest beach bike pathway island connecting the Redondo Pier to Hermosa Beach begins on North Harbor Drive and runs North to Hermosa, Manhattan Beach, and beyond. Many riders call it a monstrosity - a "deathtrap." As a lawyer who rides, this author sees it is a hazard for the unwary.
High Hazard Zones
Presently, vehicles arriving and departing from busy places along the North Harbor Drive/Herondo path (housing, boat docks, the Pier, Captain Kid's, Cheesecake Factory, Rubies, Bay Club Gym, Chart House), present a major hazard to bikers and pedestrians. One thing is certain if bike friendliness was the goal here; civil engineers and city planners failed miserably. This was a no brainer.
But it's not just placing this unique bike lane on the busiest side of the street that was illogical. The street itself was cinched down from two lanes to one lane. That means it's narrower, with no hazard lane. So now, less room exists for cars and bikes on the actual streets themselves. (Note: not all distance riders and groups use the bike path, because it gets packed with beach cruisers, electric bikes, skaters, etc.)
"The $4.7 million project narrowed Herondo Street in order to make room for the separated bike lane." (More.)
It's a poor design that has led to many riders and pedestrians being injured or getting into scary close calls. This is because many bicyclists out exercising are unaware they are supposed to stop at certain intersections. The warning signals that do exist near the vicinity of these intersections appear too late for fast approaching riders to notice, or seem confusing.
Because of this, a number of riders regularly blow through the new sharrows, shared-lane markings, intersections, and driveways. And this spooks many motorists and adds to the tension between operators of cars, pedestrians, and riders along these waterfront paths. Yes, many riders bear some guilt because they nonchalantly ride down sidewalks here at breakneck speeds. And some cyclists ride in or block crosswalks in violation of the law.
Making matters worse, the newest bike lanes in Redondo Beach are riddled with blind spots, distractions, and obstructions. So many riders now assume they have the unobstructed right of way to cross the bike path, which is not always true in Redondo.
"One thing that is glaring about the northbound bike lane at the Marina Way traffic intersection, is that although there is a small, white metallic bicycle rider image several feet above the crosswalk pole high and far left of the bike lane oncoming riders don't see it in time or at all. You see nothing at eye level except a green sign on the right curb of the bike lane saying it's safe for bikes. It's just confusing." says attorney Michael Ehline, a member of the Bay Club fitness center. Ehline states he has seen many terrible wrecks along the path since 2015.
This particular stretch of establishments starting at Captain Kids, is a major hub of extensive economic activity, especially at night. Motorized vehicles are FORCED to drive directly into the island's traffic in order to access the driveways of businesses and apartments off of Harbor Drive/Herondo. This remains true even when riders peddling along the Strand have the right of way. As discussed, even at marked intersections, there is zero viable traffic warning in the bicycle lane itself, as seen in the photos we provide here.
Why many Riders are Confused by the Traffic Signals
Also, the actual bicycle signal sign above the "don't walk" signal remains obscured until you are upon the lane itself. So riders headed north, coming from the left of cars turning left in particular, are out of the sight of vehicles. Mostly, caution signage remains obscured by an angle, palm trees, curb-age, shrubs, elevations, and distance. As a result, bicycles T boning the driver's sides of cars are actually a common sight here, especially during evening hours. And this is despite the improved street lighting.
“I’ve seen a lot of close calls here,” said the attendant, who declined to give his name. “There needs to be police staffed here full time or more signage. The bicyclists just don’t stop.” (Read More.)
Shown in the photographic example on the left, is the north facing pole and bicycle signal bolted on the left-hand side opposite the southbound coming pedestrian sidewalk. Noteworthy here is that the placard remains high and left to any northbound riders it faces.
Who's at Fault?
Since this is an approved engineering plan, the riders, skaters, and joggers are at fault for failing to yield to vehicles. So these streetscape locations such as North Harbor Drive and Marina Way, going east on Herondo toward PCH during rush hour are deathtraps. Imagine the disaster this newest section of bike path presents during holidays like the fourth of July.
Riders simply don't notice the cars navigating right, and left-hand turns and many vehicles don't see them coming either. Also, there is no green, red, or yellow light in the northbound rider's lane. So unless riders are locals with experience, they fail to slow down or stop for lawfully turning motorists. So these riders can strike cars and other vehicles making a legal left, and right-hand turns at intersections and driveways. The fact that many riders have been out drinking doesn't help.
Example of Real Life Event Placing People in Danger
This author observed one evening crash and altercation when two drunk riders blew the traffic signal at Marina Way and proceeded to irately assault an elderly woman who was making a legal left turn into the Bay Club at Marina Way. There is no way she could have seen the wayward riders coming from her left driver's side rear quarter panel due to the angle of the turn, obstructions and blind spots to her vehicle's left side like trees, shrubs, poles, and traffic signs.
These intoxicated riders rammed the side of her automobile as they peddled, simultaneously bending in their bicycle's front spokes during the loud impact. After being violently thrown off their bikes and hitting the asphalt hard with their forearms, knees, and faces, they got up and angrily stumbled over to her driver's side door and assaulted her.
What the Witnesses Said
Next, these two angry riders proceeded to blame her for their malaise. But luckily, several Good Samaritans intervened during the altercation, as they pointed out their failure to obey the traffic signals. These witnesses explained to the men that the driver had the green signal on North Harbor, as well as the green turn arrow located at Marina Way on the Bay Club side. Because of this, she had made her turn legally.
The two stunned men relented. But this was all an avoidable catastrophe. After all, these hapless riders still blasted right through the intersection and ran into the lady's vehicle. People were hurt, and a female senior citizen, who could have been a mother, or grandmother was spooked and tormented. All of this is unjust to everyone.
How to Deal With This?
Of course, these are just some examples of the dangers motorists and urban riders face in this otherwise charming, sunny beach town. Were you in an accident in Redondo? If so, our local office is waiting to give you a free initial consultation this instant. After you hire us, we promise to remain tied to your important case with a contingency based fee. In other words, you never have to pay us monies owed prior to a skillfully negotiated settlement or a trial verdict before a court of competent jurisdiction. Call now, and protect your rights. Even if you already have a lawyer, we are ready to take over your case today. You have that right.
Why Is Ehline Law Firm Your Best Option?
At Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, we have represented continuously happy clients for several years in a row running. During this same time period, we have raised people's spirits with expertly guided thousands of successful case outcomes. We have done so with competence, compassion, commitment, and pure, raw discipline. As staunch legal advocates, our record of success demonstrates that do or die; we endeavor to prevail. It matters not whether your potential case is small or large.
Whatever the apparent value of your personal injury case, we strive to bring the same knowledge, skill, and experience with laserlike focus. We do this in order to procure you the largest potential compensatory award. Your allowance's value determination will cover you for things like your past, present and future hospital bills, lost earnings, resulting infirmity, pain, and suffering.
So if another person's negligent hand has embroiled you in any type of injury-producing accident in Redondo, Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC is on hand to stand up for justice. After your traumatic event, we will labor to grant you calmness and certainty. So now you can properly heal your body, mind, and soul.
From A-Z, we will take care of everything surrounding your case for you and your family. Accordingly, our services include handling those convoluted insurance discussions with case managers, complex paperwork, and other legal services. And this is how to establish your entitlement to a generous restitution award.
What are Some of Our Awards and Recognition?
Ehline Law Firm is the recipient of numerous awards from the legal community. These advocates have also made a name for themselves. Our proud leader, Michael Ehline, is the winner of the prestigious Litigator of the Year Award.
He's been in the Los Angeles Times as a "Top Litigator." Ehline, a former Marine, has a do or die attitude. He proudly serves victims. Michael Ehline is a proud fighter.
Featured in Daily Journal Magazine for outstanding achievements on the California State Bar Law Office Study Program is attorney Michael Ehline. Furthermore, all proven advocates at Ehline Law Firm are top notch plaintiff's attorneys.
So let us help you achieve your goal of obtaining the compensation owed you under the law for your type of situation.
In Redondo Beach, and every other Los Angeles County city, our services handle a large swath of negligence claims, including but not limited to:
- Dog Bites: On and off leash attacks.
- Passenger Car Accidents: Involving commutation with motorcycles, trucks, bicycles, buses & pedestrians.
- Slips and Falls: Such as those happening at food places and on uneven sidewalks.
- Elder and Nursing Abuse: Including financial and physical abuse
- Legal Malpractice: Such as a lawyer blowing the statute to file a case against the City of Redondo Beach, or cruise ship injury claim, etc.
- Bicycle Accidents: Like getting run over on PCH when motor vehicles veer into the bike lanes. (learn more.)
- Hit and Run DUI Injuries: When a driver flees the scene after hitting a pedestrian, or jogger. And this is where we shine. We try and find them and coverage using other theories. We seek coverage from UM or UIM, or other parties with insurance, or self-insurance coverages.
- Wrongful Death: Examples include a dead mother or father who died from food poisoning, or a baby being run down is a crosswalk.
- Quadriplegia, Paraplegia: Such as those spine injuries caused by being thrown from a bicycle or motorcycle. Furthermore, it could be a person out walking on the sidewalk, enjoying their day run over by a truck or some other vehicle.
- Construction Site Injuries: Falling into an open trench with exposed re-bar and getting impaled through your thigh or buttocks would be an example. Workers or passersby could have become electrocuted on a non-grounded wire, for example. Maybe they could have fallen several feet to the ground after loose scaffolding gave out from under them. Sometimes electrocutions occur after touching exposed high or low voltage power lines. But other times a flying object, low hanging or loose powerline strikes a worker or someone strolling by the job site in the head. Also, ditches and trenches not roped off always pose a terrible risk to people on foot. A child could wander on the job site and step on a nail from a sawed-off section of 2x4. Anything can happen.
Bicycle Accidents in Redondo Beach, CA
In Southern California Pacific Coast towns like Redondo Beach, CA, competitive bicycling, recreational riding and even cycling as a primary form of transportation remains popular. Despite driver's education, traffic enforcement, and advanced street engineering, roadway accidents are rising here. After all, riding bikes is a great way to get around and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds.
Bicycles retain several unmistakable advantages over automobiles, like:
- The maneuverability of the bike helps commuters to avoid traffic jams, especially at main arteries with shortcuts and bicycle friendly topography, which is undeniable.
- Avoiding paying the state's draconian gasoline taxes, high fuel prices, and confiscatory fees, in general, can be a form of necessity or even protest.
- Expensive vehicle repairs are difficult to make while still paying for expensive mortgage, high property taxes, voluminous regulations, and compliance with the green energy movement, etc.
- Easy storage and parking are also solid justifications for locals to use their bikes to get around. (parking is always a hassle at the beach.)
But as discussed, cities like Redondo also present many avoidable health hazards to riders.
Bicycle Safety versus Car Safety
Besides this, most seatbelted motorists are afforded a protective metal cage. And that cocoon is wrapped in a protective sheet metal and safety glass armor. Often these more exposed bicyclists wear safety helmets. But even then, many riders do not wear any type of protective gloves, knee pads, or other safety gear.
Many reasons exist for riders not wanting to wear bulky, hot accessories, as they coast along the streets. Noteworthy here, there are competing interests between rider safety, heat stroke, or heat exhaustion avoidance. Also, comfort means avoiding garments that chafe the skin. So this all plays a role in the rider's safety choices. But no matter what precautions you take, little to zero advantage is afforded in a collision with a fixed or fast moving object.
Even the smallest passenger car presents a deadly, Herculean obstacle for a less visible, slower, slimmer, high riding bicyclist. Serious injuries to the brain, spine, shoulders, neck, and head, as well as fatalities, remain a greater risk to a rider.
Who is culpable in an automobile versus bicycle accident?
Statistics gathered throughout the United States suggest that getting struck from behind is the most common nationwide bicycle collision. The general rule in a rear-ender case is that the vehicle hitting your bike from the back is at fault. But not every situation is the same. And finding fault in a car versus bike wreck is not always as simple as waving a magic wand.
For example, even jaywalkers have rights not get run over from another driver's negligence. Motorists must always be observing for a darting child chasing a ball, or a walker crossing an unlit street within an implied crosswalk, etc. Sometimes people can agree to disagree about what caused or contributed to your accident. Once in a while, both sides bear some responsibility for what happened. While the police may try and answer this question of "who's at fault?" in the traffic investigation report, this can remain an elusive exercise.
Unless these peace officers saw what happened, their report's findings are largely an opinion. Most of the police report, if not all, is inadmissible hearsay. True, your excited utterances to the sheriff's deputy, CHP or local Redondo Beach police may tell part of the story.
But what if you said these things in the heat of the moment after undergoing the G-forces of a terrible crash? Once the adrenaline wears off and you can think clearly again, you may have more to add or subtract. So it's possible and probable that the officers jotted down written narrative placing you at fault is incomplete.
Bias Against Riders and Rules of the Road
Also, some police and jurors have certain inherent biases against motorcyclists and bicyclists. But this could be because many riders don't understand their duties and obligations when riding public roadways. On the other had, except as provided by law, bikers are subject to the same traffic restrictions as motorists. And ignorance of the law is no excuse.
But this is no justification for another traveler to go agro with road rage, or to passively place a cyclist at risk. Besides that, a car has more torque, speed, heft, and blind spots. Because of this, some exceptional rules and legal protections apply specifically to protect riders.
These legislative enactments were passed because many arrogant or aloof motorists purposefully ignore road cyclists. Maybe it's because they believe riders should not be in their way. Evidence does support the arguments that sometimes scofflaws riding in cars will purposefully harass and intimidate some bicycle riders.
Importance of Remaining Calm
But sometimes it's the cyclists who are uncivil or haughty while traversing Redondo's surface streets. Despite the distinct advantage of the heavier car, some "triggered" riders have been known to lose it in a head to head match. So both sides need to slow their roll. Cooler heads need to pay special attention to the written and unwritten rules of the road. Most of all, adults need to be looking out for kids riding on tricycles, Big-Wheels, bicycles, on foot near or in the streets with no sidewalks!
Obviously, small children may not even know the rules of the road as you should. Sure, the parents are to blame that they ended up riding or strolling about the street. But few citizens could stomach the idea of having run down an innocent minor by mistake, or in anger. Of particular interest, there are few things more gruesome to the senses than the aftermath of a bad accident with a bicycle rider.
Torn flesh, chunks of body fat, gaping friction burns, compound fractures, brain matter, pools of blood flowing in the street and gutters can be too much for many onlookers to bear. So don't be that person who was ignorant of your duties to the less protected rider. But it's a fact of life. Accidents happen. Sometimes the motorcar operator will be presumed at fault. And this presumption of negligence remains in place even if the bike's rider egged the vehicle's driver on, or was partially at fault in some way.
How can I prove the Motorist Was at Fault?
Many methods exist to find liability in a bike crash case. One way is to look for a statutory violation, such as those found in a CVC section. If so, now you can show a presumption of negligence. For example, noncompliance with California's buffer zone law would be evidence of this "statutory" negligence, or "negligence per se." The California Vehicle Code ("CVC") requires all motorists to maintain 3-foot safe space in between their vehicular conveyances and any bicyclist riding along the road.
Other examples of statutory negligence involving motorists v. bicyclists include:
- Unsafe speed for driving conditions.
- DUI/DWI, such as being impaired or intoxicated with legal drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol, or other substance that can influence judgment and motor skills remains a major cause of rider's deaths and injuries.
- Distracted driving, such as drivers playing with radio knobs, talking or fiddling with a smart phone, texting, looking at messages and images on billboards, looking at bikini girls, etc. All these bad habits can kill or maim a cyclist in an instant.
Not paying attention accidents remain a daily news event in many beach areas, and it causes:
- Failing to maintain a buffer space while passing a bottled in cyclist, or drifting into the cyclist’s designated space remains a common avoidable accident.
- Failure to stop at crosswalks, stop signs, or other traffic lights.
- Failing to yield at designated bike paths and lanes is a common way for riders to get injured.
- Making an unsafe left and right-hand turns into the oncoming paths of cyclists and other riders.
- Opening a parked vehicle's doors into the paths of oncoming bicycle riders.
But as discussed, sometimes the brazen or inattentive rider is totally or partially to blame for their bike-motor vehicle traffic crash.
On what grounds could the injured Cyclist be Partially or Fully on the Hook?
Redondo Beach, riders and drivers are expected to abide by the rules set forth in the CVC. Also, they must follow the unwritten rules of common decency towards their fellow human beings. Specific rules apply only to bicyclists; others apply to all vehicles, motorized or not.
Some statutory grounds for finding legal liability against the bicyclist include:
- Traveling into oncoming traffic? Did you know the CVC requires two wheeled, human powered and motorized electric bikes producing under 1,000 watts to ride with the flow of traffic? (In other words, your backside must face the headlights of forward moving automobiles as you ride eyes forward in their same direction of travel.)
- Bicycling down one-way streets or "wrong way" avenues also militate against the bicyclist being the innocent party.
- California stops, or rolling stops at posted traffic signs and signals remain a common reason for riding catastrophes. The CVC mandates bikes, as well as autos, to come to a complete stop. Riders, in particular, must keep their heads on a swivel. Riders must look to ensure all directions of travel are safe before they go into an intersection or turn into another lane.
- Signaling turns, and lane changes are required under the law. Accurate, many riders do not use hand signals. But they should either install electric signals or use their hands and arms to signal. After all, this is what any auto would be required to do if the taillights were out, for example.
- Reckless riding such as weaving or swerving in between autos, pedestrians, and cyclists is illegal and unsafe. Examples include riding your velocipede on sidewalks. So this is illegal in most cities. Mothers pushing strollers, elders, and slowly moving people in wheelchairs are continually getting hurt. Sometimes sidewalk riders collide with and knock down or throw victims into the gutter. Be safe out there.
- Helmets though not required for adults over age 18, greatly help reduce many types of head injuries. If 17 or under, the victim's head injuries may now be partially the fault of the rider, even if the accident itself was not their fault.
- Failing to have a bicycle headlight when during darkness is unlawful. Spindly, hard to see riders must also take steps to display reflective clothes to help drivers avoid running them over in the darker hours.
No accurate federal statistical numbers exist regarding fault when bikes and other vehicles collide. Each state-commissioned study on rider fault has produced different culprits, with some skewed for and some against the rider's being mostly to blame. One thing that appears universal is that single vehicle collisions with no car involved are quite common.
Examples of how singular riders lose control of steering include:
- Sliding out in rubble, grease, water, oil.
- Rolling into a pothole or unbarricaded construction trench can collapse a wheel, frame or handlebars.
- A falling or overgrown tree branch hitting someone could subject the city, county, or private landscaper to civil liability in tort.
Many other stationary objects can knock riders down to the asphalt, gravel, dirt or another hard surface. Also, accident avoidance remains a known cause of many riding injuries to this day. For example, many terrified riders are forced to choose between quickly swerving into the gutter or colliding with a veering or oncoming vehicle driven by a pugnacious or disregardful motorist.
Either way, in an auto versus bicycle collision, someone always gets hurt. Most of the time, car occupants remain unscathed when they strike a bicycle rider unless the injured rider gets up and attacks them, as in the example above.
The rule of Comparative Negligence - How Does it Apply?
California's pure comparative negligence rules assure that each person involved bears their share of responsibility in a bicycle versus car accident. If you're 100% at fault for your bike crash, you get nothing. Contrast this with a finding of 50% liability in your case. Your damages award gets cut by 50% in such a case.
And last, if you're free of fault, then the other party or parties must pay for all of the damages. Last, a supervening, intervening cause can occur to make multiple defendants partially liable for your wreck too. Examples include chain collisions, where many parties become embroiled.
As discussed, improperly maintained roads, construction machinery, traffic light phasing problems, and open trenches could injure, maim, or kill. And this is all evidence of government liability. Also, known causes of injuries include faulty repairs, defective equipment, or bad vehicle parts. Plus, this is indicative of liability against a repair shop, or manufacturer of a product.
Potential Defendants could include:
- The City of Redondo Beach
- Dog owners and controllers
- Manufactures and distributors of faulty equipment
- Private vehicle owners
- Private businesses were contracting with private vehicle owners, like newspaper, pizza, Uber Eats, and others who deliver to your home.
- Commercial trucking companies
- Construction companies
- Trash refuse companies
Often an officer of the court, called an attorney, will assist the rider in identifying the defendants with the deepest pockets to pay for your injuries in these cases.
Claims Against the City
Claims by civilians against the City are wrought with traps and pitfalls with respect to sovereign immunity guidelines. Basically, states remain sovereign. Because the shield of immunity affords public servants and the government from being sued for ordinary negligence by citizens, an exception must apply.
Because of fairness, legislators enacted statutes to make it fairer for people hurt due to public servant negligence. But these rules are dissimilar from ordinary negligence cases where you would sue a living person. For example, one edict mandates a shortened period of time to make a claim for damages against the government - usually within six months from the known date of injury. Even many experienced lawyers don't understand these reduced statutes of limitations. So proceed with caution, or blow your case.
What types of compensation can a cyclist receive?
There is a lot more to bike crash than meets the eye. If anything similar to what we discussed above happened to you while riding a bike, you would need to recover compensatory damages. A plaintiff must first meet the burden of the preponderance of the evidence to achieve a win.
There are two forms of this type of award:
- Special Damages for expenses like lost wages, hospital care, post-accident physical therapy (also includes reimbursement for the costs of X-rays, CT scans, dental work, etc.)
- General Damages to compensate you as best as it can for your past, present, and future pain and suffering, etc.
What About Extraordinary Damages?
Sometimes a defendant does something so heinous or reckless, that society allows a jury to punish a person short of jail time. This civil remedy allows the use of clear and convincing evidence to obtain a punitive damages award. Typically, horrific behavior led to an injury. It was so reckless in placing people at risk; it was far beyond ordinary negligence.
Examples of punishable behavior include:
- Texting while driving in a busy school zone
- DUI or DWI driving
- Excessive speed in a residential area.
- Aggressive, retaliatory driving and stalking a cyclist, etc.
The idea is to punish a wrongdoer for deplorable conduct to prevent defendants and others from engaging in the same unfair actions while traveling on the roads.
As noted above, the jury or the judge may find both sides bore partial fault for the bike crash. California's pure comparative negligence jury instructions contain the legal formula defining this rule. These are followed in order to apportion the final awards in such cases justly. Sometimes other parties file cross-claims and counterclaims. So the matter becomes convoluted with each side suing the other ad infinitum.
Getting a Great Lawyer
Badly hurt clients from negligent acts gain a degree of certainty and security by hiring an excellent lawyer. Also, when you are bereaving the death of a loved one who died in a bicycle accident, or dog attack, the last thing you want to think about is litigating a complex civil case. With a lawyer, you can assure that the other driver pays for their negligence or recklessness.
The best way to have a lock on the maximum monies owed is to call a lawyer over at Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. We offer strength by your side in your hour of need, fighting resolutely for your rights every step of the way. As soon as you sign on the dotted line, our years of service, courtside manner, and legal expertise are placed at your disposal.
Clients know we have a can-do savoire faire. Right away, we can use our extensive bankroll to scrutinize the fine points of your case. As noted above, we also pick up the traffic collision investigation report, look for percipient witnesses, surveillance video and pictures, hire experts, and get you to a lien doctor. The design of all we do obtains our clients the most money possible under the law. Ehline Law Firm Redondo Beach is reachable through the contact us form on this website or by calling 888-400-9721.