Are you tired of all the radio ads and billboards? So are we. I am attorney Michael Ehline. Having lived and worked in Redondo Beach since 2001, I know a little something about our town that lawyers from out of state and market here don’t. My kids went to school with some of yours. We ride the Redondo Beach bike paths. In short, your not just a file with us; you are also our friend. Because of this, I created this Redondo Beach bicycle accident page to assist mourning parents and others injured due to getting hit by a car, truck, or bus in Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, or Manhattan Beach, California. Having recovered over $150 million for satisfied clients, you, too, will clearly see the Ehline difference below.
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.
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. This city’s bicycle-friendly reputation is belied by the local government’s failure to create common-sense solutions to the substantially changed conditions presented modernly.
I have two kids and live less than a mile from the terrible scene. As a parent and a lawyer, I want to address these rearview mirrors on buses. I contend that these commercially sized side view mirrors cause countless deaths to pedestrians and cyclists. The end of an innocent 13-year-old is a terrible event.
The same happened in Redondo Beach last week in an avoidable incident. The event included a city Metro bus. But it ended up leaving a massive hole for the girl’s parents. NBC Los Angeles reported on the tragedy. The accident happened near the Pacific Coast Highway and Knob Hill Avenue, Redondo Beach. Ciara Smith of Parras Middle School was the unfortunate victim. She and a friend rode nearby when one was struck and killed by a Metro bus.
The police state she was in the number two bus lane. It is unclear if she was crossing the street or accidentally entered the road. The horrible tragedy remains a grim reminder for every Redondo parent.
Below is a video of the aftermath of the incident:
CBS Los Angeles reported on the aftermath in Ciara’s school. Many students came out to mourn her death. Some dressed in bright colors– her favorite– and others wrote her name in memorial. If you’re interested in helping, here is the GoFundMe page set up helping her family.
As a parent and resident of Redondo Beach, I feel a special obligation to prevent such tragedies from happening again. There is something that each one of us can do. Also, it is our chance of honoring Ciara’s legacy. This event occurred right near my house– I have children that deserve protection. We must do so.
There are many factors to consider in this event:
These and other questions are vital. They establish a baseline for concerned parents and citizens. All residents worried about what happened to have an opportunity to make it right. Furthermore, we prepare for a safer greater Los Angeles area.
We here at the Ehline Law Firm will do everything we can to avoid these types of events. Join our cause.
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.
We’ve read sensational reports of motorcyclists hitting joggers at high speed along PCH in more recent news. 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.
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 bicycle riding’s dangerous activity 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 street’s opposite side, on South Harbor Drive.
North Harbor Drive’s new bike trail is not a safe location for riders, and here’s why.
“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.
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 road 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 these intersections’ vicinity appear too late for fast approaching riders to notice, or seem confusing.
Because of this, several riders regularly blow through the new sharrows, shared-lane markings, intersections, and driveways. And this spooks many motorists. Plus, it 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. Many riders now assume they have the unobstructed right 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 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.
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 cars’ sides 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.
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. These riders can strike cars and other vehicles, make a legal left, and right-hand turns at intersections and driveways. The fact that many riders have been out drinking doesn’t help.
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 older 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.
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.
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.
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.
But as discussed, cities like Redondo also present many avoidable health hazards to riders.
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, heatstroke, 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.
Statistics gathered throughout the United States suggest that getting struck from behind is the most common nationwide bicycle collision. In a rear-ender case, the general rule 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 the right not to get run over from another driver’s negligence. Motorists must always observe a darting child chasing a ball, 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.
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 hand, 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 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.
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 somehow.
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 a 3-foot safe space between their vehicular conveyances and any bicyclist riding along the road.
But as discussed, sometimes the brazen or inattentive rider is totally or partially to blame for their bike-motor vehicle traffic crash.
Redondo Beach, riders, and drivers are expected to abide by the rules outlined 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.
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 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.
Many other stationary objects can knock riders down to the asphalt, gravel, dirt, or other hard surfaces. 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.
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.
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 by civilians against the City are wrought with traps and pitfalls concerning 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 claim 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.
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:
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.
The idea is to punish a wrongdoer for deplorable conduct to prevent defendants and others from engaging in 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 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.
Badly hurt clients from negligent acts gain a degree of certainty and security by hiring an excellent lawyer. 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 by contacting us form on this website or by calling 888-400-9721.
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