Riding a bicycle in the rain gutter, or even the designated bike lane on many narrow city streets can seem like a death sentence in heavy or even light traffic. For this reason, a few cities have established municipal codes allowing riders to get out of the traffic and onto a barrier that includes the curb. I am talking about making it legal to traverse the sidewalks on a bike.
Important: Yes, it is true, in Southern California communities such as Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Venice, Santa Monica, each city has differing laws for bicyclists. These are to help keep riders safe from traffic. But this also creates problems for knowing uniformity of laws as you pass from city neighborhoods and riding lanes.
Think about it. How does a rider know precisely what laws apply to each locale? How does the rider even know the exact city in which they are riding? It’s all disconcerting to a rider just trying to get it done!
So in the event of a crash, the person riding the bike can suffer serious bodily harm. Most of all, these will require medical care. When a motor vehicle, hazardous bike lane, or flawed design hurt a rider, the at-fault party remains responsible for the damages.
As discussed above, bicycle riding laws vary from one city to another. So where in some cities it is legal to ride on the sidewalk and in others, it is not. Riding on the sidewalk, or if it is prohibited or not, may become a significant factor in a claim where the bicyclist becomes harmed in a collision with a motor vehicle. Motorists must watch for bicyclists. When bicyclists can ride on sidewalks, drivers must be alert to riders leaving or approaching sidewalks.
Important: If a bicyclist cannot ride on the city’s sidewalk and gets in a collision, the motorist has a negligence per se defense. Now he or she can say it was unreasonable or unforeseeable to expect the cyclist to leave the sidewalk into traffic. After all, it remains prohibited to ride on the sidewalk, or even in a crosswalk for that matter.
Many drivers treat bicyclists as though they do not have equal rights on the roadway. However, the law in California Vehicle Code 21202 (a) outlines bicycle riders and motor vehicle drivers.
In California, bicycle riders have the same rights as drivers on the road. So they are entitled to use any part of the roadway. And this includes using the middle lane. But this remains true for only as long as their speed is consistent with the flow of traffic.
The vehicle code states that bicyclists are permitted in traffic lanes. But it may not impede the flow of traffic. Bike riders under this code have the same rights as motorists. But riders must adhere to traffic laws. So they must ride with the flow of traffic. Also, they should use signals and adhere to traffic signs.
California Vehicle Code Section 21650 outlines bicyclists are traveling slower than the flow of traffic. It demands they ride on the roadway. But riders must ride in the furthest right portion of the road.
The exception would be whether or not a designated bike lane exists. When a rider is in a bicycle lane, they have the right of way. Motorists may not travel in the bike lane. Bicyclists may also ride on the shoulder of the roadway.
So, according to the California Vehicle Code, if no designated bike lane exists, the rider may use the shoulder. Also, car drivers must maintain a safe distance of generally 3 feet. This requirement for drivers may mean the driver must slow down or wait until it is protected from oncoming traffic to pass the bike.
California Vehicle Code Sec 21960 establishes that bikes are prohibited from being ridden on freeways in the state.
California Vehicle Code Sec 21212 requires that anyone riding a bicycle on the road under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet.
The State of California has enacted laws to protect the rights of bicyclists. And this remains true even though all motorists do not share the roadway equally with bike riders. In the event of a collision with a motor vehicle, the law protects the rights of the bicycle rider to recover damages. So this would include money for any harm related to the mishap. And this remains true even if the biker is partially at-fault.
The steps would be to treat medically, hire a lawyer, and let the lawyer make it happen for you.
When the crash is from roadway conditions or hazards, the bicyclist may seek damages from the agency in charge of maintaining the road, sidewalk, or bicycle lane. So this will be a local government, state, or regional entity liable for the negligence. Here, there is a statute of limitations or time limit in which to file the claim for damages.
It remains for six months. If the crash was on private property or involved a private party, the statute of limitations in California is two years from the date of the mishap. So this is the time in which the claim or lawsuit must become filed.
In the State of California, who was negligent determines the time limit to file from the date of the incident. In the event, the negligent party is a state, local, or government agency; the time limit remains different than for a private party. Claims must become filed within six months of the accident.
So the “notice of claim” gets filed with the appropriate government agency. This notifies the entity the injured party is seeking compensation. (Read More). Once this notice is filed, it will be reviewed by the agency. But usually, it gets denied. And in some cases, the entity may not respond to the claim within 45 days.
Whether denied or unanswered, the injured party has six more months of claim denial or the 45 days the claim went unanswered to file a lawsuit. If the accident was due to a private party, the injured victim has two years to file a legal claim under the statute of limitations. So two years from the date, the harm causing mishap occurred to the plaintiff remains the deadline.
When injured in a bicycle crash, not your fault, you are entitled to monetary compensation. Because you became harmed, negligence law allows you to recover damages from the mishap. These include:
The injured victim is entitled to recover compensation for medical costs for immediate care. So this includes money for treatments and ongoing health care. Also covered are emergency room visits, hospital stays, and follow-up care. And things like therapy, long-term rehabilitation, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and other types of required care are expensive.
Diagnoses tests will be necessary to determine the damage. This includes X-rays and MRI’s for soft tissue damage. Also, CT scans for head trauma remain costly. The costs of testing can increase rapidly. Also, in California, drivers must maintain auto insurance. It must have at least 15/30/5.
So that means $15,000 coverage for each person injured in an accident. And this adds up to $30,000 personal injury coverage. Then it also has $5,000 for property damage coverage. In CA, this is the least expensive insurance policy in most cases. Also, if the other driver is uninsured, the only protection you have is to buy an uninsured and uninsured motorist policy addition before driving.
Mostly, this is your insurance policy that covers damages in a crash, for example. But this only kicks in when the other driver had no insurance coverage or was uninsured.
Bicycle accidents can result in serious harm. Sometimes victims are unable to work for days, weeks, months, or even more extended amounts of time. Income becomes reduced or lost from an inability to work. Also, it includes paying for the lost time before the crash.
Most of all, it can cause financial stress. So victims may always seek money for lost wages. It may also be possible to recover compensation if you were not working at the time of the mishap. But if you were seeking employment and were prevented or delayed in obtaining employment, you have a case.
In some situations, the extent of the injuries may cause disability. So, in that case, the bicyclist is unable to continue working in their chosen career. In any event, this requires retraining in another type of employment.
Examples would be a job where their injuries will not hamper their ability to work. When the cause of a bicycle accident is due to negligent actions, the rider has the right to seek compensation. So he or she may request dollars for the loss of income. After all, the victim is unable to return to the same type of employment.
So this may include compensation for possible promotions and other forfeited benefits. In some situations, the ongoing chronic pain will result in the inability to return to most types of employment permanently. So if this was from the actions or negligence, compensation is deserved.
Injuries caused by bicycle accidents for some rider’s result in serious injuries that can be temporary or permanent pain. The victim may suffer chronic pain. So this decreases their quality of life. Also, it affects their ability to enjoy daily activities.
Along with the pain is emotional and mental suffering. Also, this often accompanies serious injuries. Most of all, they can inhibit the ability to live life to its fullest. Monetary compensation cannot change the fact the accident took place. But it can help to relieve some of the stress.
After a bike accident, it isn’t uncommon for the bike to become damaged. Compensation is allowed for repair or replacement of the cycle. And we will assist in your property damage claim against the insurance company.
In any event, we can help you recover the repair or replacement cost. Because this is what you deserve to get your bike back to the condition, it was before the accident.
Every accident is different. So this means it can have effects on the life of the injured individual and their family. The most common types of compensation are medical expenses, loss of wages, and other damages. But unique circumstances sometimes exist. No matter what, these must become addressed.
After an accident, it is not uncommon to be in pain. Also, you will have concerns leading to stress. And not knowing what to do to change the situation can place you in fear. But we can help. And we have the experience and resources to protect your rights and recover the monetary compensation you deserve.
In all events, we strive to make the legal process as easy as possible for the first consultation. Until settlement, we are at work, helping you get your life back on track. Our legal professionals will answer every question and keep you in the loop. We’ll let you know about every development in your case.
And this is why we are unlike other attorneys. We take the frustration out of the claims process. Most of all, we give our clients the personalized attention they deserve. We rapidly respond to phone calls and emails.
Ehline Law Firm specializes in sidewalk riding accidents. Our commitment remains to protect the rights of law-abiding victims. And we make it possible for everyone to have a fair chance of recovering the maximum amount of compensation. Bicycle repair or replacement is part of your case. Also, we keep you up to date on your case. Plus, we work diligently to ensure obtaining the settlement you deserve.
No matter what, we stand ready to take the case to court to recover fair compensation on your behalf. Call the Ehline law firm today to schedule a free consultation toll-free at (213) 596-9642.