Cyclists often cross the street outside of the crosswalk or someplace the contrary to the law. When this happens, many cyclists just think that the accident must have been their fault because they didn’t properly cross the street. However, that’s not what the law says.
Vehicle Code Violations and Liability
In California, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and is allowed to ride in the street with motor vehicles. It also requires that the cyclist obey the rules of the road and can be charged with any violations. However, under California law, a violation of a traffic law doesn’t automatically confer negligence on the violator.
This is because the standards to be found guilty of a crime is different than the standards required to be found liable in a personal injury case. The bottom line is, the injured person needs to show that the driver who injured them is negligent.
Cyclists Motorists and Negligence
All drivers on the road owe a duty of care toward anyone on the road including cyclists. If they break that duty of care, then they might be considered negligent and then owe the injured compensation. If the cyclist is breaking a vehicle code, this could very well mean that the cyclist is negligent and not the motorist.
However, this isn’t always the case. For example, if a cyclist was crossing the street outside a crosswalk, and a motorist was going a high rate of speed and was unable to stop because of the speed, a jury could easily find that the motorist was at least partially negligent.
Since California is a comparative negligence state, fault can be apportioned between both parties, and each will bear their percentage of the damages.
Northern California’s Bicycle Accident Lawyers.
Bay Area Bicycle Law works with clients all over the State of California and is one of the state’s only personal injury law firms working exclusively with injured cyclists.
We handle cases in your area, and there are many benefits to working with a specialist.
Years of advocacy for bicycle crash victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest. Contact us today for a free consultation.