Bicycle Injuries Going the Wrong Way in California
On Thursday, October 12, 2017, a bicycles and an SUV were in a collision on Ashby Road in Merced, California. According to the Merced Sun-Star, the bicyclist could have been in the wrong lane. At the time of the article, the investigation is still ongoing.
California Vehicle Code Section 21650.1 states “A bicycle operated on a roadway, or the shoulder of a highway, shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway.”
In other words, by law, in most cases, bicyclists are supposed to ride the same directions as other motorized vehicles. Some people choose to disobey this law, especially at night if they’re worried about cars hitting them from behind. In fact, some people were told to ride like this by their parents have done so for decades.
But what if you’re injured by a motorist while driving against traffic?
California Comparative Negligence
Just because you or a loved one has been injured while driving on the wrong side of the road does not automatically mean you can not be compensated for your injuries.
You may be ticketed for driving on the wrong side of the road. And, being on the wrong side of the road may have contributed to the accident. But the driver in the car may have contributed to the accident as well. For example, if the driver who hit you was intoxicated, speeding, playing on their phone or swerving, they may have contributed to the accident. Tinted windows make it harder to notice bicyclists and pedestrians as well.
California is a Pure Comparative Negligence State. That means even if you are partially responsible or even mostly responsible for your injuries, you can still hold a negligent party responsible for their portion of the fault. The award of damages for you will be reduced by your own percentage of fault.
Injured going the wrong direction on a bicycle?
We’re the only law firm in Northern California who works exclusively with injured bicyclists. We understand that bicycle injuries are often major injuries and want to see you recover. Don’t assume that just because you did something wrong you can’t be compensated without first speaking to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. Insurers aren’t going to pay you anything unless you can prove negligence, and unless you were 100% responsible for the accident you may still have options.