Bicycle Hit and Run Accidents in the Bay Area
When we think of a hit and run bicycle accident, we naturally think of a motor vehicle hitting a cyclist and then the driver flees the scene. However, sometimes cyclists run into each other, and if someone is injured, the same requirement holds for a cyclist to remain at the scene.
If the cyclist flees, then it’s a hit and run accident the same as if a motorist fled after hitting a cyclist or another motor vehicle.
Cyclist Hits, Kills Another Cyclist and Flees
A 61 year-old-male cyclist was killed Thursday, June 4, 2020, on the Guadalupe River Trail when a fellow cyclist hit them head-on. A 59-year-old female cyclist was riding alongside the man and was injured. The at-fault rider was described as a man in his 30s around 5’9” with a ponytail.
The cyclist then fled the scene leaving the two injured cyclists on the ground. Both were rushed to a local hospital where the man died of his injuries. The woman cyclist sustained significant injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
What Happens When a Cyclist Flees After Hitting Another Cyclist?
In California, a bicycle is considered a vehicle when riding in traffic and thus the cyclist has to obey all traffic laws including the requirement to remain at a crash scene. However, until January 2019, this only applied when a cyclist was out in traffic and not on a bike trail.
A new law fixed that loophole, and any rider that hits and injures—or kills—another person and then flees can be charged with a hit and run felony.
Liability for A Bicycle Hit and Run
California law also covers any injury a cyclist does to another person so long as they were negligent. This means that if a cyclist runs over a pedestrian or knocks a cyclist off his bike causing an injury, then the cyclist has to pay for all damages.
However, most cyclists don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for damages, so the victim will have to rely on some sort of insurance.
If an auto is involved, then the victim’s injuries are covered through the driver’s auto insurance. The problem with a cyclist versus cyclist crash, since no auto was involved, there will be no coverage from an automobile insurance policy.
If the at-fault cyclist has a homeowner’s insurance policy, it will usually cover any damage the cyclist does to others. This is also true of renter’s insurance, however, neither policy will cover the injuries to the homeowner if he or she was a victim of a bicycle accident.
Cyclist Never Found
If the cyclist was never found, then it’s impossible to access his or her homeowner’s policy. If the person is caught later, then the victim can still seek compensation. In many cases, this will even be so if the statute of limitations deadline has passed because, under California law, the time for the deadline doesn’t start if the at-fault person flees the scene.
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.