A cyclist died after being hit by two cars around 10 p.m., Sunday February 10. The accident happened when the 32-year-old cyclist entered the intersection of West March Lane and Precissi Lane. He made it across the eastbound lanes of West March but then was struck by two vehicles in the westbound lanes.
Once of the drivers stopped and remained at the scene while the other one drove off. First responders treated the cyclist at the scene, but he died before being transported to a hospital.
Police are treating this as a fatal hit-and-run, although it’s too early to say how much of a role the car that left had in the cyclist’s death. Authorities are asking anyone who knows anything about the accident to call them at (209) 937-8323 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards up to $10,000. Callers can remain anonymous.
Intersection Bike Accidents
Like other Bay Area cities, Stockton has many miles of designated bike paths with plans to build more. These paths offer some protection for cyclists as the ride throughout the city. However, even where there are designated bike paths, a cyclist will have to cross an intersection without any extra protection.
Under California Vehicle Code, pedestrians in a cross walk have the right-of-way over vehicles if the pedestrian is lawfully in the crosswalk. The law also requires that the driver of vehicle entering the cross walk to proceed in caution and be mindful of any pedestrian entering the crosswalk.
So what does this mean to cyclists crossing an intersection. The law does require a biker to become a pedestrian to get the legal protection of the crosswalk. But what happens when they don’t? If this happens, the civil courts will fall back to each person doing what was reasonable under the circumstances.
Liability at Intersections
If someone is crossing an intersection and the light is green for motorists, the that person (pedestrian or cyclist) is violating the law. However, this doesn’t mean that the full fault of the accident belongs to that person just because he or she violated a traffic law. The law requires that drivers act in a manner so that others may proceed in safety, and it requires that any pedestrian or cyclist use caution to not be struck by a vehicle.
So why not just but the civil blame on the person who didn’t have the green light? The answer is simple, because that isn’t always the just thing to do. For example, if someone is unable to walk fast and is in the crosswalk legally, but the light changes before he gets across, can someone just run over him?
The court will look at the reasonableness of both party’s actions and then determine who was at fault. Also, California is a comparative negligence state meaning that the court can assign a percentage of blame to both parties, and then the injured party can at least get some compensation for their injuries if they are partially at fault.
What happens if two cars hit someone and they are injured or killed? Which driver is going to blamed? This can be tricky and complicated. It may be that each car gets blamed 50 percent, or the court might assign more blame to one driver based on the evidence in court.
Either way, the best thing to do if you find yourself injured while crossing the street—even if you think you are partially to blame—is to talk to an attorney who can tell you the law regarding cycling and personal injury.
Choosing the Right Attorney
When you go to pick an attorney to either consult with or have them represent you, you need one that understands California’s bike laws. Bay Area Bike Law is the only firm in northern California that deal exclusively in bike law.
They have been representing injured cyclists for years and this means going up against the tricks of the big insurance companies. They have proven results and you can count on them to lead your through the complex legal system and get you the money you deserve.
Start putting someone on your side, call us at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact us online. If you still wonder if we’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.
Please be aware that these case results do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Every case is different and case values turn on small facts and differences. Thus, the results achieved on one case do not necessarily mean the attorney will achieve the same result, or a similar result, even for a case which may have some similarities.