A 27-year-old man was struck by a car and critically injured and taken to a local hospital. The accident happened around 4:30 p.m. June 28, 2019, at the intersection of Fillmore Avenue and Recreation Avenue.
According to Fresno police, the bicyclist was traveling westbound on Fillmore approaching the Recreation Avenue intersection when he went through the intersection without stopping and was hit by a car traveling northbound on Recreation.
The driver of the car had no injuries, and the accident is still under investigation.
Stop Signs and Traffic Signals
Any accident between a bicycle and a car can produce significant injuries which is why cities and states have traffic codes to prevent this from happening. The law says that a bicycle is treated the same as a vehicle for purposes of traffic code violations, and any vehicle has to stop at a stop sign. So does that mean that a cyclist is automatically at fault in an accident with a car if he or she runs a stop sign and gets hit?
Civil and Criminal Law
The answer is no. California also has a law that says a traffic violation can’t be used to infer fault in a civil injury suit. This is because the civil law and criminal law systems are separate, and just because someone is guilty of a traffic offense, doesn’t mean that the same person is responsible for injuries.
Also, the law treats vehicles and bikes differently when it comes to a personal injury. The driver of a car always is under a duty of care toward others out on the road including pedestrians and bicyclists. This means that a car driver is under a duty to look out for a pedestrian who might run out into the road or a cyclists that runs a stop sign. The law will look at whether the driver did was reasonable under the circumstances.
What if I was Injured on my Bike while I Broke a Traffic Law?
The most important thing is to not talk to an insurance agent or representative because you might say things like “it was my fault” and “I shouldn’t have run the stop light.” While you may feel that way, it doesn’t mean that the driver wasn’t at least somewhat at fault.
The driver might have been texting or otherwise distracted, or might have been speeding. In California, fault is divided up between the parties, and while this may lower the compensation given, it might also mean that you can still be compensated even if you violated a traffic law.
Talk to an attorney at Bay Area Bicycle Law in a free consultation to find out your rights under the law. The attorneys at Bay Area Bike Law are the only firm in northern California that deals exclusively with bicycle law, and they have the experience to get you full compensation under the law. Call them at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact then online. If you still wonder if they’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.