A man riding a bicycle on Highway 9 near Encinal Street was hit by a passing vehicle and suffered major injuries. The accident happened around 8 p.m., Thursday, September 26, 2019. According to the Santa Cruz police department, the cyclist was riding with the flow of traffic when he was stuck by a Subaru Forester.
It’s unknown if the cyclist swerved out into the road or what caused the Forester to hit his bike. Santa Cruz Fire Department officials say that the cyclist was in stable condition when he was transported to Santa Clara County trauma Center after sustaining “major traumatic injuries.”
Police are still investigating the accident, and no charges have been filed as of yet.
In Bicycling Accidents Riding on Highways
In California, cyclists are allowed to ride their bikes in the road with other vehicles so long as they are traveling with the flow of traffic. If they are going slower, then they have to ride in a bike lane if available or on the far right-hand side of the road. Drivers are also supposed to give cyclists three feet when passing them.
In Santa Cruz, cyclists are allowed to ride on the sidewalk where they exist, except in a few areas in the downtown business district: San Fernando Street and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th streets, and in Willow Glen on Lincoln Avenue.
However, if a sidewalk exists next to a road or highway, it’s not mandatory that the cyclist ride on the sidewalk and can ride on the street with the motor vehicles.
Who’s at Fault?
These laws confuse many people with some motorists believing that the cyclist are not allowed on the road with traffic. California law also says that a cyclist can get a ticket for violating any of the rules of the road the same motorists.
When an accident happens, the law doesn’t look at the rules of the road to determine liability. This is because in a civil case, the injured person has to prove that the other person is negligent, and the law specifically states that a violation of a traffic law doesn’t prove negligence by itself. The action of the driver and the cyclist will be looked at to see if either one was negligent.
Also, in California, the law will assign each party with a percentage of fault, and the damages for each party will be reduced by their own share of the negligence. If a cyclist is 20 percent at fault for driving too far left on the side of the road, but the motorist is 80 percent at fault for not giving the cyclist room when passing, then the cyclist will get 80 percent of his or her damages.
Injured? Contact a Specialist.
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.
Contact us today for a free consultation by email or by calling 866-bicycle-law (866-242-9253). Years of advocacy for bicycle crash victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills to handle bicycle accidents cases with the utmost level of professional expertise. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.
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.