Cyclist Killed in Crash with Minivan in Rio Linda
A 59-year-old man dies Sunday night, May 12, 2019, when he collided with a minivan. According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident happened around 7:30 near Elkhorn Boulevard and Cherry Lane when a minivan was driving westbound on Elkhorn and stuck a cyclist who entered the road from Northern Bike Trial.
The driver of the minivan remained at the scene and was cooperating with police who say that neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to play a role in the crash.
Bike Trails and City Streets
The Bay Area has over 2,500 miles of bike paths and trails with some of them having cyclists travel on the city streets with the cars, and others go “off road” where cyclists, pedestrians and others share a designated bike trail away from the streets.
Sooner or later, these trails, called class I bike paths/shared use bike paths, will intersect with a city road. Most have stop lights or stop signs that determine the right-of-way for the cyclist and any motorists nearby.
According to California law, anytime a bicycle is on a city street or state road, the bicycle will be considered a vehicle for code violations and the right-of-way. This means that a cyclist needs to be aware of the law and who has the right-of-way when entering the street.
So What if I’m hit While Committing an Infraction?
While we aren’t certain what happened in the crash mentioned above, sometimes cyclists are hit while committing an infraction. If a cyclist violates the right-of-way, he or she might think that they will be at fault in a civil case for injuries.
Though this seems to make some sense, it’s not the law. Under California law, traffic code violations don’t automatically mean that the person is negligent in a civil lawsuit.
The question of liability will hinge on whether the driver was acting reasonably when he or she struck the cyclist, and whether the cyclist failing to act with due caution. This is important because California is also a comparative negligence state, which means that if the cyclist is partially to blame for the accident, then his or her final reward will be reduced by their percentage of blame, but it won’t preclude them from getting some compensation.
Do I need an Attorney in a Bicycle Crash?
Although it’s not a requirement to get an attorney to file a claim, you should talk to a professional who can advise you of your rights and of 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.