A bike and Prius collided in the eastbound lanes of Highway 24 killing the bike rider. According to police, who witnessed the accident, a driver called them about a cyclist riding on the shoulder of Highway 24, just west of the Martin Luther King Jr. Way off ramp.
When officers arrived, they saw the bicyclist in the second lane of the highway being struck by a Toyota Prius. The driver didn’t suffer any injuries, and the cyclist was taken to the hospital but died of injuries sustained in the crash.
Cyclist Riding on Divided Highways
Under California law, generally cyclists are not allowed to ride on freeways or expressways, but they law carves out exceptions for some designates stretches that are usually in more remote areas where there are no other access roads or trails.
Under California law, those areas that are prohibited for bicycle riding are marked as such by signs and other indicators. This sometime leads to confusion, and many times cyclists end up riding on a divided highway or a freeway when they shouldn’t.
So What if I’m hit While Committing an Infraction?
When someone is injured while riding where they shouldn’t be, they wonder if it means they can’t get compensation for their injuries. While we have no idea regarding the fault of anyone in the above-mentioned tragedy, generally speaking, it doesn’t affect a civil claim if you are violating a traffic law and were injured by another river.
This brings up a strange scenario, but one that happens all the time. A person could get a ticket for violating a traffic law, and in civil court the law doesn’t allow that ticket to mean they were at fault for the accident.
So Who’s At Fault?
California law states that a violation of a traffic law does not mean that a person is at fault in a civil case for a personal injury. However, the injured person must show that the driver was negligent in the accident.
Also, California is a comparative negligence state which means that if the court determines that each person bore a certain percentage of the fault, then each person will bear that percentage of the financial losses. For a cyclist who was riding where he or she shouldn’t have been, it’s possible the court will find that each party is negligent which means that the cyclist can recover some compensation for their injuries.
Do I need an Attorney?
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 have the knowledge and experience to help you in these cases. They are the only firm in North California that deals exclusively with bicycle law. A consultation is free, and if you decide to have them represent you, there are no fees paid until you get paid by the insurance company.
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.