A female cyclist is in critical condition after she was hit by a car Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at the intersection of Fifth Street and I Street downtown Modesto. According to the Modesto Police Department, the accident happened around 8 p.m. when the cyclist was riding northbound along the southbound lanes of 5th Street when she inexplicably turned into traffic.
The driver of a silver-blue Nissan Sentra struck the cyclist ejecting her from her bike. She was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. Police say the driver stopped at the scene and cooperated with police. The accident is still under investigation, and it’s too soon to tell if any charges will be filed.
Bicycle Accident Riding in Traffic
In California, cyclists supposed to follow the rules of the road as if they were a motor vehicle which means riding with the direction of traffic when riding in the roads and not in a bike lane or a sidewalk (where allowed). Also, when they ride in the road, they are to ride on the right-side of the right-hand lane.
There are exceptions to the right-side rule to allow a cyclist to avoid a hazard along the side of the road or to avoid a dooring accident if there are parked cars. This means a cyclist isn’t supposed to ride alongside a road going against traffic. In Modesto, it’s also illegal for a cyclist to ride on the sidewalks of a business district. but OK in neighborhoods
Who’s at Fault if the Cyclist is Violating the Law?
Although we have no idea if the cyclist in the above-mentioned story was violating the traffic laws or if she will be given a ticket, we do know that any bike rider is supposed be riding with the direction of traffic and on the right-side of the right-lane.
So what if they aren’t? Does this mean any accident they get into is the cyclist’s fault? Surprisingly, the answer is no. While they may get charged and get convicted of a traffic violation, it doesn’t mean that the accident is fully their fault in a personal injury claim. In fact, there’s a law that says just that.
Why? Because the criminal system and the civil system in California are different and have different legal standards to prove. This means you could be guilty of a crime but not civilly responsible for any personal injuries caused by the accident.
Can I Still get Compensation for my Injuries if I get a Ticket?
It happens all the time. Not only are the standards different, but also when it comes to a personal injury, California is a comparative negligence state which means that someone might be partially at fault, but the other person was more at fault which allows the injured person to still be able to collect some compensation, albeit a reduced amount.
Do I Need and Attorney?
If you are injured in a car accident riding your bike, and the police feel you violated a traffic law in the incident, then you should talk to an attorney who can tell you what the law says. Don’t assume that you don’t get any compensation just because an insurance agent tells you that the accident was your fault.
Rather talk to an attorney today to find out the law and your rights. The attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle 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.