Cyclist Killed and Passenger Injured near Slab City

A cyclist was pulling a woman and her dog on his bike when the trailer was struck by a vehicle. The man and the dog died instantly, and the woman was rushed to the hospital where doctors amputated a portion of her leg. The accident happened along Beal Road near a popular concert venue called the Range located at the Slabs.

A California Highway Patrol officer said that the Collision is still under investigation. “We’re hoping to gather more information as we study the evidence collected at the scene.” He also said that the driver cooperated fully and that neither drugs nor alcohol was suspected to play a part in the incident.

Bike Passengers

When riding a bicycle on Bay Area streets, the law treats a bicycle like a vehicle for the purposes of traffic laws. This means that when someone is riding a bicycle, he or she has to obey all traffic laws as well as those laws specifically for bikes.

One of those bike laws prohibits someone riding on a bicycle on the streets from carrying a passenger “other than upon or astride a separate seat attached thereto.” In other words, any passenger must have their own seat and can’t ride on the handle bars or the back fender of the bike. California law does allow a bike trailer and doesn’t regulate their use other than to say that any person under the age of 18 riding in a trailer must wear a helmet.

Bicycle Trailers

Since passengers can ride on a bike if there is a designated passenger seat, there are two ways this can be legally. One is for a separate seat that usually attaches above the back wheel and is typically made for small children.  Another way is to use a biked trailer which hooks up to the back of a bicycle and are a legal way for a cyclist to carry a passenger. Trailers are made for both adults and children and have advantages and disadvantages compared to the second bike seat.

Advantages

  • A trailer can carry other people, a pet and items.
  • Can be customized.
  • Lower to the ground and solved the problem of weight shifting.

Disadvantages

  • Stopping: The extra weight creates longer stopping distances and times.
  • Wider and longer: The operator must consider the extra length and weight when navigating.
  • Route planning: Trailers can’t go in all places bikes can so proper planning is needed before heading out.
  • Riding in traffic: Trailers work best on protected bike paths or other designated cycling areas, riding in traffic with a trailer is more difficult to maneuver and safety can become an issue.

Who Pays for the Injuries of a Bike Passenger?

If you are a passenger of a car and are injured, you can collect compensation for your injuries from the person who is negligent whether it is the driver of the other car or the one you are in. This is the same for a bike passenger who is injured in a collision with a car. The victim can be compensated by the insurance company of the driver of the car who caused the accident.

If the bike operator is at fault, then the passenger can be compensated by the operator’s insurance if the policy covers the operation of a bicycle. Also, a passenger might be able to make a claim under his or her own insurance under the uninsured or underinsured provision. Not all policies have these provisions, so it’s best to review your policy ahead of time before riding as a bike passenger.

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.