Many people from our area missed work yesterday and others have the weekend planned to watch the Amgen Tour Bicycle race. This event brings world class athletes to our area to demonstrate their particular talent and this is likely to motivate many of us to get our bike out and go for a ride. Here are a few things you should consider before setting out on that ride.
Proper safety equipment and safety procedures should be the first thing on your list. Our Managing Partner Ross Bozarth has ridden his bike hundreds of mile up and down the California coast and he won’t ride his bike down the street without a helmet, gloves and the proper clothing. While he’s certain of his skill level he has no way to predict the skill set of the drivers around him. Something else to consider is the Amgen riders have road closures and police escorts during their entire ride along with medical staff should the unthinkable happen. You should always ride with a friend, have a basic first aid kit with you and have a cell phone to call for help.
Like pedestrians, bicycle accident victims are at high risk of a serious injury or fatality when involved crashing with a motorist. California has one of the highest fatality rates involving bicyclists compared to other states. A telling fact is that almost 70% of fatal injuries include head injury. Wearing a helmet is the law in California and an effective way to protect you from an otherwise serious head injury. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that from 2001 to 2016 the number of bicyclist injuries and fatalities increased significantly.
In order for a bicyclist to pursue a claim against a driver, the bicyclist must prove the driver was negligent. Drivers and bicyclists are obligated to obey the rules of the road. Some municipalities even have their own set of rules and regulations for bicyclists.
The California Vehicle Code (CVC) states:
§ 21200: Bicyclists can ride on the street except on freeways and bridges where biking is not permitted. This regulation also requires all cyclists to obey the same rules and laws as motorists, including stopping at red lights and stop signs.
§ 21202: Bicyclists must stick to the rightmost side of the lane unless passing a vehicle or making a left turn.
§ 21650: Bicyclists can leave the right side of the lane to go around construction zones or to move around slow moving traffic.
§ 21804: Bicyclists must yield to traffic before entering the roadway.
Even if you are at fault on the police report for riding your bicycle against traffic, you still may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Common bicycle accidents are:
• Drivers opening their door without looking for oncoming traffic.
• Drivers pulling out of a driveway or an alley.
• Drivers making a turn without looking for a clear intersection.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when they refuse to follow the law. We help with serious issues that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth. We have over 80 years of experience in our plaintiff’s only law firm. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We Can Help!