The seasoned Escondido bicycle accident attorneys of Marino & Tye LLP have helped injured cyclists recover compensation after sustaining physical damage due to someone else’s negligence.
Given its strategic location and fair weather conditions, it is not surprising why Escondido attracts cyclists throughout the year. Thousands of cyclists ply the main thoroughfares of the city, as well as the popular off-road cycling spots. But this also comes with an increasing number of accidents involving bicycles. Several studies in the past have found that the crash hotspots in Escondido have been Washington Street near Broadway and Valley Parkway at or about Midway Drive and Rose Street. Many of these accidents exist because there are still many drivers who do not recognize cyclists as having the right of way.
And here is another significant finding: many bicycle accidents in Escondido go unreported when the biker is not injured to a certain severity level. That proves that bicycle accidents are even more prevalent in the area than one may think.
Are You a Bicyclist in the Escondido Area?
If you (or your loved ones) have been involved in a bicycle accident in Escondido, you need to speak with an experienced, compassionate Escondido bicycle accident attorney. Our legal team has the experience and resources necessary to gather evidence and develop a strong case. At Marino & Tye LLP, we are ready to help protect you in any way if injured in a bicycle accident.
In order for a biker to avoid liability in the unfortunate event of an accident, it is important for a rider to follow California Statutes regarding bicycle law, which are explained below.
Bicycle Laws in Escondido
Every cyclist in Escondido (and in California as a whole) has the same right to the road as drivers of motor vehicles.
Here are specific guidelines for bicyclists:
- Are entitled to share the road with motor vehicles
- Have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle and motorcycle drivers
- Must obey all traffic signals and stop signs
- Are lawfully permitted to ride on certain sections of roadway in rural areas where there is no alternate route
- Must ride in the same direction as other traffic, not against it
- Shall ride as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway – not on the sidewalk
- Are legally allowed to ride in the center of the lane when moving at the same speed as other traffic
- May move left to pass a parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, animal, or avoid debris or other hazards
- May choose to ride near the left curb or edge of a one-way street.
- Should ride single file on a busy or narrow street
- Must make left and right turns in the same way drivers do, using the same turn lanes
- If the bicyclist is traveling straight ahead, he or she should use a through traffic lane rather than ride next to the curb and block traffic making right turns
- Must signal all their intentions to motorists and bicyclists near them
- Must wear a helmet if under the age of 18
- Should carry identification
During darkness, bicyclists must have the following equipment:
- A front lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet
- A rear red reflector is visible from a distance of 500 feet
- A white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles visible from a distance of 200 feet
Many cyclists fail to comply with the aforementioned statutes of California law and therefore assume liability in the event of an accident. If you are uncertain, our Escondido bicycle accident lawyers at Marino & Tye LLP offer free consultations to determine if you were under compliance with all bicycle laws in California, and are willing to provide you or a loved one with legal assistance to help retain recovery in the event of a bicycle accident.
Contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation to discuss your rights.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
To help prevent future accidents, it is imperative to understand the common causes of bicycle accidents. Nationwide, about 58 percent of bicyclist fatalities take place at non-intersection, and 45 percent occur in dark conditions.
The position of the bicyclist relative to the motor vehicle is a critical factor. Below we discuss some accidents brought about by unsafe positioning:
- Dooring accidents – These are common on busy streets. In heavy traffic, cyclists may force themselves to ride close to parked cars. If the driver or passenger of a parked car fails to check to see if a bicycle or other vehicle is coming, he or she may open the car door directly in the bicyclist’s path.
- Rear-end accidents – occur when a car is following too closely or not paying attention and thus cannot stop in time to avoid colliding with the bicycle. These accidents often happen at stop signs.
- Vehicle crossing – an accident where a vehicle crosses into the path of a bicyclist at an intersection or when exiting a driveway or alley. Usually, the driver of the car is either not paying attention or does not see the bicyclist, which is why bicyclists should always wear high-visibility clothing, and the use of headlights is a must.
- Side-swiping accidents – These happen when a passing car does not provide a bicyclist with enough room. California law requires at least three feet of clearance when passing to avoid these types of accidents.
- A driver making right turns – accidents happen when a driver fails to check his blind spot before making right turns. If a cyclist is traveling on the right side of the car, and the car initiates a right turn, the vehicle will be directly in the cyclist’s path of travel.
Other Factors That Place Both Drivers and Cyclists at Risk
- Distracted driving (e.g. using mobile devices while driving)
- Speeding is more than driving above the posted speed limits
- Bad weather conditions
- Drugs and alcohol use
To help decrease your risk of being involved in a crash, keep these bicycle safety facts in mind:
- Bicycle fatalities occur most frequently between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Fatalities are far more likely to occur in urban areas than in rural areas
- Men are eight times more likely to die in bicycle accidents than women.
- Alcohol is one of the primary reasons for bicycle accident fatalities
Injuries sustained in serious collisions include:
- Head and brain injuries, which may include skull fractures, concussions, and other traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Road rash
- Neck and back injuries, including everything from strains or sprains to herniated discs or spinal cord damage
- Soft tissue injuries, such as stretched or torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Broken bones, which may require surgery
- Facial lacerations
- Dental injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries, which may lead to a loss of movement or sensation in the lower extremities
Potential compensation that you may get after a bicycle traffic accident include:
- Reimbursement of all medical bills and expenses related to the accident, which includes bills, hospital stays, physical therapy, and other long-term medical needs
- Compensation for lost wages from time missed from work for attending medical appointments and during your entire recovery period or inability to work
- Past, present, and future pain, suffering, and inconvenience
- Past, present, and future psychological anguish and emotional distress
- Payment of all psychological and psychiatric treatment related to your accident
- Loss of earning capacity in cases of permanent physical or mental impairment
- Compensation for permanent injuries and damages
- Loss of consortium, companionship, or spousal support
- Compensation for future medical treatment or procedures, including future surgeries and hospital stays
- Wrongful death
The Basics of Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
Both cyclists and drivers are constrained by rules of the road. These rules include traffic laws for cars and any special state or local rules created specifically for cyclists. Therefore, both sides must exercise care when on the road.
Negligence is at the root of many lawsuits, including personal injury cases. It involves a person who owes a duty of care to another person and breaches that duty. In such an event, the negligent party is the one who is liable for any resulting injuries.
When a cyclist files a lawsuit against a driver for injuries obtained in an accident, negligent behavior on the part of one or both parties is a critical factor. Driver negligence can take many forms, which include running a stop sign, speeding, and improper use of designated lanes. But what if the cyclist is partially at fault? California follows the doctrine of Comparative Fault Law, which allows an injury victim to get a portion of his or her damages covered by the other negligent party, even if the victim is partly responsible for the injury.
For inquiries, contact us at 1-760-741-7643.