Biking is one of California’s most popular sports and pastimes, due in large part to the state’s beautiful weather, scenic roadways, abundant state parks and bike trails, and active population. Experienced cyclists know how to take precautions to protect themselves on the trail or road, but many cyclists are still involved in accidents due to no fault of their own.
If you have been injured in a biking accident in southern California, your experienced Carlsbad or Palm Desert personal injury attorney can help you determine whether another party should be held liable for the damages you have suffered.
Bike Path and Lane Safety in San Diego County
According to a San Diego county grand jury report on bicycle safety, the bike paths and lanes in the area are substandard, poorly located, badly marked, and poorly maintained. While San Diego County has made strides in becoming more bike-friendly in recent years, there is still room for improvement in many areas affecting bike safety.
The study also found that nearly 14% of all traffic accidents in San Diego County involved a collision with a bicycle that resulted in an incapacitating injury to the cyclist, and the higher the speed limit, the higher the rate of bicycle accidents. Since the year 2000, 49 bicyclists have been hit by vehicles while traveling on Montezuma Road.
Traffic Law Education and Enforcement
Laws are in place to protect bicyclists, but when traffic laws are not enforced, motor vehicle drivers do not learn how to best share the roadways with bicyclists. In California, bicyclists have a right to share the roadway with vehicles and do not necessarily need to be riding in a bike lane.
Pure Comparative Negligence Rule in California
California operates under the rule that victims who are injured due to another party’s negligence may recover damages, even if their own negligent conduct contributed to causing the accident. In other words, even victims who are partially at fault can still be eligible for compensation. While some states cap the fault percentage at 50%, California allows recovery even where a plaintiff might be 99% responsible for the accident.
This is important to understand with respect to bicycle accidents, since many bicyclists are found to be partially at-fault. For instance, a bicyclist might not obey all the traffic laws or might not ride in the designated bicycle lane because it is poorly marked.
Even if you believe you may largely be at fault for your bicycling injuries, your bicycle accident attorney with Leslie Legal Group will likely still be able to pursue compensation on your behalf. Though there are some limits to whether a government entity, as opposed to a private insurer or individual motorist, may be held responsible, your personal injury lawyer can investigate the circumstances and determine how to proceed.
Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in San Diego County
Personal injury attorney Sean Leslie is an experienced bicyclist who understands what you may be going through following an accident. He can help you seek the compensation you may need to pay medical bills and obtain necessary rehabilitation, services so that you can return to road if you desire.