What Are the Laws in California Regarding Bicycles?
Section 21200 of the California Vehicle Code makes it clear that bicyclists have the same responsibilities and rights as the drivers of any other motor vehicle. If you are a California bicyclist, you have to obey the same traffic laws as any other driver including the laws on driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, obeying traffic signals and giving pedestrians the right-of-way.
Additionally, there are rules that motor vehicles must follow when they interact with a bicyclist on a California road. They include, but may not be limited to:
- Motor vehicles in California must give bicyclists 3 feet of space when they are passing or driving beside a bicycle.
- No one can obstruct or block a designated bicycle path by stopping in the bike path or parking their car or bicycle in it.
A law that can confuse motor vehicle drivers is that bicyclists in California having the right to ‘take the lane,” even if they are moving slower than traffic in the following circumstances:
- When passing
- When avoiding road hazards
- When a lane is too narrow to share
- When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized
Additionally, all California bicyclists should know the ‘rules of the road.’ In California, the law requires all bicyclist to ride with the flow of traffic unless:
- They are passing
- They are making a legal left turn
- Riding on a one-way street
- Riding on a narrow road or when the right side of the road is closed due to construction
In addition, on any road in Fresno and throughout California that has a designated bike lane if you are riding slower than the flow of motor vehicle traffic you must use the designated bike lane unless you are passing, avoiding hazards, making a legal left turn, or approaching a location where there is an authorized right turn.
Who is Liable for a California Bicycle Accident?
If a driver of a motor vehicle was negligent and/or reckless and caused your bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Under California negligence laws, a negligent driver is liable for any injuries caused by an accident the driver caused.
If you were injured in a Fresno, California bicycle accident because of another driver’s reckless, carelessness and/or negligence, California law lets you sue the driver to recover monetary compensation for your injuries.
There may be other parties who are liable for your California bicycle accident they include, but may not be limited to:
Bicycle repair shops
A bicycle repair shop can repair, modify or maybe sell bicycles. As they do so, they could make mistakes while performing repairs on your bicycle or it could be you were sold a defective bicycle. For example, you may be involved in a Fresno bicycle accident if a repair shop didn’t repair your brakes properly.
Bicycles, like other products, can have safety defects that increase the risk of an accident. Bicycle manufacturers may be liable for your bicycle accident caused by design or manufacturing defects.
There are several ways property owners may cause bicycle accidents. For example, property owners could fail to maintain their sidewalks. Cracks, potholes and other obstacles could cause a bicycle accident. In this case, it may be possible for a cyclist or their loved ones to file a premises liability lawsuit.
Can be responsible for bicycle accidents. For example, if there was a pothole or other problems with infrastructure. In some of these cases, you or your loved ones could recover compensation from the city in California your bicycle accident occurred in.
A business could be liable for your Fresno bicycle accident if one of their employees hit you while on the job.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover After My Fresno Bicycle Accident?
As long as you weren’t solely responsible for your California bicycle accident you may be able to recover damages for your injuries that include but may not be limited to:
- Medical Expenses
- Past and Future Earnings
- Property Repair – such as repair or replacement of your bicycle
- Home and Vehicle Modifications – to accommodate you if you were disabled in your California bicycle accident.
- Replacement Damages – these may include housekeeping services, child-care, etc.
- Non-Economic Damages – such as pain and suffering and mental anguish
Do I Need a California Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
After your Fresno, California bicycle accident, you could have to make a lot of challenging decisions. You may find it difficult to deal with your injuries and lost wages.
The experienced Fresno, California bicycle accident lawyers at AttorneyJeff Car Accident Lawyer can help you set a plan in motion to assist you in your recovery. Having an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer by your side to protect your rights can give you peace of mind so you and your family can focus on your recovery.