What Are My Rights And Responsibilities As A Bicycle Rider In California?
As a bicycle rider, you have the same responsibilities to follow the law and the rules of the road as the driver of a car. As a bicycle rider, you are not a pedestrian. When you are riding in the street, you must ride with the flow of traffic, you must ride as close to the right side of the roadway as practicable, you must signal your turns and stop at red lights and stop signs.
Your rights as a bicyclist include the right to occupy and ride in a lane of traffic and expect the drivers of motor vehicles respect your completely lawful presence on the road. In California, motor vehicles must not encroach closer than 3 feet to you while driving behind you or beside you in a traffic lane. And in some respects, the rights of a bicycle rider are somewhat broader than those of the driver of a motor vehicle. For instance, there are more and more bicycle lanes being built to increase the safety of bicycle riders and help increase ridership, getting people out of cars as a public good. In some cities, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is legal but in many cities and counties, it is not. You must be familiar with the municipal codes and find out where you can ride on a sidewalk. For instance, you can ride on the sidewalk in the city of Los Angeles but you cannot ride on the sidewalk in unincorporated portions of the county of Los Angeles. You cannot ride on the sidewalk in the city of Santa Monica or Beverley Hills or Glendale, so you need to understand where you cannot ride on a sidewalk.
- Will My Damages Be Reduced If I Was Partially At Fault For The Bicycle Accident?
- Will My Future Medical Costs Be Taken Into Account In A Bicycle Accident Injury Settlement?
- How Do I Know When I Should Settle My Bicycle Accident Claim In Woodland Hills? Is That Usually Better Than Going To Trial?
And as far as bicycle lanes are concerned, where a bicycle lane is provided, you must ride in that bicycle lane unless you must leave it to pass a parked car, avoid debris in the roadway and to make a left turn.
Can I Bring A Claim Against A Driver If I As The Bicyclist Was Doing Something I Was Not Supposed To Be Doing Such As Riding On The Wrong Side Of The Street Or Not Wearing A Helmet Or Having Proper Reflectors Or Signaling?
You can still bring a claim or a lawsuit against the driver of a motor vehicle if you were doing something that you were not supposed to be doing such as riding on the wrong side of the street, not wearing a helmet or not having proper lights or reflectors at night. Even leaving a bike lane when it was available and not riding in the bike lane when you are supposed to, while unlawful, does not necessarily act as a bar to pursuing a bodily injury claim. What is important is whether your violation of law or error was the cause, or the only cause of a collision. In California, we have what is called comparative liability and that means that even if you are partially at fault, you can still recover a percentage of your damages.
For more information on Bicycle Accidents Law In California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (818) 530-1770 today.