Are You the Victim if You Are Hit on a Bike While Biking Across a Crosswalk?
It is a common question for people who bike to and from work: Is it required that they walk their bike across a crosswalk if they are in California? Likewise, if they are struck in a bike accident at a crosswalk while they are riding, are they at fault? Keep reading to learn the answers to these and other questions, then contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 if you require a free legal consultation.
The Law is Clear That You Should Walk Your Bike Through a Crosswalk
First and foremost, let us be clear: California Vehicle Code 21200 makes it clear that it is unlawful to ride a bike across a crosswalk. Instead, you are required to get off and walk it across the crosswalk. This is for the safety of the person on the bike, pedestrian around them, and vehicles around them.
The Story Does Not End There
That said, do not assume that if you are the victim of a serious bike accident while you are riding your bike across a crosswalk, that you have no legal recourse. Do not assume that you are entirely at fault or that no one else is.
Bike Accident Liability in California
Whether you are walking or riding your bike across a crosswalk, there is no excuse for a driver to hit you. Even the police officer who takes the report notes that you were riding through the crosswalk, this does not mean that you do not have grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
How Was the Accident Affected by Your Riding Through the Crosswalk?
The key here is to show that the fact that you were riding through the crosswalk was immaterial to the fact that the driver struck you. In many cases, the accident would very likely have been identical if you were walking your bike through the intersection. When we can use evidence and the testimony of accident reconstruction experts to show this, we can work to recover your damages.
California is a Comparative Negligence State
One of the most important things to remember is that California is a comparative negligence state. That means that each party involved is legally responsible for the damages equally their proportion of fault. For example, if a car accident is 70% the fault of one driver and 30% the fault of another driver, then each driver is technically responsible for paying their percentage of damages.
When it comes to bike accidents, this means that even if it is partially your fault for riding through a crosswalk, it is also likely partially the fault of the driver and you can sue them for that portion of your injuries. To learn more or request a free legal consultation, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 right away.