Bicycle Accident on the Sidewalk
California is a “comparative negligence” state, which means injury accident victims who share liability can have their compensation reduced by the percentage of their fault.
Here an example. A car hits a pedestrian who was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk. Because the pedestrian was in violation of traffic code, he or she will share some liability. If the jury awards $10,000 but holds the pedestrian 30 percent at fault, the pedestrian will receive a total of $7,000 ($10,000 – 30 percent).
How does this legal doctrine apply to cases where a bicyclist is hit by a vehicle while riding on the sidewalk?
Well, it either does or it doesn’t, depending on where the accident takes place.
California law provides extensive coverage on all aspects of cycling on roads, but it doesn’t really say much about riding on city sidewalks. Instead, it leaves that up to local governments to decide whether to ban or allow cycling on sidewalks.
Let’s take a look at some of the cities in Orange County:
- Newport Beach doesn’t allow bicyclists to ride on sidewalks.
- In Tustin and Laguna Beach, bicyclists are treated as motorists and thus can travel only on roads.
- Santa Ana, on the other hand, allows bicyclists to ride along most city sidewalks, although sidewalks in the business district and civic center-area are restricted due to increased pedestrian traffic in those areas.
To find out the laws in your area, consult your city’s Web site or contact a local law enforcement official.
Have you been injured in a bicycle accident that may have been partially your fault? Even so, you are entitled to compensation for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact the Orange County bicycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm for legal guidance. We can help you get the compensation you deserve and put you on the road to recovery. Call us today at (800) 522-7274 to learn more about your rights and options in a FREE consultation.