Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

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bicycle signIn some cases, in addition to civil claims, a person is able to bring a criminal charge. Such was the case in a very serious recent California hit and run bicycle accident case.

In the case, the victim testified that he was riding his mountain bike inside a crosswalk one June evening when he was struck by a truck. The victim was unable to wrestle free from the vehicle and was dragged under the truck while he reportedly screamed and struck the truck very hard more than 10 times in an attempt to get the driver’s attention. Once the truck slowed, the victim was able to push out from under the truck, but both of his legs were then run over, and he was forced onto his back. As a result, the victim’s tibia was severed in half, he lost two teeth, and he was in a full lower body cast for nine months. The victim now has to use a cane in order to walk and can no longer ride a bike. His bike was broken in two as a result of the accident.

Fortunately for the bicyclist, another driver was present at the scene and witnessed everything. In addition, the driver followed the truck and eventually cut the driver off, reached into his window and pulled out the keys, and then sat the driver onto the curb while his wife called 911. (Please note that this is not an endorsement of these actions, but only a retelling of the facts as set forth by the court in the appeal.)

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bike wheelA California Appeals court recently entered a somewhat routine decision in a car accident case, but the ultimate holding may take some Californians by surprise. In the case, a bicyclist was involved in an accident with a car, which apparently caused injuries (the appellate decision did not discuss the actual claims in the case).

On the day of the accident, the plaintiff was involved in a car accident when his bicycle collided with the vehicle being driven by the defendant. The plaintiff stated that he could not remember what happened on the day of the collision. He could not recall what he saw or what color the light was just before the accident happened. However, the driver of the vehicle and two witnesses at the scene stated that the plaintiff’s bicycle entered the intersection on a red light, and the car had a green light when the driver entered the intersection. Thus, when the plaintiff filed a personal injury action against the car’s driver and its two owners, the trial court granted a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the defendants.

Regarding the evidence in the case, one of the witnesses stated that he had entered the crosswalk before noticing a bicyclist approaching very quickly and then entering the intersection, resulting in the accident. On the basis of this witness’ account, as well as the driver’s statement and the other witness’ statement, the police officer who responded to the accident stated his opinion that the bicyclist was responsible for the accident, and the trial court adopted that conclusion.

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A Carlsbad bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help your caseAccording to 2014 by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), if you are going to be killed by a car while riding a bicycle, you are probably a male Californian over the age of 20. If you’ve been injured in a biking collision, Carlsbad bicycle accident lawyer Zev Rubinstein can help determine the strength of your case and advise you on your best strategy to move forward toward obtaining the justice you deserve.

One of the leading causes of bicycle accidents is auto-driver negligence. Even if you adhere dutifully to local traffic laws, a motorist may fail to allow you adequate space or ignore your presence altogether. Some of the most common ways motorists endanger the safety of bicyclists include:

  • Driving while intoxicated
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This Carlsbad bicycle accident may require a lawyerPeddling your way through Southern California is a healthy and fun activity, but a dangerous driver can change your life in an instant. If you’ve been injured in an Oceanside, Escondido or Carlsbad bicycle accident due to the negligence of a careless driver, experienced lawyer Zev Rubinstein may be able to help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.

Bicyclists are particularly vulnerable when on the road. Injuries sustained in bicycle accidents are usually much more severe for riders than for the drivers of car and truck drivers. Here are five tips to help increase your chances for enjoying a safe, injury-free ride.

  1. Observe traffic laws. Not only is this mandatory, it can keep you safe. It also helps your case when you can demonstrate that you were fully obeying traffic laws and the accident was a result of the driver failing to do so.
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iStock_000004429915Small-300x200Cycling enthusiasts spend most of July watching the Tour de France. However, though no California driver is likely to encounter such a massive fleet of bicycles, safety is critical no matter what type of vehicle you’re operating. If you’re involved in a collision involving a bicycle and a car, experienced Encinitas auto accident lawyer Zev Rubinstein can help.

Bicycle accidents can be devastating because riders aren’t protected by safety features like seatbelts and airbags. However, under California law bicycles are still considered vehicles, and they are expected to follow many of the same rules of the road as cars.

Auto accidents involving a bicycle and passenger vehicle commonly occur in situations such as:

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When a bicycle is hit by a car, catastrophic injuries are almost unavoidable. Even if a cyclist is wearing a helmet, injuries caused by bicycle accidents can result in expensive medical bills, time off of work, pain and suffering, and – in some cases – irreversible damage that forever alters the quality of your life. If you have been injured in a bike accident, our experienced Oceanside bicycle accident lawyers at The Rubinstein Law Group are prepared to investigate your case and help you get every penny you are due.

Some of the most common bicycle accident injuries include:

  • Brain injuries
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San Diego News 10 reported that 44-year-old Grant Fisher of Escondido sustained serious injuries as a result of being hit by a car on January 19, 2012. The auto accident happened when Fisher was riding in the bike lane on Sorrento Valley Boulevard during his lunch. Police reported that 76-year-old Cecilia Cueva allegedly swerved to avoid a speeding truck behind her causing her to hit Fisher. He was pinned under the vehicle, Which caused severe burns and spinal injury. Fisher was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital where doctors said he may never walk again and will be there for the next month or longer.

Applicable California Law

California Vehicle Code 21658(a) requires the driver of a vehicle driving on a road with divided lanes not to move from their lane until it is reasonably safe to do so. Although Cueva said she never saw Fisher prior to hitting him she will still be liable for his property damage and personal injury. This would include the repair or replacement of his bicycle as well as his medical expenses, lost earnings and earning capacity as well as compensation for pain and suffering. Since Fishers long term prognosis is doubtful with respect to his ability to walk again, the adequacy of Cueva’s insurance coverage and or other assets are of particular concern (see my prior Blog post on California Law On Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage)

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San-Diego-Accident-Lawyers.jpgSan Diego Union Tribune reported that 20-year-old Landen Swanson of Vista was taken off life support from injuries he sustained in an auto accident on January 9, 2012. Swanson suffered a brain injury resulting from head trauma when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while skateboarding on Alamitos Way and Orlando Avenue in San Marcos, on his way home from work. According to sheriff’s Sgt. Stephanie Guerra, the driver of the vehicle that hit him fled the scene, but later called police and told them he was involved in the incident. He was later arrested and criminal charges are pending.

Applicable California Law

The driver of the hit-and-run vehicle will face felony criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury or death (see my prior Blog post on Hit-And Run law in California). Furthermore, he will be subject to civil claims by the Swanson family for the wrongful death of Landen (see my prior Blog post on California Wrongful Law And Survivor Actions). As always, whenever there is a fatality or catastrophic injuries, the adequacy of the responsible parties’ insurance and assets are at issue (see my prior Blog post on California Uninsured And Underinsured Law).

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images.jpgSan Diego News 8 reported that an unidentified woman passenger in a Hyundai Sonata was fatally injured on October 8, 2011. The tragic auto accident happened at around 2:30 a.m. on state Route 78 and Bear Valley Parkway in Escondido, when 21-year-old Joshua Goldbaum of Escondido collided into a Ford Aerostar van. One of Goldbaum’s passengers died, another was injured as well as the driver of the van. The passenger in the van, who sustained major injuries is expected to survive. According to CHP Officer Bettencourt, Goldbaum who fled the scene, was later arrested and taken to the Vista jail and faces numerous felony charges for hit-and-run, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.

Our condolences go out to the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives

Applicable California Law

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A study in the Emergency Medicine Journal substantiates the fact that there is a significant impact on children who sustain whiplash injuries. There has been a long standing debate among different medical practitioners as to the affects and consequences of these injuries on children. This controversy was due to many factors, but most prominently the lack of any significant studies on these types of injuries in children. In the past, cases involving whiplash injuries in children were overlooked in part because children either lack the ability to effectively communicate their problems or do not appreciate the nature and extent of their injuries. This lack of attention would often result in them not receiving the medical attention they needed and in some cases would result in long lasting consequences. These types of spine injuries can result from a number of different types of incidents, but in many instances are caused by auto accidents.

The study by Boyd, Massey, Duane & Yates entitled Whiplash associated disorder in children attending the emergency department followed 105 children who had been involved in auto accidents during an eight-month-period. The subjects, ages four to sixteen, had data collected at 5, 14,28, and 56 days after their auto accidents. Nine of them complained of pain on motion on physical exam, 47% showed pain on motion but no pain on physical exam. 60% of the subjects with whiplash injuries reported pain immediately after the crash, with 40% reporting the onset of symptoms the following day. Those who sustained even minor whiplash injuries were symptomatic for 2-18 days, and those with more significant injuries 2-62 days. This does not even address the psychological trauma as the study reveals “Recent work has shown that children are susceptible to and do experience significant psychological trauma after being involved in a car crash.”

Parents and adults should take action when a child has sustained a whiplash or other spine injury. Auto accidents, bicycle accidents, or slip and fall accidents can result in significant spine injuries or brain injuries. If your child or someone you know has sustained a serious whiplash or other injury, seek immediate medial attention and talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.