Compliance with the law can be very important for avoiding allegations of negligence

California Bicycle Laws and How They Affect Bicycle Accident Claims

Have you been injured in a bicycle accident? Your ability to secure compensation for your injuries and suffering will depend in large part on your ability to prove who caused your accident. If a driver caused the accident, they would be liable. But if you caused your accident through your own negligence, you would be liable and therefore unable to sue for damages.

Non-compliance with traffic and safety laws is one possible indicator of negligence. Ensuring you are always in compliance with relevant bicycle laws is an excellent way to reduce your risk of causing a bicycle accident.

Important Laws for Cyclists

Follow the Vehicle Code: Cyclists are expected to obey all the same basic rules of the road as any type of vehicle. This includes things like stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, and obeying traffic signals.

Ride on the Right: Bicyclists should ride on the right side of the road, going the same direction as traffic. In most situations, they cannot take up a whole lane but must instead ride as close as they can to the outside edge of the road. If a bike lane is provided, cyclists must use it. Cyclists can only ride in the lane in front of traffic if they are crossing to make a left hand turn, passing another cyclist, or avoiding a danger in the roadway.

Use Lights and Reflectors: When riding at night, bicyclists must have a variety of lights and reflectors in specific positions on their bikes. If these lights and reflectors are not present and they get hit by a car, it may be possible for the driver to argue that they are not liable—or they bear less than total liability—because they could not see the cyclist.

Important Laws for Drivers

Of course, drivers are also expected to obey the law, including all the provisions of the vehicle code. If they do not, and they cause a bicycle accident as a result, they should be liable. Drivers need to be particularly careful to obey the California Three Feet for Safety Act. This law requires a driver to give a cyclist three feet of room when passing. If this is not possible due to oncoming traffic or other issues, the driver must slow down to a reasonable speed and pass only when this would not endanger the cyclist. Failure to comply with this law could result in sideswipe accidents for which the driver would be liable.

Need Help with a Bicycle Accident Claim?

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, the best way to understand the merits of your case and your potential for recovering compensation is to contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney from The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker. Call us at 800-333-0000 today for a free consultation.