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What Responsibilities Do You Have as a Bicyclist Riding on Bakersfield Roads? Who Can You Sue for a Bicycle Accident You Were Not At-Fault for?

Bicycle accidents have the potential to create some of the worst types of personal injury claims imaginable. This is partially because only half of bicyclists actually wear helmets, which means that horrific injuries are almost inevitable in the event of an accident. Furthermore, the city of Bakersfield already has long-standing issues with bicycle safety that are just starting to be addressed.

With the adoption of the 2013 Bicycle Transportation Plan, Bakersfield is in the process of completing or receiving further funding to construct 35 miles of bike lanes and routes throughout the city. The city is also collaborating with Bike Bakersfield to increase public awareness regarding bicycle safety for all residents.

Jake Becker of Bike Bakersfield, a local nonprofit agency, has explained that part of the reason behind these serious bicycle safety issues revolves around the fact that many people ride at night without lights and against the flow of traffic. These two behaviors alone greatly increase the likelihood of a serious accident. Becker also believes that bike lanes on Bakersfield’s busiest streets are too narrow to safely ride on.

Despite safety initiatives, accidents will happen. If you suffered injuries after a bicycle accident as a result of someone’s negligence or a defective product in the Bakersfield area, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the party responsible for your losses. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our Bakersfield bicycle accident attorneys will help you get the compensation you deserve for any damages caused by the accident.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (661) 299-7554 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Bakersfield personal injury law firm. 

Bakersfield Bicyclist Responsibilities

Drivers and pedestrians are not the only ones who are obligated to act responsibly when on the road. Bicyclists are also given road rules and regulations to follow in order to maintain a safe environment for those nearby. This includes the following:

  • Obey Traffic Signs and Signals: Bicyclists must obey the same traffic rules that all drivers do. Failure to do so may result in the bicyclist being responsible for an accident.
  • Yield: You must always yield to traffic before you safely enter any roadway.
  • Ride With Traffic: Bicyclists must use the right half of the street and ride along with the flow of traffic. When it comes to one-way streets, you may choose to ride on either the left or right side.
  • Ride in the Bicycle Lane: Make sure you ride in the bicycle lane. You could likely cause traffic if you are occupying other lanes.
  • Pick a Lane Carefully: If a lane is too narrow, you can ride near the center of a lane. However, you must ride as close to the right as possible, except when you are avoiding hazards or if a lane is too narrow to share with a vehicle.
  • Make Sure to Signal: This is in your best interest. Please use hand signals to let drivers know that you are turning, changing lanes, or stopping.

Can I Sue Bakersfield for Hazardous Road Conditions?

Most bicycle accidents are caused by negligence from a driver, bicyclist, or even both. This means that either the driver or the bicyclist acted recklessly, such as by not following traffic laws or being intoxicated. However, poorly maintained roads are also a common cause of many serious bike accidents. California premises liability law dictates that any city, including Bakersfield, can be held liable for negligence if they do not properly maintain public roads in reasonably safe conditions.

A serious bicycle accident can easily be caused by seemingly harmless road conditions, such as potholes, broken cement, loose gravel, uneven sidewalks, or malfunctioning road signs. Furthermore, all property owners — including commercial, private, and city — can be found liable for not properly maintaining their asphalt or pavement surfaces.

Therefore, you may be able to sue the city of Bakersfield for the recovery of damages if you were injured as a result of the city’s negligence.

Can I Sue a Pedestrian for Causing a Bicycle Accident?

Bicycle accidents caused by pedestrians are another type of common bicycle accident claim. Personal injury claims for the recovery of damages can be brought against the party who was responsible for your losses, whether it was another driver or a pedestrian.

If you were injured in a bicycle accident because of a pedestrian’s negligence, you must be able to prove that negligence was the cause of your injuries. The legal standard for negligence in the state of California will consider the following three elements:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care
  • The defendant breached his or her duty of care through negligence, and
  • The defendant’s negligence was the primary cause of the injuries you sustained

A pedestrian may be subject to liability if they caused a bicycle accident by:

  • Suddenly stepping into a bicycle lane
  • Darting out in front of a bicyclist
  • Texting and not watching the road
  • Not paying attention while wearing headphones
  • Intentionally knocking a bicyclist off their bike
  • Not leashing or properly controlling their dog

Statute of Limitations 

Statute of limitations define the period of time a victim has in order to file a personal injury lawsuit and still be entitled to the recovery of damages for their losses. This time limit may differ from state to state. In the state of California, a victim has two years to file a personal injury claim for damages against another individual or party.

Bicycle accident claims are a type of personal injury claim, which means you have two years to file a bicycle accident lawsuit. Waiting longer than two years from the date of the incident means you will be barred from filing a claim, and you will not be able to recover any compensation for your losses.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Always Here to Help

If you were injured in a bicycle accident because of someone’s negligence or a defective product, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. A Bakersfield bicycle accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers can recover compensation for the losses you have suffered.

Contact our 24/7 legal team today by calling (661) 299-7554 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Bakersfield personal injury law firm.

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