Call For A Free Consultation
800.841.2453

Cycling Law Blog

RSS

Bicyclists and the Doctrine of Comparative Fault

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Bicyclists in California can recover damages when they have suffered injuries in an accident. However, what happens in those cases where the bicyclist is at least partly to blame for the accident?

There are several ways that a bicyclist may contribute partly to his own injuries in an accident. For instance, he may fail to obey traffic laws. If you cross traffic lanes, or otherwise ride unsafely, you could possibly be blamed for the accident when one occurs.

Say for instance, you were riding down the wrong way on a one-way street, and were struck by a speeding car. A judge may determine that you were partly to blame because you were driving in the wrong direction. However, just because you are partly to blame in the accident, does not mean that you are absolutely not eligible for compensation recovery. It does mean that the compensation that you were eligible for will now be reduced by the percentage of your fault in the accident.

Determining whether you are at fault in the accident will fall on the judge. You can expect the insurer for the motorist involved in your accident to claim that damages should be reduced significantly because you were very much to blame for causing your own injuries. However, a judge will determine how much you were to blame in the accident. If the judge believes that you were not at all to blame in the accident, and the fault was that of the motorist, then you will be awarded 100% of the damages. However, if the judge believes that you were 20% negligent, then your damages will be reduced by 20%, and you will only receive 80 percent of the damages you would have been eligible for.

In any case, you must speak to a California bicycle accident lawyer if you have been injured in an accident. Determining fault and assigning percentages is a complicated process which judges will consider only with inputs from lawyers.


CONNECT WITH US

MEMBERSHIPS &
AFFILIATIONS

Northern California Office

Law Offices of Gary C. Brustin, APC
2033 Gateway Place, Suite 600
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: 800.841.2453 Fax: 800.235.1658

Get Map | Driving Directions

Southern California Office

Law Offices of Gary C. Brustin, APC 401 Wilshire Blvd, 12th Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: 800.841.2453 Fax: 800.235.1658

Get Map | Driving Directions

We handle cases throughout California, including the cities of:  

Silicon Valley, San Jose, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange County and San Diego. We also have a network of qualified cycling attorneys throughout the country for clients who are seeking representation outside of California.