Kids will be kids, as they say. No matter how old you are, accidents can and will happen, but if your child has gotten into an accident on their bicycle, damaging another’s property, can the parent’s be held liable for damages in California?
The answer is yes and no, depending on the circumstances. If your child is riding their bike and willfully swerves out in front of another cyclist causing an accident and injury, then in this case, yes, the parents can be held liable for damages. California law states that if a child willfully causes harm to another person or property, their parents will be on the line to pay for it or be subject to legal action.
However, this only covers intentional acts on the part of your child. If your child is riding their bike, loses control for one reason or another, and crashes into a parked car, then the parent is not held liable for the damages that were caused by carelessness or negligence. While parents may choose to cover the damages as an act of good faith for the accident, they will not be liable in any lawsuits.
Typically if the parents are being held liable, there is a limit to their liability. At maximum, they will only be responsible for up to $25,000 per intentional act that the child caused. When injuries are involved, parents cannot be held on the line for damages like pain and suffering, but rather are restricted to only paying for medical expenses.
If you or your child has been in a bicycle accident in the greater Los Angeles area and you are being held responsible, contact us today. While you may be liable, that doesn’t mean you should be stuck paying the maximum expenses because you did not have a lawyer on your side.
Riding a bicycle is a great form of exercise and mode of transportation. While riding a bicycle is generally considered to be a very safe activity, there are situations in which you may be involved in an accident. If you are involved in a bike accident, there are several things you should do to make sure you are not seriously injured and are properly represented.
Make Report and Gather Evidence
When you are involved in an accident, one thing that you will need to do is make a report and gather evidence. If the person driving the car does not flee the scene, it should be easy to work with them to obtain their vehicle and insurance information. If they do you happen to leave without checking on your status, you should do your best to take a picture of the vehicle and contact the police immediately to fill out a police report.
Receive Medical Attention
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, the most important thing that you need to do is make sure that you are OK. If you are seriously hurt, you should go to the hospital and receive medical attention immediately. Even if you do not have any obvious signs of injury, it would still be a good idea to go in for an examination as there could be internal damage that is not yet evident.
If you are involved in an accident while you were riding a bike, you should also contact us for legal representation. Our firm will be able to provide you with consultation on your case and work with all other parties involved in the accident to ensure you are properly represented. This can include receiving a settlement for damage your property, coverage for your medical bills, and even reimbursement for any pain and suffering.
When cyclists think of accidents, primarily they think of accidents involving other motorists. While this is the most common type of cycling accident, motorists that do not know how to share the road with cyclists aren’t the only cause. Often there can be not another car in sight, but an accident can still happen. In these cases, often it is road hazards that are to blame.
A “road hazard” is a broad term that can cover a lot of different incidents. However, most commonly a road hazard accident is typically caused by:
- Potholes – Potholes are dangerous to all those on the road, but particularly so to the cyclist that is unaware of them. Holes caused by construction should be clearly labeled and marked off while potholes caused by long-term wear to a road can mean that those in charge of maintaining roadways are negligent.
- Sewer Grates – In many cases, sewer grates are safe to ride over thanks to efforts to make them so. However, older sewer grates lack the crosshatch safety features, making it so the grates run in the direction of travel. This, as you can imagine, is an easy trap for cycling tires.
- Rail Tracks – Rail tracks can be rough on motor vehicles and dangerous to cyclists as well. As rail tracks create uneven pavement, it can dramatically affect the balance of a cyclist or even trap the relatively thin tires of a bicycle. This danger becomes even worse if the tracks are poorly maintained.
Who is Responsible for Road Hazard Accidents?
When it comes to cycling accidents that were the fault of road hazards, often liability can be placed on many different parties depending on the unique facts of the case. Liable parties can include the state, county, city, or any public agency therein that is responsible for maintaining the roadways.
Unfortunately, unlike an accident with a motorist, liability can be difficult to assign in these cases. This is why it is crucial that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Cycling advocates like Gary Brustin will go over the unique factors of your case to make sure you get the justice that you deserve.
Bicycle riders should strive to keep their riding as smooth as possible. This will help improve your biking experience, and it will also keep you safe. Here are some tips for doing so.
Clean Your Bike
Dirt and dust will make your bike more creaky. Clean all parts of your bike regularly.
Oil Your Bike
Make sure your bike, especially the chain, is oiled and lubricated. This will provide a smoother ride.
Check Tire Pressure
Deflated tires will cause your ride to be more jerky. Make sure they are filled with the right amount of air before setting out.
Make Sure the Bike Fits
You also want to fit comfortably on your bike. Adjust the bike seat and the front handlebars so that you have a comfortable sitting position when riding.
To ride more smoothly, you should be in the right position as well. Exercising or biking regularly will help you stay fit and will make biking easier. If you need to take a break to restore your breath, do so. Take around some water or an energy drink with you, especially during the hot weather. During the cold weather, make sure to bundle up so that you do not freeze.
Avoid Sudden Moves
Always be alert and on the lookout. This will prevent the need for sudden moves on your part. Be on the lookout for obstacles and moving motorists or pedestrians. Keep your hands on the brakes at all times. Brake in advance; avoid sudden jerky braking moves.
If you ever get in a bicycle accident, contact us immediately for legal help.
Making the switch to cycling on your commute or just taking it up as a hobby is a big change. It not only cuts down on pollution and your transportation costs, but it also has an odd effect of making you a happier person.
There are those that attribute more happiness to cycling because it is exercise. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that make you happy, so cycling makes for happier people. However, that doesn’t seem like the only thing that makes cyclists happier people. We believe it is the little things. Little things like the breeze blowing across your face when going down a big hill or the stillness of riding through a suburb early in the morning. These are moments of awe and gratitude that some think you have to climb to the top of a mountain to find, but they can be found right there on the road.
Furthermore, cycling also comes with a bit of nostalgia, doesn’t it? You learned to ride a bike in a simpler time and once your parent took off those training wheels and let go of the handlebars, it was your first real dose of freedom as a child. Many cyclists had some great times riding bikes as a kid, and every time we have gotten on one since, it has reminded us of those simpler times.
While riding a bicycle makes people happier, there are some inevitable unhappy times. The world doesn’t quite understand how to share the road with us yet, and thus, accidents will happen. If you have been in a cycling accident and need legal representation, contact us today.
Riding on city streets often isn’t a simple relaxing roll down an empty country road. In fact, city cycling requires a lot of thought and multiple judgment calls per ride to assure that you and your bicycle arrive safely. This has opened up a lot of maneuvers that, while not strictly illegal, are not exactly safe either. If you want to get somewhere safely, here’s what to avoid.
Riding Through the Rain
No one wants to get wet, none more so than cyclists who don’t have the same waterproof shell of a car to protect them. If it starts letting loose, you may be in a hurry to ride home. Riding in the rain is risky enough business, but increasing speed can make it deadly. You are more prone to skidding, can’t stop as quickly, and visibility is lowered. If you have to ride through the rain because there is nowhere to stop, the safest thing to do is to actually reduce your speed, just like vehicles should.
Not Indicating Turns
If you have ever ridden behind a car, you know how utterly irritating it is when they change lanes or turn without their turn signal on. It is just as irritating for a cyclist to do the same, but it is also infinitely more dangerous to you. Turn signals and hand signals were put in place to make traffic more predictable. Unpredictability causes accidents, after all. Even those who don’t know how to share the road with a cyclist are likely to still give you at least a bit of caution if they know what you intend to do.
Sliding By Traffic
The nice thing about riding a bicycle is it is compact and maneuverable. This means you probably don’t think you can get stuck in a traffic jam since you can just slide on by the block of cars. This is dangerous, but not strictly illegal. You can be ticketed for passing on the right, but the real danger is getting doored. This is particularly prevalent in big taxi cities where customers caught in traffic often decide to just hoof it instead. The key here is to either wait with the rest or go very, very slowly to avoid any suddenly opening doors.
It is often these maneuvers that contribute to a lot of cycling accidents, but in some cases, legal action for your damages can still be sought. If you have been in a cycling accident and need representation, contact us today.
The city of Brotherly Love has had a problem for quite some time – traffic-related accidents. The city suffers over 100 traffic-related fatalities a year, and for quite awhile now, no one has been doing anything about it. However, its new Vision Zero action plan intends to completely eliminate traffic fatalities by 2030.
While this action plan has quite a few key components, including reducing speed in the very specific zones that local residents know are responsible for the majority of fatalities, but one of the most important factors is returning power and safety to local cyclists.
Since 2012, the people responsible for the final decisions on all bike lanes in the city have not been the safety experts and engineers like in other cities, but the politicians of the city council. As bike lanes take away a lane of traffic to ensure the safety of cyclists, the construction of new bicycle lanes has dramatically slowed since 2012 while the cycling population has only increased.
What this new action plan intends to do is to return the power back to the engineers and prioritize bicycle lanes in the city’s high-crash concentration areas. This, combined with the proposed widespread public education campaign spells a brighter future for both the cyclists and the pedestrians of Philly that put themselves at risk every day stepping onto a street.
While Philadelphia’s Vision Zero Plan is an ambitious plan, even by 2030, accidents will still happen. They may not have as high of a fatality rate, but injuries will still occur. If you have been injured while riding your bicycle, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Gary Brustin can do for you.
The San Diego Union Tribune recently reported that it is commonly thought that sidewalk bicycling is always illegal. In reality, however, only 4 cities in San Diego County – Escondido, Carlsbad, Vista, and National City – have forbidden bicycling on sidewalks.
In fact, looking nationwide, laws vary wildly on whether bicycling on sidewalks is allowed, prohibited, or completely unaddressed. Bicycle riding on the sidewalks is permitted in most areas of Chicago’s Highland Park. Minnesota law does not expressly prohibit bicycling riding on sidewalks, but it can be prohibited in business districts or by city ordinance.
In the absence of dedicated bicycle lanes, many riders report feeling safer when riding on the sidewalk instead of on a busy street. But while that might be the case, NPR notes that doing so puts pedestrians at an elevated risk of collision. According to local news, a woman in Escanaba, Michigan was injured as she walked out of a building and a cyclist that was riding on the sidewalk struck her. While an Escanaba town ordinance currently prohibits bicycles on the sidewalk, historically it has not been enforced.
Cyclists themselves are at a higher risk of being hit by cars pulling out of driveways or at crosswalks when they ride on sidewalks. In addition, obstructions on or damage to sidewalks can cause significant injuries. For example, one cyclist suffered spinal injury and lost teeth after he was launched 28 feet by a tree-damaged sidewalk.
If you prefer to ride on sidewalks, make sure you are allowed to there. And, as always, be cautious! If you find yourself with questions or injured and in need of representation, contact us!
If you are well-versed in the cautionary tales of other cyclists, then you might already know the story of UCLA Ph.D. candidate Nako Nakatsuka. While many cycling accidents are horrifying, there is none more outrageous than her case.
In April 2014, Nako was riding her road bike from work when she was rear-ended by a speeding car. She was hit with such force that the front bumper of the car was caved in and her bike ended up all the way under the rear wheel of the car. Nako was left with serious damage to her body including a concussion, whiplash, and several severe lacerations to her body, but thankfully she lived. Yet, she wouldn’t know that her injuries weren’t going to be the worst part of this accident.
After the accident, instead of paying for her own extensive medical bills, the insurance company for the driver sent her bills for damage to the car. Not only did they want her to pay for the front bumper damage, for which they claimed she backed into, but they also claimed she smashed into the side of the car.
Now not only was Nako on the hook for her own medical bills, but she had to invest her own money into lawyer bills. What made Nako’s case so difficult? The one key factor that made this all happen was that the police officer at the scene of the crash failed to write a report. Had they written one, there would have been no case against Nako. Her bicycle was clearly under the rear tires, thus she definitely didn’t back into the car, and there was no way she could have hit it from the side either.
Nako’s story is horrible, but she was able to help raise the money she needed for lawyer fees and medical bills through a successful GoFundMe campaign and outpouring from the cyclist community. Her story should, however, be one of caution from now on. While cycling accidents often look very clear, it doesn’t mean the driver who is responsible will always take responsibility. Furthermore, if there is no police report to confirm the story, you could be held on the line for an extensive amount of damages.
If you have been in a cycling accident, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated making sure injured cyclists get the justice they deserve.
Every veteran cyclist knows that when it comes to bicycle safety, one of the biggest key aspects is being able to be seen. It is a long-standing misconception that cars will always notice bicycles, but merely don’t know how to deal with them. While cars might not know how to share the road safely with cyclists, sometimes they just plain don’t spot us until it is too late.
Even if it is a sunny day or you are wearing fluorescent clothing at night, there are times when a car can’t spot you. Fluorescents don’t always show up well during night-time rides and the sun can blind drivers to cyclists in certain circumstances. In order to be better seen on the road, consider these tips.
- Wear reflectors and mount them on your bike
- Front and rear lights are recommended and should be set in the flashing position
- Use hand signals well ahead of time so the following motorist will know what you will be doing
- Keep at least one ear free of headphones so you know what is going on around you
- Use your cycling lights during the day as well
Combining these visibility and awareness tips with your standard bicycling safety tips like always wearing a helmet will work to help prevent accidents with vehicles, but sadly it doesn’t completely stop them from happening. There is still a long way to go before most drivers know how to properly share the road with cyclists, and until then accidents will happen. If you have been in a cycling accident in the Los Angeles area, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated to being an advocate for the rights of cyclists.
As Max Wasserman of The Daily indirectly noted back in late July 2017, distracted driving isn’t just something that plagues motorists and pedestrians. In places all across the country, it’s having a negative impact on cyclists as well. For further proof about the wide-spread nature of this problem, check out the letters New York Times’ Editor, Dean Baquet, received in early August 2017. They too tell the tale of what daily distractions are doing to this country, beyond the rising accident statistics.
There’s the physical and psychological damage cyclists experience to contend with as well. In June 2017, Reuters’ published the results of a bicycle accident study conducted in our own State of California. It clearly showed that medical related expenses alone may cost cycling enthusiasts thousands of dollars per accident. Of course, that estimation doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the incidents’ true cost, which often includes loss of future wages, bouts of anxiety and permanent disabilities.
For example, did you know that people involved in bicycle accident may find themselves diagnosed with PTSD? It’s true and such occurrences are widely noted by Family Doctors. Those cyclists unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with the condition may suffer irreparably damaged relationships as well as lifelong battles against giving in to depression, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts.
As such, it is imperative that our nation’s governing bodies consider implementing measures designed to do more than just penalize distracted drivers. They must ensure the safety of cyclists and provide ways to obtain damage relief as well. Unfortunately, not all governing bodies or accident attorneys are well versed in bicycle law. As such, they may not be adequately prepared to fight for the rights of those whose lives have been impacted by bicycle accidents.
At the Law Office of Gary Brustin, we are prepared to represent and fight for the rights of bicycle accident victims as well as their families. To learn more about what we do and why, please contact us directly today.
Philadelphia may be more than 2,200 miles away from our law offices in California but no matter. Distance cannot stop the kinship we feel with those who think of biking as a way of life. Accordingly, we were pleased to read about what The Delaware River Port Authority is doing for fellow bikers who call the City of Brotherly Love and New Jersey their respective homes.
In case you missed it, they’re about to launch a cycling focused, construction project that may go a long way in preventing biking accidents on bridges. We’re excited for them and can’t wait to see what the proposed ramp will look like in 2019 when it’s expected to be open to the cycling public. In addition to preventing accidents, we sure it, as well as the revamped Circuit Trails, will make the area more pleasant for local and out-of-town bicycling enthusiasts alike.
Some may recall that California has had its own share of bridge-related, biking accidents. As a matter of fact, a high-profile one occurred earlier this year. It was so horrific, that it was covered by national media sources, including but not limited to the LA Times, GrindTV, SB Nation, and Esquire Magazine. Those affiliated with the Delaware River’s Port Authority are no doubt hoping their plans will help prevent similar occurrences and more from happening there.
But what about bicycle enthusiasts who don’t live anywhere near Pennsylvania or New Jersey? Will they see relief from bicycle accident related problems in the coming months too? In a word, the answer is, “Maybe.” As it stands now, Californians involved in bridge related, bicycle accidents must generally turn towards the court system for relief and that can be a tough road to travel without legal representation. To learn more about what people and their bicycle lawyers are doing in our state about that, please contact Attorney Gary Brustin today.