Know Your Rights as a Bicyclist

City Bicycle Riding On Bike Path

Bicycle Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

Knowing your rights as a bicyclist will make it more convenient for you to ride safely on the road, and can also prove to be very helpful if you are injured in an accident.

Additionally, knowing your rights as a bicyclist will provide you with the best chance of obtaining suitable compensation in the wake of any accident. This compensation can cover medical bills, lost remunerations, and property damage.

Know when the driver is at fault

A vehicle driving behind the cyclist must maintain a safe distance. If the driver of the vehicle that is right behind the bicyclist doesn’t leave adequate space in between themselves and the bicyclist makes a sudden turn leading to a collision with the bicycle, according to California State Law, the automobile driver would be considered at fault and could be held legally liable for damages.

Who’s to blame for a bicycle accident?

When it comes to bicycle accidents with motor vehicles, establishing who was liable is the same as it is in accidents among automobiles because bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road, on top of those regulations pertaining to bicycles.

Thus, any bicyclist found to be violating the rules of the road can be considered at fault in an accident with a motor vehicle. What matters in such cases is how much the bicyclist was to blame for the accident in a comparative negligence state such as California. In such cases, it is even more imperative that you retain an aggressive Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer to argue on your behalf that you responsible for as small a percentage as possible for the accident so you can recover the maximum compensation possible.

Know when bicyclists can ride on the car-designated lanes

Even though according to the Vehicle Code section 21201, a bicyclist “shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway,” there are some instances in which a bicyclist can exercise their right to take the car-designated lane.

  • A bicyclist can use the car-designated lanes when he passes or overtakes another bicyclist or the vehicles that are moving in the same direction.
  • A bicyclist can use lanes when he is making a left turn.
  • A bicyclist can also use car-designated lanes when a vehicle is making the right turn to avoid a collision.

There are some necessary circumstances in which a bicyclist can practice their right to use the car designated lane. For example, when there is a fixed or moving object in their path. This can be other bicycles, vehicles, pedestrians, animals, or any other surface hazard or where the width of bike lane gets so narrow that it becomes dangerous to continue the ride in the same lane. In these conditions, the bicyclist can move into the car-designated lanes.

Know your Rights on Sidewalks

Many times bicyclists feel it safer to ride their bikes on the sidewalk instead of the road. The California vehicle code doesn’t restrict bicyclists from riding on the sidewalk, however there some local ordinances that prohibit bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk. Local legislation in LA County and Ventura County has made it unlawful for bicyclists to use the sidewalk, for example.

A Right  in the Making

As the law stands for the time being, bicyclists have to stop at stop signs just like any other vehicle. There is , however, a new law that will change the obligation for bicyclists, informally known as California roll for Cyclists. Under this proposed new law, bicyclists will have to stop only on red lights and they will be able to pass through stop signs if it is safe.

This law was proposed with the idea that coming to a complete halt causes a bicyclist to lose momentum. A similar law was implemented in the state of Idaho and resulted in fewer bicycle-related injuries.

If you are a bicyclist who was injured in an accident, you need an advocate to push your claim for financial compensation. The Orange County & Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani can protect your right to compensation when you are injured through another’s negligence.

Call today to discuss your rights: (888) 970-3945!

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southern california


714 W. Olympic Blvd.
Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90015


Our Main Location

Los Angeles

serving southern california


714 W. Olympic Blvd.
Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90015


(888) 508-5085