A female bicyclist was injured in an Irvine car accident after she was struck by a vehicle. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the injury crash occurred the morning of August 19, 2011 on the Alton Parkway off-ramp to the 5 Freeway. California Highway Patrol officials say the bicyclist crossed the off-ramp on a green light as the driver of a Mercedes Benz attempted a right-hand turn while exiting the freeway. The bicyclist was transported to a local hospital with apparently non-life-threatening injuries. Officials are investigating the cause of this bicycle accident.
I sincerely hope the bicyclist in this case did not suffer major or life-threatening injuries. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. She will be in my prayers.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to CHP’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 70 injuries reported due to bicycle accidents in Irvine. In Orange County as a whole, 12 people died and 1,199 were injured in bicycle accident, during the same year.
Based on this news report, the bicyclist had the green light and the right-of-way at the off-ramp crossing. However, the driver of the Mercedes tried to make a right turn at the time leading to the collision. It appears that the driver was not paying attention to the bicyclist and failed to yield right-of-way to her. Under California law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. I trust officials are also looking into whether the driver of the Mercedes was under the influence, distracted or inattentive at the time of the crash.
Fault and Liability
If the driver is determined to have been at fault here, he or she could be held liable for the resulting injuries. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, physical therapy, and other related damages. They would be well advised to contact an experienced Irvine personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.
A skilled car accident attorney will also be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition may have caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a public entity must be properly filed within 180 days of the accident or injury.