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Bicyclist Seriously Injured in Temecula Car Accident

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Lionel McGee, 18, suffered major injuries in a Temecula car accident after a car struck his bicycle, the night of September 6, 2012. According to a news article in The Press-Enterprise, the injury collision occurred at the intersection of Margarita Road and Rancho California Road. McGee was riding at the intersection when a vehicle that was turning left struck him. McGee suffered serious injuries and was transported to an area hospital. No arrests or citations were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Lionel McGee, who has been severely injured in this crash. I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Bicycle Accidents

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 17 injuries reported as a result of bicycle accidents in Temecula. During the same year, eight people died and 332 were injured due to bicycle collisions in Riverside County.

Right-of-Way Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the other vehicle was making a left turn when it struck the bicycle. It is not clear as to who had the right-of-way here. California Vehicle Code Section 21801 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.” Also, under California law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles.

Fault and Liability

If the driver is determined to have been at fault, he or she can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. A knowledgeable Riverside injury lawyer will be able to determine whether a dangerous condition on the roadway caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury claim against a California governmental entity must be properly filed within six months of the incident.

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