November 6, 2012-Buena Park, California-A man riding a bicycle in Buena Park was killed when he was struck by a vehicle, according to the Orange County Register. The accident took place at the intersection of Knott and LaPalma Avenues around 6:00 p.m. when an unidentified driver struck a 20-year-old cyclist. Both the driver and the cyclist were transported to hospitals with injuries. The driver had minor injuries, but the cyclist died as a result of the collision.
Investigators have not yet determined which vehicle had the right-of-way, but do not believe the driver or the cyclist was under the influence of alcohol. The accident is currently under investigation and anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Buena Park Police Department.
My sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the victim of this terrible accident, and I hope for a speedy recovery for the driver from his injuries as well.
Orange County Bicycle Accidents Cause Injuries and Death
There were three deaths and 1,187 injuries as the result of bicycle collisions in Orange County in 2010. This is an improvement over 2009’s figures of 12 people dead and 1,199 injured. Some of the decrease in death and injury may be due to statistical fluctuation, but it can also be due to better educational programs about bicycle safety and the recent push to include bike lanes and paths in many city designs.
Who Is At Fault In This Accident?
The fault in this accident is unclear because the police have not finished their investigation. Bicyclists are required by law to follow the same rules of the road as cars, so it is possible for a bicyclist to be at fault in an accident just as it is for a passenger car driver. However, bicyclists are so often injured or killed when they collide with cars that the perception is that bicyclists are rarely charged with fault. This is actually not true; police officers can write tickets for bicyclists just as they can for car drivers if a bicyclist violates the rules of the road.
Liability Issues in A Bike Accident
Despite the fact that bicyclists can be at fault in an accident, it does not change the liability outlook. Liability is based on the negligence of a person that leads to injury, so there can be situations in which a bicyclist may technically be at fault for an accident but still has grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if a bicyclist pulls into an intersection against the light and is hit by a speeding driver, the driver may still be liable for damages.
A bike accident attorney can explain the options available to victims of bicycle accidents and how they may be able to collect damages for their injuries.