A 5-year-old girl sustained injuries in a San Francisco area car accident after her bicycle was struck by a vehicle driven by an elderly driver. According to a CBS News report, the injury collision occurred the morning of September 20, 2010 at the intersection of North McDowell Boulevard and Sunrise Parkway in Petaluma. The girl was riding her bike in a marked crosswalk when a Chevrolet sedan driven by 96-year-old Vada Chambers struck her. Police say Chambers did yield for the flashing lights, but failed to see the young bike rider who was accompanied by a parent and two other children. Officials say the girl did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
It is indeed fortunate that this little girl was not seriously injured in the collision. I pray for her quick and complete recovery.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), two people were killed and 20 people injured in Petaluma bicycle accidents. In Sonoma County, bicycle accidents claimed four lives and caused 111 injuries during the same year.
Riding a Bike in a Crosswalk
Officials are saying here that the girl was riding her bike in the crosswalk. In such cases, one of the statements that many people, including law enforcement officials make, is that it is illegal for a bicyclist to ride his or her bike across the street within a crosswalk.
A 2009 amendment to California Vehicle Code Section 21650(g) clarifies this issue, which until now did not have a clear statutory statement in spite of the fact that California courts have consistently held that it is not illegal to ride a bicycle in a crosswalk. California Vehicle Code Section 21650 states that bicycles are not prohibited on “any shoulder or a highway, on any sidewalk, on any bicycle path within a highway, or along any crosswalk or bicycle path crossing, where the operation is not otherwise prohibited by this code or local ordinance.” So, in keeping with this section, anyone can ride a bicycle along a crosswalk unless a local ordinance prohibits it.
Claim for Compensation
In this case, I trust officials are also looking into whether the elderly driver failed to see the little girl because of vision problems. Car accident victims who are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence can seek compensation for medical expenses, hospitalization, loss of wages, rehabilitation, continuing treatment and even long-term care in case of catastrophic injuries. An experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise victims and their families about their legal rights and options.
What are some of the most dangerous intersections for bicyclists in your city or neighborhood?
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.