ESTABLISHING NEGLIGENCE IN A CALIFORNIA BICYCLE ACCIDENT CASE
Posted on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 at 2:17 am
Bicycle accident cases can be complex and difficult to prosecute. In order to collect damages in a California bicycle accident lawsuit, the accident victim must establish negligence on the part of the driver who caused the bicycle crash. In some cases, negligence may be difficult to determine depending on the facts of the case. This was true in the case of Bermudez v. Ciolek.
Elements of Negligence
In a case seeking damages for negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the other driver had a duty of care, the driver breached the duty of care, the breach caused the injury, and damages were sustained because of that injury. In Bermudez v. Ciolek, the bicyclist was injured when two vehicles collided at an intersection causing one of the vehicles to crash into the bicyclist on the sidewalk. The bicyclist sued both drivers alleging negligence.
A jury determined that both drivers were negligent; however, only one driver was substantially responsible for the bicyclist’s injuries and awarded the bicyclist $3.7 million. The driver who was charged with the $3.7 million verdict in the bicycle accident case appealed. The California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District affirmed the decision in June 2015.
In a car accident case, both drivers have a duty of care to others on the road to operate the motor vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. Therefore, both drivers had a duty of care to the bicyclist. In this bicycle accident case, both drivers breached this duty of care. The driver of the vehicle that crashed into the bicyclist was speeding; however, the other vehicle made a left turn in front of the speeding vehicle causing the collision that ultimately injured the bicyclist.
Even though both drivers had a duty of care and both drivers breached that duty of care, the jurors found that the driver who turned left in front of the speeding driver was substantially at fault for the bicyclist’s injuries and award the judgment against that driver. The jurors determined the speeding driver, who actually collided with the bicyclist, could not have avoided the collision even if he had exercised due care but the other driver could have avoided the collision that ultimately caused the bicyclist’s injuries had he not turned left in front of the other driver.
Contact an Experienced Sacramento Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have been injured by a negligent driver, establishing the elements of negligence is crucial for recovering damages in a bicycle accident case. The bicycle accident attorneys of Tiemann Law Firm have the experience, resources, skills, and tools necessary to investigate a bicycle accident case to identify and gather evidence establishing fault.
Call our office at (916) 999-9000 to schedule a free bicycle accident consultation or chat with a representative on our website. You should not bear the financial burden of a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver. You are also entitled to receive compensation for your pain and suffering in addition to reimbursement for economic damages. Our attorneys can help you receive the maximum compensation allowable under California’s personal injury laws.