A Bicyclist Who Doesn’t Obey Traffic Laws

An officer citing a bicycle rider after not obeying traffic laws

When bicyclists do not obey traffic laws, they may face legal penalties. Worse, they may cause an accident, which is dangerous for everyone involved.

When you are on the road, whether as a driver or a bicyclist, you expect those around you to follow traffic laws that keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, when a bicyclist does not obey traffic laws, it can put them in legal trouble and in danger to those around them. That can lead to a serious accident, tickets, and more.

Whether you were a bicyclist or a driver, you may have grounds for action if a bicyclist’s actions led to a serious accident. Our car accident attorneys at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys are here to help you recover compensation and overcome the suffering you have experienced. If you have been hurt by another person’s negligence, do not hesitate to reach out.

Table of Contents

A Bicyclist Who Does Not Obey Traffic Laws Can Be Ticketed

When a bicyclist is careless on the road, a police officer may stop them and give them a ticket, as California Vehicle Code 21200 includes specific bicycle traffic laws. The bicyclist may face a ticket if officers believe they are not upholding these laws. However, because bicycles are treated differently from motor vehicles, whether that ticket impacts your driving record can vary.

According to California Vehicle Code 1803 (b)(6), the court clerk is expected to report traffic violations to the DMV, but it is not required for all violations. However, just because it is not needed does not mean that the court clerk will not choose to report the violation anyway. That means the bicyclist may face penalties and even a court date for a moving violation.

Any Driver or Pedestrian May Face Penalties for These Violations

While bicyclists are not considered drivers, they may still face penalties depending on the specifics of the case. California law allows clerks to report moving violations on bicycles to the DMV based on discretion and the breach in particular. Because of this, not every moving violation will be put on a bicyclist’s driving record, but this is a potential risk.

In these cases, the bicyclist may receive points on their license. With enough points, this can become a license suspension, depending on the speed with which these points were gained. Driving recklessly and without attention to traffic laws is dangerous no matter the vehicle or device, and disregard for the safety of others can lead to the need for our services, so penalties for these violations can be costly.

They May Face Fines for a Ticket

If a bicyclist is found disobeying traffic laws by a police officer, they may face penalties. Police officers can apply significant fines and other penalties for the careless bicyclist. Those can be pricey and may impact the financial state of the bicyclists themselves.

However, causing an accident can lead to much harsher costs and fines. If a driver is found responsible for causing an accident, they may find themselves paying for the car accident victim’s financial, emotional, and mental recovery. That can be far more costly for the careless bicyclist.

Just because bicycles are not in the same category as motor vehicles does not mean they cannot be dangerous. Bicyclists who are acting recklessly can also be held accountable for any injuries they may cause, so talk to us after an accident or consider alerting law enforcement if a bicyclist is putting others in danger.

Bicyclists Must Follow the Same Laws As Other Drivers

When people think of bicycles, they may not consider them in the same category as motor vehicles like cars. While bicycles are considered devices rather than vehicles under California Vehicle Code 231, that does not mean that motorcyclists are not still expected to follow the same laws and regulations as other drivers. If you are a bicyclist, you must be sure you follow the following traffic laws, among others.

Obeying Traffic Signals and Signs

Just like other vehicles on the road, bicyclists are required to follow traffic laws, including obeying any traffic signals and signs. That means bicyclists should also yield or stop when noted, follow rules for passing or turning, and more. If bicyclists fail to do so, they may be held accountable for these actions and their carelessness.

Always Signal When Making a Turn

While bicyclists do not have turn signals in the same way a motor vehicle does, they should still signal their intentions to turn before they make a turn. To do this, bicyclists should utilize hand signals to warn other drivers of their intent. For a left turn, the left arm should be held straight out to the side, and for a right turn, the left arm should be held at a right angle with the hand pointing upward.

Use the Bicycle Lane Whenever Available

While the bicycle lane is not always available, bicyclists should use it whenever possible. A bicycle lane is provided to give riders a safe place to traverse. While bicyclists have a right to travel on roadways, they may feel safer driving in a space where only bicyclists can travel.

However, bicyclists should also be aware that accidents happen, and distracted drivers may not be careful about where they drive. These careless actions can lead to other motor vehicle drivers swerving into bicycle lanes and causing serious injuries. Many accidents also occur in the spaces when drivers park close to the bike lane and do not look before opening their doors, striking cyclists and potentially severely injuring them.

What Happens If a Bicyclist Disobeys Traffic Laws and Causes an Accident?

When a bicyclist is careless with the safety of others, it can lead to a dangerous accident. While bicyclists are typically much more vulnerable than motor vehicle drivers, they can still cause devastating accidents that can leave you with catastrophic injuries. For example, you may have tried to avoid striking a bicyclist and disobeying traffic laws, only to be involved in a head-on collision.

While this can be a frightening and devastating accident type, you do have options to take action. The at-fault party can be held liable in court, and we are here to help you do that. We have a track record of success with accident claims like yours, so when you need a personal injury lawyer on your side, do not hesitate to call.

They May Be Held Liable for Your Injuries

When someone causes a car accident, we may pursue compensation on your behalf as your car accident lawyers. Under California Code 1714, any situation where another person causes injury or property damage may be the financial responsibility of the person who caused the accident. In these cases, the bicyclist may be responsible for the many expenses of your car accident recovery.

You May Be Covered by Their Insurance Policy

Fortunately, especially in minor accidents, you may be able to rely on their insurance policy for coverage. Because California is a fault state under California Code 1714, insurance companies are expected to provide liability coverage for their policyholders, meaning that if the bicyclist is at fault, their personal liability insurance should cover their damages.

However, the bicyclist may not have homeowners or renters insurance, or their insurance company may be unwilling to compensate you in good faith. They may delay responses to your case, lowball your settlement offer, or even deny you outright for your due compensation. When this happens, we can help negotiate or mediate an agreement between the two parties or help you take your case to trial.

Pro Tip
The insurance company may quickly offer you a settlement, but do not immediately take it. We can help you determine whether they are offering you a settlement offer that meets your needs, or whether you may be due more.

You May Have Grounds for a Lawsuit

If a bicyclist causes an accident and their insurance company is unwilling to settle fairly with them, your next step may be to take your case to court. This is also a possibility for those who have suffered catastrophic injuries, as their insurance policy may simply not cover the full extent of their injuries. For example, a severe injury like a brain trauma can have lifelong effects and can impact your mental and emotional health as well, which an insurance claim may not cover.

While a lawsuit may take longer to settle than an insurance claim, you may be able to get compensation that more thoroughly covers the costs of your accident. We are ready to represent you throughout the lawsuit, presenting evidence that you are due compensation and defending you from accusations that you are partly or wholly at fault for your injuries. When the at-fault party is unwilling to cooperate with you, we are here to help.

Bicyclists May Be More Vulnerable to Serious Injuries

Bicyclists are often more vulnerable than other drivers on the road because they are more exposed to road hazards. Bicyclists may only have helmets for protection, which are not required for riders over the age of 18 under California Vehicle Code 21212. That leaves bicyclists vulnerable to severe injuries like the following:

Any of these injuries can be life-threatening or even fatal. In fact, in severe situations, you may need to pursue compensation, not through a bicycle accident, but through a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased loved one. In these cases, we can help you and your family navigate the aftermath of this accident and secure compensation for your family’s recovery.

Keep in mind that your injury recovery can take a significant amount of time, and your recovery may not be linear. Because of this, keeping a record of your recovery can help prevent issues with your coverage and better identify what your claim is worth.

You May Be Due Compensation for a Car Accident Caused by a Careless Bicyclist

When a bicyclist or other person on the road is careless about the safety of others, one of the most dangerous potential outcomes is a car accident. When an accident happens, you may find yourself suffering pain, trauma, or other issues. Fortunately, we can help you pursue damages, including those below.

Economic Damages

When a careless bicyclist causes a dangerous accident, it can be expensive to overcome. You may have significant financial losses that can impact your claim and life for years. These damages, also known as economic damages, can include property damage, medical bills, and lost wages.

These damages can be difficult to calculate when you are also struggling to overcome your injury. They may also be ongoing, leaving you struggling to recover when you are unsure what your damages will ultimately be worth. We pursue economic damages by calculating the current losses you have already suffered and estimating the future losses that may accrue as you navigate your case.

Non-Economic Damages

When navigating your lawsuit, you may be doing more than damages for the expenses you have suffered. In some cases, you may be eligible for compensation that covers the many intangible losses you have suffered because of a careless driver or bicyclist’s actions. These damages are called non-economic damages and cover the emotional and mental toll of your accident.

These damages can be difficult to calculate because of their nature, as they are not based on a set value set out by the expenses you have accrued. You will instead need to calculate them based on the severity of the suffering you experience and the ongoing impact those damages have had on your life. Fortunately, we can help you calculate and maximize this compensation, pursuing non-economic damages that meet the many needs you have accrued.

Punitive Damages

When another driver or bicyclist is extremely careless with your safety, you may have grounds for a lawsuit that provides more than your compensatory damages. You may also be due compensation for punitive damages, specifically provided to punish the wrongdoer for gross negligence or intentional acts of harm. For example, if a bicyclist actively pursues you in an attempt to cause an accident, you may be due further damages for their actions.

However, remember that these damages are not available in all circumstances. You may need attorneys like Kevin Crockett to identify when you are eligible for these damages, request this coverage from the judge, and present evidence showing you are eligible. We have a track record of success when it comes to helping our clients get the fair compensation they are due for all their damages.

Our Car Accident Lawyers Offer Powerful, Diligent Guidance for Those Injured when a Bicyclist Disobeys Traffic Laws

When you are on the road and traveling, whether making a simple commute or traveling a long distance, you may unfortunately find yourself in a serious accident. When this happens, another driver or even a bicyclist may be at fault because they failed to protect the safety of those around them. If you have been injured in this way, keep in mind that you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

If this is the case for you, our team at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys offers diligent, thorough aid to our clients as they navigate this difficult situation. We strive to help our clients secure significant compensation that helps them recover fully from the many suffering and expenses they may have experienced because of the accident. If you are facing serious injuries because a bicyclist disobeyed traffic laws, reach out for a free consultation by calling or completing our online contact form.

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett

Kevin Crockett is an award-winning personal injury lawyer who understands the impact an accident can have on someone’s life. That’s why he aggressively fights for each of his clients.

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