A 39-year-old man was killed riding a bicycle on the 405 Freeway around 10 p.m., Saturday, August 14, 2019. A California Highway Patrol spokesperson says the man was riding southbound in an auxiliary lane just south of Woodruff Avenue when he was stuck from behind by a 2007 Lexus sedan.
EMT pronounced the cyclist dead at the scene, and the driver of the Lexus stopped and was cooperating with police. Bicycles are prohibited on that section of the 405 Freeway.
Riding Bicycles on Freeways
Most people believe that riding a bicycle is prohibited on freeways, and in most cases they are right. However, most states, including California, allow for some sections of freeways to be open to cyclists and pedestrians.
In California, the reason some sections are open to cyclists is to allow them access to areas where access to some towns and areas by bicycle would be difficult if not impossible without opening up access to that section of a freeway. However, in California, only around 1,000 miles of freeways are open to cyclists.
Which Freeways are Prohibited?
California law requires that a no bicycles allowed sign is posted at entrance to the freeway section where prohibited. Also, there will be a sign on the freeway that says all bicycles must exit here. There are some private websites that list where bicycles are allowed, but to be sure, a cyclist should look for the sign on the onramp on the section in question.
Who’s at Fault if Cyclist is Illegally Riding on Freeway?
In most cases, if a vehicle, including a bicycle, gets hit from behind, the fault is going to be on the person who hit the other vehicle. However, in the case of a bicycle that is not supposed to be there in the first place, it would seem that the law would fault the cyclist’s.
In actuality, the law doesn’t assign blame in a civil suit based on the violation of a traffic code or law. In fact, California has a law saying just that. The law requires that fault in a personal injury suit be based on negligence. To determine negligence, the law looks at the actions of the person to see if they are in line with what a reasonable prudent person would do in the same or similar circumstances. A jury could easily decide that a prudent person wouldn’t ride on a prohibited section of a freeway, or a jury could say a prudent driver would look out for slower moving vehicle in front of them.
What do I do If I’m Injured when I’m Riding Illegally?
We know that just because you are riding somewhere illegally, it doesn’t mean that you are at fault if injured. In all likelihood, the jury will assign a portion of blame to each person and this would probably just reduce the amount of compensation to the cyclist if the driver did something negligent as well.
Contact a Los Angeles Bicycle Injury Attorney
The best thing to do when injured in an bicycle accident is talk to an attorney who can tell you your rights and can advise you on your case. Then if you decide to get representation, then choose someone who is experienced and understands the law.
Call the Law Offices of Steers & Associates at 800 824 5416 or click here to contact us online. We have attorneys with years of experience dealing with every type of motor vehicle accident, and we get results against the insurance companies and their highly-paid lawyers. Call us now to even the playing field and get the compensation you deserve.