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Bicyclists often injured in California motor vehicle accidents

Many of us like to ride their bikes in the summer to enjoy the beautiful weather and get some exercise. However, bicyclists in Riverside and surrounding areas need to be especially careful. The Riverside Police Department found that in 2016, more than 4 percent of traffic fatalities in the area were bicyclists. This is higher than the national average, which is over 2 percent.

Bicyclists generally must follow all traffic laws and generally follow the same rules as motorists. If there is a bike lane, bicyclists are required to use it unless they are passing, turning left or avoiding a hazard.

Bicyclists are also not supposed to ride against the traffic and must stay on the right side of the street, with a few exceptions. Bike riders are also not permitted to ride their bikes while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are not permitted to wear earplugs or headphones in both ears, and are required to wear helmets. Following all state regulations will help ensure that one is safe while biking this summer.

However, motorists also have a responsibility to watch out for bicyclists and travel at an appropriate speed. Many personal injury accidents are caused by drivers who fail to keep a proper lookout and travel at an excessive rate of speed.

If injured in a motor vehicle accident as a bicyclist, one may be entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs. However, California is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that the victim's damages will be reduced depending on their percentage of fault in the accident.

For example, if one was riding their bike on the wrong side of the street and was struck by a vehicle, the court may determine that the victim was 35 percent responsible. Therefore, they could only recover $65,000 out of the $100,000 in damages awarded. A personal injury attorney can provide more information and evaluate case specifics.

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