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Los Angeles County Bicycle Accident Injures Man

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David Sotelo, 41, who suffered major personal injuries in a Whittier bicycle accident May 28, 2009, still remains in critical condition, the Whittier Daily News reports. California Highway Patrol officials recently contradicted an earlier report that had assigned fault for the car collision and are still looking into who may have been at fault for this bicycle accident. Sotelo was personally injured in the bicycle crash on Norwalk Boulevard north of Wadell Street. He was taken to an area hospital where he remains in critical condition.

CHP officials say the car-bike crash occurred as Sotelo was traveling southbound on Norwalk Boulevard in the northbound lane. He was traveling the wrong way. Sotelo then veered into the path of a Toyota RAV4 heading north. There were parked cars on the street and it seemed as if the bicyclist was trying to maneuver his way around the parked cars, officials said. The 56-year-old Whittier woman who was driving the SUV was not injured or cited.

My heart goes out to David Sotelo, who suffered critical injuries in this Los Angeles SUV-bicycle accident. I’m relieved that he did not suffer fatal injuries. I hope and pray that he makes a speedy and complete recovery.

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there was one fatal bicycle accident and 26 injuries involving bicycle accidents reported in Whittier. In Los Angeles County, in 2007, 27 deaths and 2,902 injuries were reported as a result of bicycle accidents.

In this particular case, an investigation is ongoing. Official, at the moment, say David Sotelo was traveling on his bicycle the wrong way and had veered into the path of the SUV. Under the California Vehicle Code, bicyclists are governed by the same laws as drivers of other vehicles. So, based on this news account, Sotelo would have been violating the law. However, if I were Sotelo’s family member, I would want to know why he was riding his bike the wrong way. Was there no bike lane on that street? Why did Sotelo have to maneuver his way between parked cars to ride on that street? The attorney representing Sotelo and his family should look into whether there was a dangerous condition on that Whittier street.

If this California bicycle-car accident was caused as a result of a dangerous roadway, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable. Please remember that a claim against any California governmental agency must be properly filed with six months of an accident. Sotelo would be well advised to contact experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys who are extremely familiar with dangerous roadway cases, especially those involving bicycles. The best Los Angeles personal injury attorneys always offer a free and comprehensive initial consultation to injured victims and their families.

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