A bicyclist was severely injured in a San Diego car accident after he was struck by a motorist and pinned underneath a car. According to a U-T San Diego news report, the major injury bicycle accident occurred the afternoon of January 19, 2012 on Sorrento Valley Boulevard near Whispering Heights Lane. The bicyclist, a man in his mid 40s, was eastbound in the bike lane when he was rear-ended by an eastbound Toyota sedan driven by a 75-year-old woman.
The rider was thrown from his bike and run over by the car, which then jumped the sidewalk and crashed into a tree. Rescue workers freed the man from under the car and transported him to an area hospital. Doctors have said that if the man survives, he is likely to be paraplegic. A witness told officials that the driver was using a cell phone just before the collision. An investigation is ongoing.
My heart goes out to the bicycle accident victim who has sustained catastrophic injuries here. This victim and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
San Diego Bicycle Accidents
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were six fatalities and 525 injuries involving bicycle accidents in San Diego. Countywide, bicycle accidents claimed nine lives and injured 972 people, during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, the elderly woman swerved into the bike lane and hit the bicyclist. According to California Vehicle Code Section 21209 (a), motorists are not allowed to drive a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane established on a roadway. The only exceptions are when a driver parks where parking is permitted, enters or leaves the roadway or prepares for a turn within 200 feet of the intersection.
In addition, an eyewitness had reported the driver was talking on a cell phone just before she hit the bicyclist. Driving while using a hand-held cell phone is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 23123 (a). I trust officials are looking into whether distracted driving, inattention or some other form of negligence caused or contributed to this tragic collision.
Fault and Liability
If it is determined that this driver was negligent, she can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims can seek compensation from the at-fault party for medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and long-term care and treatment. Victims or their families in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer, who will fight for their rights and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.