A bicyclist was seriously injured in a bus accident after an Anaheim Union High School District bus struck him at a street intersection. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the injury collision occurred at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Empire Street in Anaheim, the afternoon of January 12, 2012. Officials say the bicyclist, a man in his 40s, was pinned under the bus. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The bus was not transporting any students at the time. An investigation is ongoing.
My thoughts and prayers are with this injured bicyclist. I’m relieved to note that his injuries are not life-threatening. I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were three fatalities and 94 injuries involving bicycle accidents in Anaheim. In Orange County as a whole, 12 people died and 1,199 were injured due to bicycle accidents, during the same year.
Based on this news report, it appears that the accident occurred at the street intersection. It is not clear where exactly at the intersection the bicyclist was when he was struck by the school bus. Did the school bus driver fail to yield the right-of-way to the bicyclist? Under California law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles.
According to California Vehicle Code Section 21800 (a): “The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.”
Fault and Liability
If the school bus driver is determined to have been at fault, then, the driver and his or her employer can be held liable for the injuries caused to the bicyclist. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. Victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Anaheim personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable. Please remember that any personal injury claim against a California governmental entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident.