A man in his 30s was injured in a Baldwin Park car accident after a vehicle struck him at a street intersection, the afternoon of August 20, 2012. According to The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the injury crash occurred at the intersection of Baldwin Park and Ramona boulevards. Police say the bicyclist was riding at the intersection when a Honda Accord driven by Dora Vielman, 58, struck him. The man’s head hit the windshield of the car. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Officials are investigating the cause of this accident.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured bicyclist. I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but nine injuries reported as a result of bicycle accidents in Baldwin Park. During the same year, Los Angeles bicycle crashes caused 25 fatalities and injured 4,501 people.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news account, it is unclear as to how or why this car versus bicycle collision occurred. However, we do know that this accident occurred at an intersection. The driver told the newspaper that she did not see the bicyclist until it was too late. It is unclear as to who had the right-of-way at the time.
California Vehicle Code Section 21200 states that 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.”
If the driver is determined to have been at fault, she can be held liable for the injuries caused to the bicyclist. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation and other damages. If a dangerous intersection caused or contributed to the incident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury claim against a California governmental entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident. For more information about pursuing your legal rights, please click here.