Michael Schaffer, a bicyclist, was injured in a San Diego car accident after he was struck by an SUV the evening of August 6, 2010. KGTV San Diego reports that Schaffer was riding his bike across Smilax Road in San Marcos, when a Ford Explorer SUV driven by Charles Martin hit him. The bicyclist was trapped by the hood of the Ford and carried for about 35 feet, before the vehicle stopped. Schaffer has been hospitalized for treatment of head trauma. The accident is currently under investigation and no citations have been issued at this time.
My heart goes out to Michael Schaffer and his family during this difficult time. I hope he did not suffer catastrophic injuries and is able to have a quick and complete recovery.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 11 injuries due to bicycle accidents in San Marcos. In San Diego County as a whole, seven people died and 959 were injured as a result of bicycle accidents during the same year.
Fault and Liability
It is not clear from this report how or why this tragic crash occurred. Was the driver of the SUV, Martin, distracted? Was he under the influence at the time? Was he driving too fast? Did he fail to yield right-of-way to the bicyclist or run a red light? Did the bicyclist, Shaffer, legally cross the road on his bicycle? Was he crossing in a crosswalk or at an intersection? Did he cross against a light? I trust officials are looking at these and other factors in order to determine who was at fault for this major injury collision.
If the driver of the SUV is determined to have been at fault here, he could be held liable for the bicyclist’s severe injuries. In such cases, injured victims could seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and even long term care. If a dangerous or defective roadway condition caused or contributed to the crash, then, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway could also be held liable.
Under California Government Code section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a public entity must be filed within 180 days of the injury and accident. An experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families about their legal rights and options.
Are there any roadways in your city or neighborhood that are unsafe for bicyclists?
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.