A 20-year-old man was fatally injured in a bicycle accident after he was struck by a vehicle at a street intersection. According to a news article in The Orange County Register, the incident occurred at the intersection of Knott and La Palma avenues, the evening of November 5, 2012. Police say the man died from his injuries at a local hospital. The male driver of the vehicle that hit the bicyclist was also transported to a hospital with minor injuries. Investigators are looking into whether the driver or the bicyclist had the right-of-way. Anyone who saw this accident is asked to contact Buena Park police at 714-562-3940.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends of this deceased victim. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved this man.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 31 injuries occurred as a result of bicycle accidents in Buena Park. In Orange County as a whole, three people died and 1,187 were injured due to bicycle crashes, during the same year.
Based on this news report, it is not clear as to who had the right-of-way at the intersection. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21200, 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
In this particular case, if the driver is determined to have been at fault, then, he could be held liable for the bicyclist’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence is involved, the family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and benefits, and loss of love and companionship.
A knowledgeable car accident attorney will be able to determine whether a dangerous or defective roadway condition caused or contributed to the crash. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident. An experienced Orange County bicycle accident lawyer will be able to better advise victims’ families regarding their legal rights and options.