$67k Settlement for Bicycle Accident in Hayward with Liability Dispute
Bicycle Accident in Hayward Fought on Liability
A young chiropractic student was riding her bicycle in a crosswalk in Oakland, when a vehicle crashed into her. The young woman suffered a broken leg (fractured left tibia and fractured left fibula) which required surgery. Unfortunately, she was determined to be at fault in the police report.
The Police Found the Cyclist at Fault for Her Hayward Bike Accident
The police arrived at the scene, conducted their investigation, spoke with witnesses and concluded that the cyclist was at fault for causing the accident, because she was riding in or around the crosswalk. The bicycle accident lawyers at Sally Morin Law argued that the crosswalk is an extension of the sidewalk and was therefore a legal place for the cyclist to ride.
Riding Your Bike on the Sidewalk in Hayward is NOT Always Prohibited
Second, there is no law that prohibits bicycle riding on sidewalks in the part of Hayward where this particular accident occurred.
Firstly, California law doesn't specifically prohibit riding your bicycle on the sidewalk. So, the cyclist would only be in violation of the law if Hayward itself had an ordinance prohibiting her from riding on the sidewalk where the accident occurred. The City of Hayward does prohibit bicycle riding in downtown Hayward, but not in the location where the accident occurred.
California Law Regarding Riding Bicycles on Sidewalks
California Vehicle Code § 21650(g) states: “This section does not prohibit the operation of bicycles on any shoulder of a highway, on any sidewalk, on any bicycle path within a highway, or along any crosswalk or bicycle path crossing, where the operation is not otherwise prohibited by this code or local ordinance.”
Hayward Sidewalk Laws for Bicycles
Further, Hayward's local law does not prohibit riding on the sidewalk except in downtown Hayward. Specifically, the Hayward Traffic Code states: "Section 10.01 RIDING BICYCLES AND SKATEBOARDS ON SIDEWALKS IN DOWNTOWN PROHIBITED. No person shall ride or operate any bicycle, moped, or skateboard whether powered by human or motorized means on any sidewalk in the area bounded by 'A' Street to the north, 'D' Street to the south, Foothill Boulevard to the east, and Watkins Street to the west, unless such sidewalk is specifically designated as a bicycle route."
The cyclist was riding her bike through the crosswalk at the intersection of C Street and 2nd Street when the accident occurred, which is outside the area prohibited by the Hayward Traffic Code. Thus, it was legal for her to ride her bicycle on the sidewalk, and in the crosswalk, where the accident occurred as there are no local laws that prohibited her from doing so.
"I was hit by a car on my bicycle. A good friend who’d been in the same situation recommended I contact the law offices of Sally Morin to make sure I didn’t get taken for a ride by the insurance company. Everyone at this law firm is top notch, thorough, effective, and personable."
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Shared Liability in a Hayward Bicycle Accident
Despite the unfavorable police report in this Hayward bicycle accident case, the Sally Morin Law team fought hard to dispute liability. And, ended up shifting the liability finding to 50/50 between the young woman and the driver that hit her. Then, the bicycle accident legal team negotiated a settlement amount of $67,000! (That's a $134,000 case value, reduced 50% due to shared liability.)
To explain further, if this cyclist had not hired solid legal counsel, she would have been held 100% liable for causing the accident, and therefore would have received zero dollars to compensate her for her injuries. On the other hand, if the accident was 100% caused by the motorist who hit the cyclist, Sally Morin Law would have negotiated a $134,000 settlement for the cyclist. BUT, because she was held 50% liable - due to the police officer's findings and witness reports, so she received $67,000.