Over the years we have seen an increasing number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents on our streets and roadways around the Bay Area. One of the best things about living and working in our beautiful region, is that commuters have so many choices when it comes to how they get to work. Recently, an El Cerrito woman was killed when she was riding in a bicycle lane in West Oakland. She was hit by a truck while she rode. The cyclist was a regular commuter on the ferry from across the bay to her employment as a scientist in South San Francisco. Friends report that she was committed to her own safety and was very careful about making sure she had on reflective or other type gear that drivers can see. Despite all her efforts to be safe on the road, she lost her life riding her bicycle.
The driver that allegedly struck her while she traveled in the bicycle lane, has been cooperating with authorities on this bicycle accident. This is important to emphasize, as these days we have seen a major rise in hit and run accidents involving all sorts of vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. The rise in hit and run accidents has been so startling that it is beginning to make national news. Unfortunately, the fact that a driver actually obeys California law and stops after an accident is becoming notable. California Motor Vehicle Code section 20001 makes it mandatory for drivers to stop at the scene of a crash when there is injury involved.
This provision of the California Motor Vehicle Code incorporates other requirements for drivers who are involved in an accident that causes serious injury or death. And failure to immediately stop in such an accident, is effectively fleeing the scene of a crime in violation of California Penal Code sections 191.5 and 192. Many states have provisions like these and California is no different. Once stopped at the scene, Motor Vehicle Code section 20003, requires that drivers involved in such accidents provide information about their identity and their vehicle registration to other drivers and to authorities. Many people might not realize that is also the driver’s duty to provide what is deemed reasonable assistance in securing transportation for medical treatment. This can include calling 911 for medical support and transporting the injured person if that person requests transportation to a hospital or doctor.
If you or a loved one has been seriously or fatally injured in a motor vehicle, bicycle or other accident, it is important to get help as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are preserved. This is a traumatic time for all concerned and it is helpful to rely on others when you might be overwhelmed. Contact our law firm at any time for a free consultation after such an injury or accident and our experienced lawyers will assess your potential case. This is the first step in getting the help you need to protect your rights to medical support and possible money damages from those responsible.