I’ve been injured while riding my bike. Can I recover damages from the one who caused the accident?

Well, that depends. In any other kind of personal injury case they would be liable if they’re at fault and they’re not liable if they’re not at fault. And if they’re partly at fault and you’re partly at fault or someone else is partly at fault, then there’s shared liability. So, if you’re doing everything correctly and let’s say you’re going across an intersection on a green light or you’re properly bicycling in some way and somebody makes a turn and hits you, then they would be liable for causing the accident. If, for example, you’re bicycling on the wrong side of the road and somebody pulling out of a driveway looks for oncoming traffic but doesn’t look and see you because you’re bicycling from the wrong direction, that person might not be liable to you for causing the accident, or at the very least you would bear a very large share of the liability.

And then there’s always the question with bicyclists about wearing a helmet. You’re not required by law to wear a helmet unless you’re a minor. Adults are not required under California law to wear a helmet. And yet if you suffer a head injury because you weren’t wearing a helmet, even though you might not be at fault for causing the accident, the other side’s gonna argue that you have a fair degree of comparative fault for not wearing a helmet, that even though there’s no law requiring it, you weren’t being careful for your own safety and thus any head injury that you might suffer that you could have avoided is something that the driver who caused the accident shouldn’t be responsible for. So I can’t give you a very simple yes or no answer to that question because, like in most cases where we have a personal injury claim, a lot of it depends on fault.

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