Plaintiff Magazine: Bike Law 101 by Shaana Rahman

As those of you who follow us on Facebook may know, our very own Shaana Rahman recently wrote an article for Plaintiff Magazine in which she outlines 4 key tips to bike law and to representing cyclists.

As explained in the article, the attention directed on cyclist-motorist collisions–and the laws concerning them–is a direct result of the rise in urban cycling.
While I highly recommend reading the article itself, here is a brief summary of the 4 tips Ms. Rahman offers:
  1. Remember that the California Vehicle Code applies to cyclists: “It is important to ascertain whether or not your cyclist was in a riding position that comports with the Vehicle Code.
  2. Get to know what type of cyclist your client is: “The best client will be someone who is an experienced rider, riding a bicycle that has all the requisite safety equipment, meeting the requirements of Vehicle Code sections 21201 and 21201.5 and who is wearing bright, reflective clothing (including a helmet) to maximize their visibility.
  3. Evaluate differently each of the 5 most common car-versus-bike collisions: “1) A vehicle making a right turn across the cyclist’s lane of travel; 2) A vehicle executing a left turn at an uncontrolled (or non-dedicated left turn) intersection; 3) Dooring; 4) The failure of the cyclist or motorist to stop at a red light or stop sign, and 5) A vehicle or cyclist passing on the right.”
  4. Identify the other causes of the collision, including defective roadway collisions: “If you can identify a dangerous roadway condition, you will need to pursue a claim against any public entity that owned, possessed or maintained the roadway. If the public entity retained a private contractor to perform the road work which gave rise to the defect, the contractor will also be a defendant.”

If you are a regular reader of our blog or Facebook, or even if you have just been in the city streets, you are probably more than aware of how important bike law and safety is becoming. These tips, particularly the 4th, are critically important to follow when defending your client, not only to aid the individual, but to prevent future accidents from occurring by improving the condition in which our cyclists are riding.

Make it your mission to protect and speak up for these cyclists if you want to see some real change to our city.

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