Drivers of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, have to share the roadway with bicyclists as they all compete for space on the streets of the Coachella Valley. I have noticed more auto accidents in Palm Springs and Palm Desert involving bicyclists than in Indio and the East end of the Coachella Valley. Since bikes are no match for cars, trucks, or motorcycles, the bicyclists are often seriously injured nationally by the thousand, and hundreds perish each year resulting in
wrongful death insurance claims. As a Palm Springs and Palm Desert
personal injury attorney litigating insurance claims for the injured bicyclists I have noticed that jurors seem to be prejudiced against the bicyclists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2009 630 bicyclists were killed and more than 51,000 were injured in crashes with motor vehicles. For various reasons it seems that many jurors come to court with opinions that bicyclists who are injured in car crashes and do not use helmets are simply reckless. They are correct in my opinion even though I am a Palm Springs personal injury lawyer who has represented bicyclists injured in accidents because the driver of a car involved in the accident was negligent. If the bicyclist suffered a serious head injury in the crash and was not wearing a helmet, the jury could easily reduce the damage award to the injured Plaintiff if it was proved that the helmet would have prevented the serious head injury. This concept of apportioning fault to the cyclist without a helmet is called comparative negligence. This means that the driver of the car who was negligent may have caused the accident; but the cyclist without a helmet was negligent in not wearing a helmet. Also jurors in cities probably have had negative experiences with bicyclists weaving in and out of traffic or riding at very slow speeds in traffic lanes. So I advise bicyclists to wear helmets and to be extremely careful when they are riding on the roadways in the Coachella Valley because juries are tough on bicyclists. Call Barry Regar the
Coachella Valley personal injury lawyer right now if you have any Personal Injury questions. The consultation is free and I can help you.