Articles Posted in Bike Accident

eric-parks-87099-copy-200x300Who is responsible for severe and fatal bicycle accidents that occur in San Diego? The answer to that question depends on the specific facts of the case, but a recent report from NBC 7 News San Diego emphasizes just how important it is to file a bicycle accident lawsuit in Southern California if another party’s negligence results in your injuries. As that report notes, the City Council for the City of San Diego came to a unanimous agreement to pay a $4.85 million settlement to a cyclist who sustained severe and debilitating injuries as a result of an accident caused by uneven pavement.

While many bicycle accidents involve negligent motorists who are not paying attention to their surroundings or motorists who are driving aggressively and strike cyclists, the recent settlement makes clear that matters of premises liability can also affect the rate of bicycle accidents in urban areas.

Details of the Bicycle Accident in San Diego

Walton_Law_Firm_FB_Ads_San_Marcos_Version4-216x300Eric S. is an avid triathlete. In his early 50s, he is a top age group finisher in the triathlons he enters. To train, he spends many weekly hours on his bike on North County roads. It’s not uncommon for him to ride from his home in San Marcos east through Escondido toward the desert, or west through Carlsbad and up to San Clemente. Like most avid cyclists, he has had many close calls with inattentive drivers, and on January 11, 2011 his luck finally ran out.

On that day, Eric was riding his bike in the bike lane of El Norte Parkway in Escondido when he was cut off by a pickup truck. Eric collided with truck, and the impact knocked him off his bike and into a busy traffic lane. Luckily, he wasn’t struck when he hit the ground. The California Highway Patrol who investigated and made a report of the incident, concluded that the driver of the pickup was at fault for this accident when he failed to yield the right of way to Eric in violation of 22107 of the California Vehicle Code.

Eric was taken to Palomar Medical Center from the scene of the accident, and complained of right shoulder and arm pain, as well as pain to his lower ribs and chest. He didn’t lose consciousness, but he did hit his head hard enough to crack his helmet.  Several CT scans were taken which showed that Eric suffered a right clavicle fracture and a right inferior scapula fracture, as well as friction burns and multiple contusions to his chest, ribs and back.

darkedinburgh_bike2Are San Diego bicyclists safe from a serious car accident when they head onto the roadways? While a recent article from CBS Sacramento emphasized that a bicycle safety law took effect around this time last year, that report also underscored that many California drivers simply do not know what the law entails or how to share the road properly with cyclists. A recent string of severe and fatal bicycle accidents in the San Diego area makes clear that our state may need to get tougher when it comes to bicycle accident prevention and law enforcement.

Recent Bicycle Accidents in San Diego

When it comes to recent news surrounding serious and deadly bicycle crashes in San Diego, the news simply is not good. For instance, earlier this week, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that a 51-year-old bicyclist suffered serious injuries after being struck by a car in Pacific Beach. The automobile crashed into the cyclist as he attempted to cross Mission Bay Drive. According to a San Diego police officer on the scene, the rider did not attempt to cross the street at a crosswalk or an intersection. In striking the cyclist, the vehicle caused “several abrasions, a broken arm, and a head injury.” The rider was transported to a local hospital by emergency responders. At the time of the collision, the bicyclist was not wearing a helmet.

Do you need to wear a helmet when you’re riding a bicycle? If you want to help prevent the risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it’s important to take precautions when you’re out cycling. Indeed, a recent bicycle accident in the San Diego area left a cyclist with serious head trauma after he fell from his bike while trying to brake on a steep hill.3719978485_e0002bb249

Head Trauma and Bicycle Accidents

According to an article in the Times of San Diego, “a 52-year-old man suffered a serious head injury . . . when he was thrown over the front of his bicycle at the top of Double Peak Park in San Marcos.” The crash occurred just after 9:30 a.m., and the injured cyclist was not wearing a helmet.

Bike-Accident-InsuranceAlthough it’s wintertime, many Californians have the luxury of riding bicycles at any time of the year. However, bicycle accidents can be deadly, especially when they’re caused by distracted or aggressive driving. A recent article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that a bicycle advocacy group, People Power, is hoping to create “bikeways near highway interchanges” in order to make those intersections safer for cyclists.

While these changes would only affect the Santa Cruz area in the most immediate terms, it’s very likely that bicycle advocacy groups across the state could push for additional measures to make bicycling a safer activity in the San Diego area.

Making Bicycle Transportation Safer

Earlier this month, a cyclist suffered catastrophic injuries after being struck by a wrong-way driver on Fiesta Island, according to a recent story from NBC San Diego.  Other riders in San Diego’s cycling community explained that the victimDSCN1797, Juan Carlos Vinolo, 49, sustained serious injuries after pushing another cyclist out of the way of the oncoming vehicle.  The car accident left Vinolo paralyzed with a severe spinal cord injury.

Wrong-Way DUI Driver Seriously Injures Bicyclists

Vinolo was riding with about thirty other cyclists, members of the San Diego Bicycle Club.  Vinolo’s wife, Emma Irarragorri, told NBC San Diego her husband “is always obsessed with safety when he rides his bicycle.”  When her husband saw the oncoming car, he “instinctively pushed the leader out of harm’s way,” saving that cyclist’s life but suffering serious injuries in the bicycle accident.

Do you regularly bike in downtown San Diego?  Whether you’re bicycling through the city on a weekend or using your bike as a mode of transportation to and from the office, a bicycle accident can lead to catastrophic injuries.  According to a recent article in KPBS News, the San Diego City Council and San Diego County Bicycle Coalition have joined forces to make bicycling a safer activity.  There’s a new San Diego Bike Loop that’s marked by green symbols along the road.  It’s a 7-mile route that will “take riders from downtown to Bankers Hill, Little Italy and San Diego Bay.”

The San Diego Bike Loop is an important step forward in preventing serious bicycle accidents in San Diego County.  If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, however, it’s very important to talk with an experienced San Diego bicycle accident attorney about your case.  Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help.

Details of the San Diego Bike Loop

There’s an update on the bicycle accident that killed Eric Ringdahl, 45, of Carlsbad, Calif. Ringdahl had been wearing a helmet and was riding properly in the bicycle lane at the time of the accident. Each year, thousands of car accidents result from drowsy driving, and this recent fatal crash is no exception.

Investigators Discover Driver Asleep at the Wheel

According to an article in UT San Diego, the driver who struck and killed Ringdahl “had fallen asleep behind the wheel.” San Diego police Lieutenant Kelly Cain confirmed that the driver told police that he had been heading home from a night shift at his job in San Diego when “he fell asleep and drifted into the bike lane.” Kelly indicated that there was no evidence suggesting anything to the contrary.

Early last Sunday morning, a cyclist was struck and killed by a motor vehicle in Carlsbad, according to San Diego’s local CBS 8 News. In this bicycle accident case, the victim was headed north in the bike lane on El Camino Real, just north of La Costa, when a northbound vehicle struck the cyclist from behind. The victim had been with a fellow rider at the time of the accident. Several people called 911 to report the crash.

The victim, Eric Rindahl, was a 45-year-old Carlsbad resident with a wife and children, according to

Ringdahl sustained a head injury and was left unconscious after being struck from behind by the vehicle, according to the Carlsbad Police Department. Although police and fire personnel responded to the scene, the bicyclist died at the scene. At the time of the news report, the driver of the vehicle had not been cited or arrested, but the accident remains under investigation.

After being struck by a Chrysler sport-utility vehicle, a bicyclist was killed. According to a report from UT San Diego, the bicyclist has been identified as 63-year-old Charles Raymond Gilbreth. The accident occurred at 3:34 p.m. on Wednesday on Montezuma Avenue in the College Area. Both the driver of the SUV and Gilbreth were heading east on Montezuma. San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown stated that Gilbreth was in the bike lane when he was hit from behind. Although neither speed or alcohol were factors in the accident, the impact was substantial enough to give Gilbreth fatal injuries. bike.jpg

Like in many similar situations, our San Diego bike accident lawyer recognizes that the cause of the accident may have been negligence. Drivers have an obligation to adhere to a standard of care when driving. When drivers have poor judgment and fail to exercise safe driving habits, they have violated that standard of care and are thereby categorized as negligent drivers. From the information that has been disclosed thus far regarding this incident, it is possible that the driver of the SUV was not paying attention to the roadway when Gilbreth was struck. If the driver had been paying attention and exercising reasonable care while driving, the accident could have been prevented.

As mentioned in previous posts, San Diego wrongful death lawsuits are appropriate in situations such as these where a death would not have occurred had the responsible party for the death acted in a safe and reasonable manner. Surviving family members of the victims have standing to bring such lawsuits. Surviving family members who bring wrongful death lawsuits may have a difficult time receiving a favorable outcome from the court if the victim was also negligent during the incident. If the victim was also negligent, then this would create complications in establishing that the responsible party’s misconduct for the death was in fact the primary cause of the death.

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