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San Diego Lawsuits Blame Street Conditions for Bicycle Accidents

| May 31, 2018 | Firm News

For many people, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. The warmer weather brings more people outside, meaning there are more pedestrians and bicyclists on the roadways. Now that we are heading full speed into summer, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings when you are biking on San Diego streets. Many recent lawsuits have claimed that the conditions of the roads and sidewalks were the cause of their bicycle accidents and the resulting injuries.

Seven-Figure Payouts Are a Result of Dangerous Sidewalks and Bike Lanes

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, several lawsuits have been filed in the last three months that cite damaged sidewalks and bike lanes as the cause of injuries to many pedestrians and bicyclists. One suit states that a protruding sidewalk in Old Town is to blame for the death of a man riding a Segway, while another lawsuit states that there was an open trench in a bike lane in Sorrento Valley, causing injuries which left a man quadriplegic. Similar lawsuits, such as a man claiming that a deep pothole in a bike lane in Clairemont caused permanent damage to his nervous system, have also been filed.

Dangerous Sidewalks and Bike Lanes Are Premises Liability Cases

Often, bicycle accidents occur due to the condition of bicycle lanes on San Diego roadways. The city is responsible for maintaining these roadways and bicycle lanes, which means they are also liable for injuries that occur due to the poor condition of bicycle lanes.

Premises liability lawsuits in San Diego can be difficult when it comes to injuries sustained from sidewalks. Because the city holds homeowners partially responsible for sidewalk repairs, they also hold them partially liable for injuries that occur on sidewalks on their property. This is called concurrent liability, and it means that both the city and the homeowner are liable for injuries resulting from the poor condition of sidewalks.

Basis for a Premises Liability Case in California

According to the Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions, a premises liability case must prove the following elements to be legitimate:

  • The defendant owned the property which the incident took place on;
  • The defendant was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property;
  • The person suing the defendant was harmed; and
  • The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the person’s harm.

In addition to proving the essential elements of a premises liability case, a person suing for damages related to injuries sustained by damaged sidewalks or bicycle lanes should also prove that the conditions were unsafe and that the defendant was negligent in the maintenance of the property. Negligence can be proven if:

  • A condition on the property created a risk of harm;
  • The defendant knew or should have known about the condition of the property; and
  • The defendant failed to repair the condition, protect against harm, or adequately warn of the condition.

Get Help From a San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer

With summer coming into full swing, more bicyclists are utilizing the roadways and sidewalks. The number of faulty sidewalks and damaged bicycle lanes in San Diego means that injuries due to these conditions are not uncommon. If you have suffered an injury from a bike accident caused by a dangerous sidewalk or bike lane, you should seek immediate help from a knowledgeable San Diego bicycle accident attorney. Contact Martinez & Schill at 619-512-5995 to discuss your case in a free consultation and learn how you can recover the compensation you deserve.