Bicycle accidents and auto accidents, technically, are treated identically under California law. The rules of determining who is at fault are the same.

Practically Are They Treated Different?

As a practical matter, they really are treated differently. And the reason they’re treated differently has to do with what city or county the case is handled in. There are certain places where there is hostility towards bicycle riders, and we have to overcome that as lawyers. There are other places where bicycle riding is viewed in a very friendly manner.

And then there are different types of accidents–for instance–if someone opens their car door without looking on the driver’s side and a bicyclist runs into the door, they can be severely injured. This is a more common type of accident than people realize, and a rather unique one, but they can all be handled and we have a lot of experience with them.


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Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Since 1972 he has been helping seriously injured victims throughout northern California fight & win their personal injury cases. Andy is one of the top awarded & recognized wrongful death lawyers in northern California.