John W. of Marin asks: “I participated in the Jensie Gran Fondo last Saturday. Four bicyclists were struck by a motorist, apparently intentionally, as they were riding. What is the law regarding the punishment of a driver in a road rage situation like this?”
On Saturday October 14th the Marin County Bike Coalition will be hosting their annual fall bike festival. Biketoberfest is a fun-filled event with over 70 exhibitors, a bike show, and a variety of craft beers to sample. This family friendly event brings all types of cyclists, and others together to celebrate and support the MCBC and the work they contribute to the cycling community.
On Saturday October 7, a beautiful Indian summer day in Marin, approximately 1,300 cyclists gathered to ride through the rolling hills of Marin to support the Marin Bike Coalition in its annual Jensie Gran Fondo. As the day went on, what started as a fun-filled day turned to tragedy when the driver of a blue Dodge Ram pickup allegedly swerved to the right and struck 4 bicyclists knocking them to the ground and then sped off. The hit and run collision is the worst injury in the event’s history.
With the assistance of witnesses the police have arrested a suspect who’s description and vehicle match those of the perpetrator. Chris Dolan, founder of The Dolan Law Firm, a sponsor of the Jensie Gran Fondo, Marin Bicycle Coalition Member and Marin County cyclist stated; “the despicable and hateful acts of the driver can’t go unpunished. This highlights the danger that bicyclists face on a daily basis.” Under the law there are severe criminal penalties, felonies, that call for years of jail time, as well as civil actions to help those that have been injured.
Under California Penal Code Section 245 road rage is treated as assault with a deadly weapon. The punishment is imprisonment for up to 4 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.00 per incident. Under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 a hit and run driver can be imprisoned for up to 4 years for each bicyclist hit. California Vehicle Code Section 13210 provides that, in addition to the penalties above, a perpetrator of road rage can lose their license.
In addition to the criminal penalties above, a victim of road rage may seek justice through the civil courts wherein claims may be brought for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and, in the worst of cases, wrongful death. While the criminal courts met out punishment through incarceration, the civil justice system is designed to financially compensate people who suffer injuries by allowing them to collect for their economic losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, etc., as well as their non economic damages such as emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, post traumatic stress, and permanent disfigurement and/or disability.
Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, The Dolan Law Firm has handled all too many cases of injuries and/or fatalities associated with aggressive driver behavior. For information or assistance contact the Dolan Law Firm at 415-421-2800 or help@Dolanlawfirm.com.
The Dolan Law Firm is California’s premier personal injury law firm. Christopher Dolan has repeatedly been recognized as one of the Top 25 Plaintiff Lawyers in California and has received the prestigious California Lawyer of the Year and California Trial Lawyer of the Year.
This week’s question comes from Tina S. in Noe Valley who asks: “I think that I am being paid less than the 2 men who are doing my same job. I work in Menlo Park and there is a lot of talk about gender equality but I don’t think it is being put into practice at my current job. We all have MBA’s and started at the same time. One of the men is my same class but the other worked in finance before getting his MBA. What is the status of the law and what can I do to find out if I am being discriminated against.”
Members of the Dolan Law Firm will be participating in the third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin benefiting the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC), the premier bicycle advocacy group of Marin County. Occurring on October 7th, 2017 in Novato at Stafford Lake Park, the Jensie Fondo is an organized bike ride of varying lengths for riders of all abilities on Marin’s most inspiring roads.
Recently a judge asked me to republish the following article about jury service.
Bryan L. From Oakland asks; “How do I get out of jury duty.”
Dear Bryan; seriously, shame on you. Simple answer, DON’T.
One sure way to get out of being on a jury is to be a criminal defendant- then you don’t have to sit on a jury and, at the same time, you will hope to God that you will have a group of people who didn’t try and evade their civic responsibility who can sit and fairly hear your case and defense. Another way is become a convicted felon and be deprived of your constitutional rights such as bearing arms, being free from unlawful search and seizure and the ability to sit on a jury or vote.
For the past three years, the Daily Journal has recognized the most successful lawyers in the plaintiffs’ bar, analyzing their settlements and verdicts by amount and impact and efforts to ensure access to justice and safeguard our right to a civil jury trial. Each year, the Daily Journal has named Chris Dolan to its Top Plaintiff Lawyer List.
The founder and lead trial counsel of the Dolan Law Firm, Chris spearheads many of the most significant and challenging lawsuits filed in California state and federal courts against insurance companies, Fortune 500 companies, cities, school districts, public agencies, and product manufacturers.
For over 20 years, Chris has worked tirelessly on behalf of his clients and all Californians to preserve access to the courthouse and “has worked unrelentingly to change” unjust laws.
Chris stated – “I’m honored to be selected again by the Daily Journal as part of California’s Top 100 lawyers. What an elite group. To be recognized for the hard work and sacrifice we plaintiffs lawyers go through is so rewarding”.
This week’s question comes from James in the Sunset who asks: “My girlfriend has a Vespa and we want to go riding together. I have seen these “Scoot” vehicles riding all over town. I looked online and have some questions about renting one of these things that I thought I would ask you as I don’t want to get into any trouble riding. I don’t have a motorcycle license and don’t have motorcycle insurance. I have zero experience riding a motorcycle or scooter. I also weigh 265 lbs. What happens if I rent one of these things and get into an accident or if it gets knocked over by someone? What are my rights/responsibilities?”
CHP Officer Killed In Motorcycle Vs. Auto Accident
San Martin, CA, (Tuesday September 19th, 2017) Off duty CHP officer James Branik, 44 of Morgan Hill, was fatally stuck while riding his motorcycle on his way to work early Tuesday morning.
At about this time every year the legislative session in California is winding down. The last day for the Governor to sign any bill this year is September 15, 2017. As the legislative year comes to an end I once again summarize several of the new laws that I believe are of most importance to our readers.