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 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.
Chief Counsel for UC Berkeley, CA, Victim of Fatal Bike Crash
Guerneville, Ca ( August 27th 2017) – Christopher Patti an avid cyclist from Berkeley, Ca, was struck and killed when the driver of a BMW lost control of his vehicle on CA 116 in Guerneville. According to witnesses the driver was taking a curve at too fast a speed and lost control, slid across two lanes hitting Mr. Patti and a guard rail. The driver of the BMW then fled the scene and later abandoned the car near Rio Nido. The CHP later identified the driver of the BMW as 28 year old Jonathan Ritter.
Before the incident Mr. Patti had pulled to the shoulder of the road to check his cell phone according to witnesses. Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman stated that Patti had been wearing a helmet and had all the correct safety gear, including lights and reflectors.
The initial impact of the accident had lifted Mr. Patti onto the trunk of the BMW and into the rear window breaking it. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Patti worked as UC Berkeley’s chief counsel since 2010 and had an extensive complex litigation career at the University of California’s office of the president for 20 years.
We offer our condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends.
San Francisco Bicyclist Hit In Intersection
June 20, 2017 – Moises Chavez 51, a San Francisco resident, was struck and killed by an unidentified person driving a car while riding his bike along Alemany Boulevard near the intersection with Silver Avenue. The fatal collision occurred around 5:30 pm Tuesday evening.
Bicycle Crash Occurred As Pickup Was Passing On Right Side Of Road
Turlock, CA (May 17, 2017) – A bicyclist was killed Wednesday morning when a 2016 silver Chevy Silverado pickup truck fatally struck him along the right side of the roadway.
Bicyclist Hit By Car Making Left Turn
San Francisco, CA (May 17, 2017) – A bicyclist was severely injured early Monday morning May 15th 2017, after colliding with a vehicle in the Mission district of San Francisco, California.
The Dolan Law Firm annually co-sponsors Bike to Work Day in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through our partners, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Bike East Bay and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, we are distributing over 20,000 free, reflective pant leg straps for bicyclists. We are proud to be recognized by these organizations as local, bicycle-friendly attorneys. We also sponsor the California Bicycle Coalition which advocates for the rights of cyclists in Sacramento.
A male bicyclist was killed on Wednesday morning, February 8, 2017, after colliding with a car in North Berkeley at the intersection of Sacramento and Ada Streets, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The driver stopped at the scene and was cooperating with police. Streets in the area were closed while police investigated the circumstances of the collision. Additional information on the fatal collision can be found on the Berkeleyside website.
Update: Berkeleyside reports that the cyclist who died in the collision has been identified by community members and co-workers as Joseph Hurlimann.
We have put together an updated list of the laws we believe every California cyclist should know, along with one key law for vehicle drivers. Please visit our California bicycle laws page. And if you are in crash, visit our bike accident checklist page to learn the steps you need to take to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights.
Cause of Car On Bicycle Accident Under Investigation
Berkeley, CA (October 5, 2016) – A bicyclist was left with serious injuries after a vehicle collided with the bicyclist in Berkeley on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. The bicyclist was heading west on Allston Way and the vehicle was traveling northbound on Sacramento street when the crash took place. A witness to the aftermath of the crash was Michael Yamamoto who reported that the cyclist “was on the ground on the median. The car had a smashed windshield when I drove by.” Other witnesses reported that they saw the bicyclist in the median of the street after the crash.