I was recently reminded that many California bicyclists are not well-versed in bike law. For example, many understand that a public entity would not be liable-that is, be responsible for personal injuries-to a person who participates in a hazardous recreational activity. (Govt. Code sec. 831.7(a).) Hazardous recreational activity is defined as bicycle racing or jumping, mountain biking and the like.
However, what most may not know is that the public entity can be liable if it fails to warn of a dangerous condition, if the damage or injury occurred when permission to participate was granted for a specific fee, or this is gross negligence on the part of the public entity. (Govt. Code sec. 831.7(c) (1)-(5).)
Here is a Summary of Bicycle Related Lawsprepared by Caltrans District 6 (Fresno) Bicycle Facilities Coordinator last year. To be prudent, don’t rely solely on this article, but use it as a basis for informing yourself of your rights and responsibilities on the road.
Safety is always the best policy, but if you are involved in an accident, contact a bicycle attorney to learn about your rights and find out whether there may be a responsible party, or your own insurance, to assist with losses you have suffered.