To sidewalk or not to sidewalk, that is the question? Those would have been Hamlet’s words if he were a cyclist in California. Often a cyclist is put in a difficult situation regarding whether or not to use the sidewalk because of conditions on the road. But cyclists also know that the sidewalk is not necessarily the safest place to ride depending on circumstances, and that in many cases it’s illegal to do so. We have overcome situations where the driver alleges that the cyclist was at fault for riding on the sidewalk by doing the research to show that the city or county actually allowed the sidewalk, and that it was legal.
Even when it is generally not legal to ride on the sidewalk, there may be certain exceptions or reasonable grounds as to why a cyclist had to, so we take all of that into consideration in building your case. After all, cyclists riding on sidewalks are almost always going slowly, such as schoolchildren riding their bikes to school, or grandpa/grandma riding their bike to grab some groceries. At such speeds, when the driver was glued to their phone or did not look right/left before coming out of a parking lot, for example, the “he was riding on the sidewalk!” defense will often fail as a tactic to blame the rider after they have been injured in a collision.*
*Our past case result is not a guarantee that your case will also have a successful result.