What is the liability of a California government agency for defects on riding trails and service roads whether paved or not? California Bicycle attorney expert James Ballidis explains that Governments are currently completely immune from liability for defects, and the law must be changed.For over 30 years, there have been standards in the design and construction of bike paths. These paths also require maintenance to be safe for users. The public is encouraged to use these bike paths, where no cars are traveling, such as the pathways down the river from as far inland as Chino to Huntington Beach.
Even the worst of defects can and are routinely left to the biker. Cyclists must beware of the effects and many don't realize or appreciate that they have no capability of saving the governmental agency even if they knew of the defect.
Governmental agencies like the any landowner, are required to maintain their property in reasonably good condition, and warned of defects that are known to them. However, not when it comes to bike paths. The California legislature has enacted California code sections that offer complete immunity for Governmental agencies when it comes to construction and maintenance of bike paths. This immunity is for even the most obsious defects and no matter how long they existed. In one such case in this office, the need to repair the asphalt was known for 6 months, but the entity had not gotten around to repairing the defect. Our client, a cyclists, distracted by a passing cyclists, was unable to see the defect because of shadows cast on the asphalt pathway. He sruck a huge raised asphalt defect causing his front wheel to collapse and heflew over the handlebars. He sustained significant facial and armed/shoulder injuries, and he brought his claim to us.
Despite our attempts to overturn the long-standing governmental immunity, the governmental agency was successful in demonstrating that there are no exceptions in this or any case. Courts of Appeals on a number of occasions have refused to carve our any exception to this immunity. We will keep trying and we invite you to join the fight to change this unfair law. If you have been hurt on a pathway, call us. We may be able to find an exception to the immunity challenge, or at least continue to tell the story of injured cyclists until the legislature listens and changes this unfair law. Call us at 1 866-981-5596 or Contact California bicycle accident attorney James Ballidis.