Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was involved in a bicycle accident on July 17‚ 2010‚ along Venice Boulevard between Hervey and Hargis streets in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles at around 6:50 p.m. The accident reportedly happened when an unidentified taxi cab pulled out in front of the Mayor‚ forcing him to slam on his brakes and fall to the pavement. Neither the Mayor nor other witnesses could provide the Los Angeles Police Department with a license plate or identify the name of the taxi company.
The accident left Villaraigosa with serious but not life threatening injuries. He fractured his right elbow and had to undergo surgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center on July 18 to repair the elbow.
The Mayor’s accident only serves to highlight the dangers for bicyclists sharing the road with cars‚ trucks‚ and motorcycles. Thankfully‚ according to this Los Angeles Times article‚ the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles city government were already taking positive steps to recognize the importance of bicycle safety within the City and that other motorists can cause bike accidents even without striking the bicyclist. For example‚ the LAPD had already issued a directive to its’ traffic officers responding to bike vs. motor vehicle accidents that the driver of a motor vehicle could be held responsible for injuries to a bicyclist even if direct contact is not made. That motorist could also be arrested for felony hit-and-run‚ as in the Mayor’s accident‚ if they fled the scene of the injury accident. Bike advocates themselves had already called for more dedicated bicycle lanes within the City and other safety provisions to protect them from motorists who are often unaware they are sharing the same roads. The Mayor’s accident will most likely only increase the City’s attention on bicycle safety.
Ross Jurewitz is a San Diego bicycle accident lawyer and the managing attorney of the Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers‚ a California law firm dedicated to representing people seriously injured in an injury accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident in California‚ please order your free copy of Mr. Jurewitz’s book‚ The Ten Biggest Mistakes that can Destroy Your California Accident Case. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it is free to all California residents.