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What's your legal recourse if you get injured at a cycling event?

The Spectrum Ride is a popular weekly cycling event in Sunnyvale, California. Every Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., riders convene at a set location and embark on a 50-mile group ride around the city.

While not officially a race, the group ride is known to get competitive and fast--with sprints often exceeding 30 miles per hour. Unlike a professional race, the roads aren't blocked off. Traffic rules still apply. The event is open to the public--attracting professional and amateur-level cyclists alike.

Crash leads to lawsuit

Adrian Goldstein is a pathologist in Sunnyvale and a long-time cyclist. He was involved in a collision during this ride, which knocked him unconscious. He suffered head and spinal injuries, which have purportedly affected his ability to work.

Goldstein has responded by suing 26 members of the group ride for damages totaling $1 million dollars. Goldstein alleges that Michael Jacques, a fellow rider, displayed "negligence, carelessness and unlawfulness" during the ride, which led to the crash. It is unclear why Goldstein has targeted 25 other riders in the lawsuit.

Legal grounds

The legal protections associated with an unofficial group ride such as this are a bit fuzzy. Here are three core factors that would be important in making such a case:

  • Implied assumption of risk: Could a reasonable person entering this group ride--knowing its competitive nature--expect that a crash is possible?
  • Egregious behavior: Could the plaintiff prove that the defendant's actions fell outside the bounds of what's normal for a cyclist in that situation?
  • Want of scant care: Can the plaintiff prove that the defendant exhibited total disregard for the implications and consequences of their actions?

The effects of a bicycle accident can be devastating. If you've suffered due to someone else's negligence on the road, it's worth consulting with a personal injury attorney specializing in bicycle crashes to understand your options for seeking justice.

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O'Fallon, IL 62269

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