In July, the Los Angeles City Council passed a new ordinance that prohibits the harassment of bicyclists. The new ordinance makes it illegal for motorists in Los Angeles to intentionally force or attempt to force a bicyclist off the road.
Under the new law, a bicyclist who is the victim of harassment can sue the motorist in civil court. If a car driver is found to have violated the law, the violator must pay triple the damages for each violation, or $1,000, whichever is greater. The violator must also pay attorney’s fees and court costs.
According to Los Angeles city attorneys, the new law allows bicyclists to sue for harassment in a case in which police did not witness the incident or there was not enough evidence to file criminal charges.
The bicyclist will have a substantial burden of proof, especially if there were no witnesses. But the new law, in combination with a police report, will make it easier for a harassment victim to seek justice. The higher payout will encourage attorneys to take on these cases.
The anti-harassment ordinance is one of the most stringent in the country.
If harassment by a motor vehicle driver has caused you to suffer physical injuries while bicycling, you should consult with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. Call our law firm for a free consultation. We will review your case at no charge, and give you advice on whether you should pursue a personal injury claim against the car driver.