MOTORIST HARASSMENT: Can a bicycle accident as the result of a motorist harassment of the bicyclist, and if so, is there any recourse under California law?

Yes, and there would be legal recourse under California law.

Bicyclists, particularly those wearing Spandex or Razors, are frequently subject to harassment by drivers who like to tease. Harassment ranges from shouting to cursing, buzzing (passing too closely) or throwing objects at the cyclist. It is a senseless act/behavior pattern in some irresponsible and immature people leading some states to have passed laws specifically prohibiting harassment of cyclists and making certain harassing behavior criminal. If such behavior causes injury to the cyclist, there is coverage pursuant to the harassers’ homeowner’s insurance. Usually, legal recourse would be for a settlement under said policy since homeowner's policies tend to be liberally construed to cover such negligent acts.  Motor vehicle insurance policies exclude intentional acts. Throwing objects from cars at cyclists have been held not related to the operation of motor vehicles and are therefore not covered by auto insurance policies. 

 
 More Legal Questions About Pedestrian & Bicycle Accidents?

 

Do you have more legal questions about car & motorcycle accident cases?  Return to the Pedestrian & Bicycle Accidents in California Frequently Asked Legal Questions page.