Small, light, and slow, bicycles are among the riskiest ways to hit the road. All the helmets, lights, and pads in the world cannot prevent dangerous bicycle accidents on the road. Whether they are caused by driver/rider negligence or just poor road conditions, bicycle accidents are governed by unique laws the specify liability and damage claims.
Bicycles inhabit a gray area of the law: while they are unlicensed/registered and usually uninsured, they still share the road with motor vehicles and must abide by the same laws. This extends to what is called the “duty to exercise ordinary care,” which holds drivers to a common sense standard of caution and regard for others on the road. In most cases, one or more party is liable in a bicycle accident: a driver, and/or a cyclist.
There are many poor road practices—such as speeding, failing to signal, or taking wide turns—that many of us practice regularly without issue. However, when sharing the road with cyclists, these risks are compounded.
In accidents where the driver is determined to be at fault, damage claims are handled through auto insurance much like any other motor vehicle accident. Evidence of negligence can be determined by violation of traffic laws at the time of the accident, police reports, witness testimony, and other evidence collected from the scene.
Examples of common cyclist negligence include going the wrong way down one-way streets, running stop signs and/or lights, and failing to signal. All of these can be held against a cyclist in an injury case.
In cases where a cyclist is found to be fully or partially negligent, it can be difficult for them to recover money for their damages. Furthermore, drivers and other parties who have been injured as a result of cyclist negligence can sue the cyclist for damages of their own.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident—either as a driver or a cyclist—it’s time to call your lawyer. Our attorneys are experts in every type of vehicle collision claims. We can help you receive compensation for your injuries, property damage, lost income, and more. Call today for a free consultation of your case.