Bicycle accidents can result in serious and sometimes life threatening injuries. However, lawsuits to recover damages for injuries run into a lot of the same issues as any typical auto accident lawsuit. Often in these cases, it all comes down to liability. Was the accident due to the negligence of the driver or the cyclist?
The Liability Basics
Both drivers and cyclists are obligated to obey the rules of the road. These rules include both the traffic laws as well as the duty to exercise ordinary care in regards to the safest of yourself and others on the road. Often this kind of lawsuit, the case is dependent on whose actions or neglect are responsible for the resulting accident.
Driver Negligence Or Recklessness
Negligence by a driver can take a variety of forms. For example, speeding, texting while driving, and drifting into a bike lane can all constitute driver negligence or possibly recklessness if it was done with a knowing disregard for the safety of others.
Accident lawsuits come down to the facts that are specific to each individual case and often the ability of the plaintiff to prove the other was negligent with eyewitness testimony, after accidents photos, and other forms of evidence. In car accidents, behaviors that violate traffic laws may also constitute as “negligence per se”. For example, if the driver was cited for a speeding violation at the time of the accident, it counts as evidence of negligence even if it was somehow unrelated to the accident.
However, it also is necessary for the cyclist to prove that their actions were not the cause of their accident and injuries.
Whether the cyclist is the one suing or being sued, the cyclist's actions and negligence is also taken into account. Examples of cyclist negligence can include the cyclist riding the wrong way on a on-way street, turning abruptly into traffic, or running a stop sign.
Much like for the driver, any evidence that proves the cyclist was negligent will be taken into account. This includes failing to follow basic traffic laws around the time of the accident. If the cyclist is proven to have been negligent, then it is unlikely they will get compensation for their injuries in the accident. Though the courts may have the driver pay a more partial form of financial compensation in some cases where both are proven liable for the accident. If the cyclist negligence is the cause of someone else's injuries, they may be held liable for that person's injuries.
However, in accidents involving children on bicycles, the courts hold drivers to a much higher standard.
If you have been in a bicycle accident due to the actions or neglect of another, don't hesitate to seek legal help! Medical bills are expensive and without financial help you may be unable to get the care and treatment you need after an accident. Contact us today for a free case review..