Bicyclists can be liable for traffic accidents. When a bicyclist disobeys a traffic law or operates their bicycle recklessly, they can cause serious accidents. Here’s a scenario in which a bicyclist would be liable for a collision.
A bicyclist, while under the influence of marijuana, rides against moving traffic on a busy street. They do not use the bike lane, nor are they wearing a helmet. If they cause an accident and harm another person, the injured party could seek compensation through a civil claim or lawsuit.
Who is at Fault in a Bicycle Accident?
Fault in a bicycle accident depends on the circumstances of the collision. Many states (including Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio) have comparative negligence laws, which means that fault can be applied to multiple parties in an accident.
Although every case is different, fault usually depends on who broke a traffic law or acted with blatant disregard for others’ safety. If you entrust your case to a bicycle accident lawyer, they will use accident reconstruction data, photographs, witness statements, and other evidence to prove fault.
Fault Depends on Who Acted Negligently
The American Bar Association establishes the principle of negligence. When someone does not act as another reasonable person would in the same situation, they’re considered negligent. For instance, if a motorist drives drunk, they’re negligent. Why? Because the law assumes that a reasonable person would not drive while intoxicated and put other road users at risk of harm.
You must establish these four elements to prove negligence:
- A road user inherently owes others a duty of care, a civil obligation to operate their vehicle with caution.
- A road user violated their duty of care by acting recklessly or carelessly.
- The reckless road user caused the collision, injuring another party.
- The injured party incurred damages as a result of getting hurt.
If you can successfully prove each of these elements, you can secure damages via a claim or lawsuit. Yet, this is easier said than done, which is just another reason to consider partnering with an injury lawyer.
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What if My Car Was Hit by a Bicyclist?
If your vehicle was hit by a bicyclist, you likely didn’t suffer harm. The bicyclist, on the other hand, may have suffered life-altering conditions. Even if you were driving with the utmost care, they may accuse you of causing their accident and injuries.
In this situation, you would have to prove that the bicyclist caused most of the accident, and not you. Again, you would use evidence to prove your role in the collision. You may secure legal representation if you’re concerned about the outcome of your case.
What are the Rights and Responsibilities of Road Users?
As noted, both bicyclists and motorists have a duty of care. This is a civil obligation to act with reasonable caution to avoid harming others. When on the road, both bicyclists and motorists must:
- Stop at stoplights and stop signs
- Signal when turning
- Drive with the flow of traffic on the right side of the street
- Yield to traffic as dictated by law, signs, and traffic signals
- Refrain from drunk, drowsy, or fatigued driving
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, either as a bicyclist or motorist, and the accident was due to another person’s negligence, you have legal options.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Bicycle Accident Claim?
If you were injured in a collision, whether as a bicyclist or motorist, you have the right to seek legal help. Nobody wants to admit liability for a traffic accident, even when fault is clear. When seeking compensation from another party, they may do everything possible to dispute your case and complicate the claims process.
An attorney with knowledge of state and local bicycle laws can build and manage your case. They can also pursue recovery for your medical bills, lost income, and other injury-related expenses.
A Lawyer Can Make the Claims Process Easier
When you entrust your case to a bicycle accident lawyer, they can:
- Establish fault and liability for your losses
- Determine who acted negligently
- Gather evidence to support your case
- Apply state, federal, and local laws to your claim or lawsuit
- Abide by all civil deadlines
- Advocate for what you need
Your lawyer will offer services that meet your situation’s specific circumstances.
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Speak with a Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers
For more than two decades, the injury attorneys at Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers have advocated for injured claimants in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. In that time, we have collected over $1 billion in injury settlements for our clients.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, contact our team to discuss your claim. One of our bicycle accident attorneys will examine your case and determine a plan of action moving forward. We also don’t charge any upfront fees or costs to start advocating for you.