Cycling is a great way to get exercise, but it can be dangerous. Cyclists may suffer severe and potentially life-threatening harm when they’re involved in cycling crashes. During a bicycle accident lawsuit, the same concerns that apply to an automobile accident lawsuit are dealt with. In most cases, it must be proven that negligence on the part of the driver or the bicyclist contributed to the incident, and damages might be recovered for the victim or the victim’s family.
Basics of Bicycle Accident Liability
Whether an individual is driving a bike or a motor vehicle, he or she must follow the rules of the road. This includes obeying traffic laws and exercising ordinary care when it comes to safety. Just like with vehicle accident lawsuits, bicycle accident lawsuits are overseen by state law, including local traffic laws.
Negligence in Bicycle Accidents
When they crash with other vehicles, bicyclists can sue to recuperate damages. The outcome of the bicycle accident lawsuit relies on the answer to the following questions:
- Was the person driving the motor vehicle negligent, resulting in harm to the bicycle rider?
- Was the bicycle rider negligent, contributing to the crash?
Negligence, or recklessness, can occur when a driver is speeding, doesn’t halt at a stop sign or stop light, or drifts out of the driving lane.
If the cyclist alleges negligence by the driver, the cyclist, who is the plaintiff in this scenario, must prove that the driver, or the defendant, acted in a manner that breached the duty of care that the cyclist, and any driver on the roads, deserves.
Although individual cases vary, it can help if the plaintiff can provide testimony from witnesses who were at the scene. If a car is involved in the crash, proof that the car violated traffic laws can be counted as negligence. For example, a driver who gets a speeding ticket at the scene of the incident may automatically be cited as negligent. In that case, the defendant must show that the plaintiff’s injuries were not a result of the negligence.
When the Cyclist is Negligent
A cyclist may sue the driver of a motor vehicle, but a motor vehicle driver or pedestrian can also sue a bicycle rider. If a bicycle driver is not following traffic rules, he or she may be considered negligent. Even if the cyclist is injured in the accident, if he or she was cycling down the incorrect side of the street or neglecting to follow traffic signals, he or she may be considered negligent.
This type of negligence is referred to as contributory or comparative negligence. It means that the cyclist was at least partly responsible for the crash and therefore responsible for his or her own injuries.
Careless cyclists may not be able to recuperate financial damages for injuries they experience in crashes involving motor vehicles. If negligence is proven on the part of the bicycle rider, he or she might be responsible for the other party’s injuries. However, when the bicycle rider is a child, the fault may transfer to the driver of the motor vehicle even if the child was negligent.
Have a Lawyer Evaluate Your Case
If the serious injury has occurred in a collision involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle, liability must be proven. Accident lawsuits involving bicycles typically culminate in coming up with a determination as to which party caused the collision. Because determining carelessness can be a complicated process, it’s important to seek legal advice. Reach out to a lawyer if you or someone you love has been involved in a cycling crash in order to ensure that your rights are safeguarded.