Bicycle accidents happen all the time, especially in major cities across the United States. The main reason? Negligence. Drivers fail to realize that cyclists have a right to share the roadways and this can lead to serious accidents when drivers are not paying attention. About 2% of all fatal accidents on the roads happen to bicycle riders, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
How Negligence and Liability go Hand in Hand
Drivers owe bicyclists a duty of care on the roads, and must always do what it takes to protect others by obeying the rules of the road. When you, a cyclist, have been injured, you may wonder if you can attempt to recover damages for your personal injury. There are two questions that you must answer first: Did negligence cause the injuries? Did negligence contribute to the accident?
Negligence by a driver can take many forms in the midst of a bicycle accident. For example, some of the most common forms take place from speeding, running a stop sign, and drifting into the bike lane. You must be able to prove that the defendant violated the duty of care owed to other riders and acted negligently or recklessly in some way. If the driver was texting, not obeying the rules of the road when bad weather conditions were present, or just generally being distracted, you may have a claim.
However, to receive the best results in your case, this means that you did not contribute to the accident. Cyclist negligence can actually determine the outcome of the lawsuit. Let's say, for instance, you ride the wrong way onto a one-way street or run a stop sign - you could be liable for your own accident. In these cases, contributory or comparative negligence comes into play and your damages could be reduced. (2)
We want to help you get the most out of your case. That is why it is important to speak to us immediately following your bicycle accident. Call us today to speak to us about the possible outcome of your case and what options you have moving forward!