You wore your bicycle helmet, you wore your reflective gear, and you even had a blinking red light on the back of your bike. You were on your way home from work and your wife had chicken soup with dumplings on the table, so you were extra eager to get home.
You did everything you know to stay safe while riding a bike at night, and you followed all the rules of the road, but the car still hit you. Now you’re recovering at the hospital with a broken rib and a broken collar bone.
Even worse, you don’t know how you’re going to pay for your medical care.
Who’s liable in a bicycle versus car crash?
In order to determine if a vehicle driver was liable in a bicycle versus car crash there are several questions you need to ask:
- Did the driver’s negligence result in the accident and did it cause the bicyclist’s corresponding injuries?
- Did the bicyclist’s negligence cause or in any way contribute to the accident and injuries?
In answering the above questions, personal injury lawyers need to pay attention to two important points. First, bicyclists and vehicle drivers need to follow all traffic laws. Second, they need to protect the safety of others on the road. If either the driver or the bicyclist fails to fulfill the above obligations and it results in a crash, then the court will assign blame and liability to the unlawful or negligent party.
Diver negligence versus bicyclist negligence
In a personal injury case, the court will try to determine who was at fault in a bicycle crash and/or whose negligence contributed to the crash. For example, let’s say you were texting with your cellphone while riding you bicycle just prior to the crash, and cellphone records prove that you were doing this. A court might rule that your own negligence caused the accident and resulting injuries and you might not prevail in your claim for damages.
Conversely, let’s say you were texting while riding your bike, but the motorist was also texting, speeding, and drove through a red light. In such a case, the court might split the liability between you and the driver that hit you. In this respect, the driver will still be liable, but for a reduced amount.
In still another scenario, if you were riding your bike responsibly and following all traffic laws, but you still got hit by a car. Then it’s likely that the motorist will be at fault and financially liable for the crash and resulting damages.
Do you need to file a bicycle accident claim?
If you suffered a serious injury following a bicycle versus car crash, you may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your potential claim for damages. A personal injury attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you of your legal rig hts and options.