Being involved in an accident is always a traumatic experience. It can be especially difficult to assess who is at fault when bicycles are involved, as they often lack the protection and visibility of motor vehicles. So, how do you determine who is responsible for an accident if a bicycle was involved?
Determining Fault in Bicycle Accidents
The first thing to consider when assessing fault in any accident is the laws of the state in which it occurred. In some states, bicyclists are expected to follow the same rules as drivers of motorized vehicles and face similar penalties for violations like running red lights or stop signs. Other states have specific laws governing cyclists’ behavior on the road. Depending on what law or laws were broken by either party, it could be easy or difficult to determine who was at fault.
Negligence or Recklessness?
The second factor to consider is whether either party displayed negligence or recklessness during their interactions with each other prior to the accident. If one person acted negligently or recklessly—by failing to use caution while driving, for example—then that person could be held liable for any damages resulting from the incident.
Important Notes About Bicycle Accidents
It’s also important to note that even if a cyclist breaks the law, they may not necessarily be responsible for an accident if another person acted negligently towards them. For example, if a driver ran a stop sign and collided with a cyclist who had just entered into an intersection, then the driver would likely be held liable for any damages due to their negligent behavior.
To prove negligence, it must be shown that someone failed to exercise reasonable care and that doing so resulted in injury or damage to another person or property.
Determining who is at fault after a bicycle-related accident can be complicated because there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before assigning blame. If you have been injured in an accident involving a bicycle, consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and determine who was ultimately responsible for your injuries and losses incurred due to the incident.
A qualified lawyer will evaluate all relevant factors and make sure that you receive fair compensation for your suffering and losses.