It is very important that you understand as much as possible when it comes to fault in car accidents. This is even more vital when discussing a collision between an automobile and a cyclist. Determining fault can be quite hard. However, according to experienced personal injury attorneys like Philly car accident lawyers, everything boils down to liability.
There are some very simple basic rules when it comes to bicyclist liability. The bike rider always needs to:
- Obey all traffic laws.
- Consider the safety of everyone else on the road.
- Consider personal safety at all times.
Basically, the personal injury laws that are governing all vehicle accidents are also governing lawsuits involving bike accidents.
Blame In Bike Accidents
Both severe and fatal injuries can appear when there is an accident that involves a car and a bicycle. This is mainly because of the exact same laws that need to be respected while on the road. Bicycles are covered just like motor vehicles are. However, the way in which liability is determined can be different to some extent.
At the end of the day, everything boils down to the concept of negligence.
Who was negligent? Was it the car driver? Or was it the cyclist? Were both parties involved in the collision reckless or negligent? Some great examples of driver negligence or recklessness are:
- Drifting into bicycle lanes
- Running stop signs.
Some great examples of cyclists being at fault are:
- Abrupt turns that put the bike into moving traffic
- Ignoring traffic signs
- Ignoring cyclist state laws
It is very important to state the fact that courts often hold the driver to much higher standards than what is seen with bicycles in collisions that involve bike riding children. At the same time, the court does not expect the young child to show respect or knowledge as an adult when it comes to road safety.
Every single collision between vehicles and bicycles needs to be individually evaluated so that liability can be determined. For instance, if a witness is present, their testimony will always be taken into account.
State Laws That Involve Cyclists
While cyclists do need to respect the exact same rules the cars do, like stopping at the stop sign, some extra state laws might apply only to bike riders. As an example, in Texas, when you ride the bike during the night, you need to make sure your bicycle is equipped with a good lamp in the front so that the bike is visible from at least five hundred feet. Another example is that in New York, nighttime riders or new bicycles have to use reflective tires.
Get The Claim Assessed
As a cyclist, when you are injured in motor vehicle accidents, there is a personal injury claim that you can start. But, you should never do so without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. Serious injuries can lead to pretty long lawsuits and you will seek financial compensation. The health insurance policy will surely cover some minor injuries. But, without having the claim assessed first, you do not really know what you are up against.