Every case is unique and must be evaluated based on the facts.
More Americans are biking than ever before. Whether they bike for exercise, enjoying nature, or commuting to work, bicyclists are more present on our roads than ever before. And with more bikes on our streets, the potential for accidents has increased. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 48,000 bicyclists injured in crashes with vehicles in 2013 — and 743 deaths as a result of collisions between bikes and vehicles. This leads to the question of who is at fault when a bike and a car have an accident.
The answer to this question isn’t simple, as it depends on the facts of each case. In most situations, the bicyclist will bear the brunt of any accident. A biker has far less protection than anyone riding in a car or truck, and any sort of collision involving a relatively unprotected person on a bike and a vehicle of any size can result in very serious or even fatal injuries. But the injuries do not necessarily tell us who was at fault for any given accident. Instead, we have to look at the unique facts of each and every accident.
People on bikes are drivers in cars, trucks, and SUVs are supposed to share the road safely. Bicyclists should be prepared before heading out on their bikes with the appropriate gear and a well-maintained bike. They should only use routes that are safe and well-lit. People on bikes should also stay focused and alert, and always drive predictably. That means not weaving in and out of lanes, and always signaling turns. Drivers should be alert to the presence of bicycles on the road, and should yield to bikes just as they would for cars. Drive safely if a bicyclist is on the road with you, and always be careful when making turns.
When accidents do occur, an investigation may reveal that the bicyclist was actually at fault. For example, if a person on a bike does not follow traffic rules by failing to yield right of way, to look before going out onto a street, or by obeying lights and stop signs, it could be a sign that the bicyclist is actually at fault in an accident. But in other cases, the driver may be at fault for not being aware of the bicyclist on the road or by not following the rules for sharing the road with a person on a bike. Drivers should always be aware that, regardless of whether or not they have the right of way, a bicyclist could be seriously injured or even killed in an accident — and be extra cautious to avoid crashes.
If you have been hurt in an accident while riding your bike, you will need a skilled bike accident attorney to represent you. A lawyer with experience handling these types of cases will know how to fully assess fault in your case and can advise you on your rights and options. At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, our attorneys understand bike accident cases. We will explore all aspects of the crash to determine if the driver can be held liable, and will work with you to aggressively pursue a recovery for your injuries. Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and to schedule a free initial consultation. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you!