An Overview Of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents often result in serious and sometimes even fatal injuries. Bicyclists face the same kind of liability in these accidents as is the case with any automobile accident. In most of these cases, the injuries caused by the accident usually come down to negligence on the part of the cyclist, whether the negligence of the automobile driver contributed to the accident or not.
Cyclists are obligated to follow the same rules of traffic as any other form of transportation, as well as take extra precautions to secure one’s own safety while riding. A cyclist, if hit by an automobile, has to consider two key questions: Firstly, did negligence or recklessness on the part of the automobile cause the accident and resulting injuries? Secondly, did any negligence of the bicyclist cause or contribute to the accident?
Driver negligence can take many forms. Speeding, running stop signs or even drifting into the bike lane are all examples of driver negligence. In a lawsuit alleging negligence on the other party, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant acted in a way that violated the duty owed to the general public at large and the plaintiff in particular before the accident took place.
Accident lawsuits often come down to facts specific to the individual case, and often on the plaintiff’s ability to prove negligence via third party such as eye witness testimony or other evidence. In the case of car accidents, traffic violations can constitute “negligence per say,” which means that if the driver was speeding at the time of the accident, evidence of the speeding violation counts as evidence of negligence on their own part. The burden then shifts to the defendant to prove that he or she did not cause the plaintiffs injuries. No matter what the circumstances of litigation against a cyclist, cyclist negligence can determine the outcome of the lawsuit. Examples of cyclist negligence are riding up a one way street, running stop signs and turning abruptly into traffic.
Negligent cyclists may be unable to recover damages for injuries they suffer in accidents involving cars. Such negligence is known as “contributory” or “comparative negligence” meaning that the cyclists actions contributed, in part, to the outcome of the accident. If a cyclist behaved in a way that was considered negligent and someone else sustained injuries due to that behavior, the cyclist may be held liable for those injuries. In accident cases involving children on bicycles, courts hold drivers to an even higher standard. Accidents involving automobiles and bicycles can involve serious injuries and large liabilities.
Bicycle accident lawsuits often come down to which party involved in the accident showed “negligence” of the rules prior to the event that caused the accident. This determination of negligence can be quite complex and require in depth analysis. If you or your loved one has been in a bike accident, consider consulting an attorney to best protect your rights.
What To Do If You Are In An Accident?
If you are in a traffic accident involving a bicycle, whether you are the driver or the cyclist, what you have to do is fairly similar.
Document what has happened. If you can do this through pictures or through video, that’s ideal, but even if you don’t have a camera, make mental notes on what happened. This will be useful when you fill in your accident report and brief the police.
It is important to mention details about the collision, damage to both vehicles, injuries to you and injuries to the other cyclist/driver involved in the collision when handing the accident report.
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