Generally, cyclists have the same rights as other road users. Most states in America have enacted “side-of-the-road” legislation. These rules require cyclists to ride in bike lanes or on the extreme right side of the road when not moving as fast as the other vehicles. Despite these rules, accidents involving bikes and auto traffic are common. The most common scenarios include a bike hitting a parked vehicle, a car hitting a bike from the side, or a car hitting a bike when turning right. When such accidents happen, the “side-of-the-road” rules together with other applicable laws are used to determine who was at fault.
Sometimes, establishing who was at fault in a car-bike accident can be a complex process. Such a case can even have many compelling arguments. For example, a bicyclist is riding on the extreme right side of the road and he hits an open door of a vehicle. Who will bear the liability for the bicyclist’s injury or damages to the car? The bicyclist can accuse the driver of negligence for leaving the car door open. On the other side, the driver can argue that since there was no fast-moving traffic on the road, the bicyclist was not required to ride on the extreme right side of the road.
Bicyclists are not always required to ride on the extreme side of the road or bike lanes when the auto traffic is moving fast. There are exceptions such as the absence of bike lanes, one-way roads, roads that are too narrow to share with other vehicles, when bike lanes have barriers and hazards, and when making left turns. The following procedures are used to determine responsibility and fault in car-bicycle accidents.
Who violated traffic rules?
The first way of establishing liability is to identify the party that violated traffic rules. Bicyclists should adhere to the “side-of-road” traffic rules. When a bicyclist is using the regular road, other vehicles ought to treat them as other road users. All the traffic rules therefore apply.
Who was using the road carelessly?
Accidents can happen without any party breaking the law. Furthermore, sometimes it is difficult to establish which party violated the law. In such a situation, the party that was using the road carelessly will bear the responsibility. For example, if one party was using a mobile phone while driving, that can be deemed as carelessness. Another example of a careless road user is a cyclist who weaves between vehicles.
What should you do after getting involved in a bike-car accident?
You should take a car-bike accident with the same seriousness as a car-car accident. These accidents are often more serious simply because of the lack of safety features offered to the rider of the bike. After the crash, whether you think you are the offending party or not, collect as much information as possible from the scene. This includes taking photos of the involved vehicles. The data can be very helpful if the case escalates. The best thing to do is contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. Your lawyer will advise you on the steps you should take to ensure you get a favorable deal.
Where can you find competent bicycle accident lawyers?
Our law firm has a team of competent and seasoned personal injury and McKinney car accidents lawyers. Over the past 25 years, the lawyers have fought aggressive battles in various courtrooms and delivered victory to our clients. Our flexible pricing model was developed with the welfare of our clients in mind. If you need any legal services, Call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
Call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
Arlington (817) 522-4451
Plano (972) 354-4602
Denton (940) 222-4060
Dallas (972) 362-6848
Fort Worth (817) 764-1375
Cedar Hill (972) 338-9427
McKinney (469) 522-3688
Lewisville (972) 354-4605
You can also contact us online by using our quick contact form.