It seems hard to imagine how a cyclist might be found at-fault for a bike-vehicle collision. Still, a driver that has been surprised by a bicycle rider might feel certain that he or she could not be blamed for the resulting collision.
Typical reasons for an on-road bicycle accident:
• A motorist did not take an expected stop.
• A cyclist did not take an expected stop.
• A vehicle or a cyclist passed on the right side of another vehicle.
• A car door was opened onto the path of a cyclist.
• A motorist turned left on a non-dedicated left turn intersection.
Facts considered by those who must decide who caused a given bicycle accident:
Was the motorist driving in a negligent or reckless manner? Was the motorist speeding, or changing lanes without signaling? It could be that the vehicle’s driver had mistakenly turned onto a one-way street, and was proceeding in the wrong direction.
Was the cyclist operating the bike correctly? If the road had a bicycle lane, did the cyclist make an effort to stay in that lane? Had the bicycle been driven onto the sidewalk?
Was the cyclist attempting a dangerous action? Was the bicycle rider in the process of trying to perform a dangerous trick? Was there someone riding on the bicycle’s handlebars, or on its rear wheel?
Why it helps to consult with a lawyer
The laws that apply to the rider on a bicycle vary from city to city. For instance, in some municipalities a cyclist can ride on the side of the road; in other locations, where there is a bike lane, cyclists may be required to use that same lane.
A good personal injury attorney, one that specializes in bicycle accidents would know the local laws. For that reason, someone that got hit by a motor vehicle should consult such a lawyer, in order to seek a fair compensation.
Not all cyclists are lucky enough to collide with a motorist that feels ready to acknowledge his or her mistake. Some of them may be as unlucky as one man that lived close to Long Beach, California. When his bicycle collided with a car, the driver claimed that it was the cyclist’s fault.
Consequently, that cyclist became convinced that the driver planned to sue him. He need to consult with an attorney. An attorney could force the driver to accept an important fact.
Because the rider of a bicycle has the right to travel on the road, that same rider has been granted the right to compensation, after suffering damages, as the result of an accident.
Few drivers consider that fact. Instead, they focus on the cyclist’s need to obey all the laws of the road.