National Bike Month: Accident Liability
National Bike Month is wrapping up, and cycling enthusiasts everywhere dusted off their helmets to take a ride through the great outdoors. But before you pedal around the city you should familiarize yourself with these bicyclist liability basics in case you are ever in an accident. Just like other vehicle accident lawsuits, bicycle accident lawsuits are governed by state law, and are often informed by state and local traffic laws.
Negligence and Bicycle Accidents
If you are trying to recover damages as a cyclist, two questions are:
- Did negligence (or recklessness) on the part of the driver cause the accident resulting in injuries to the bicyclist?
- Did any negligence of the bicyclist cause or contribute to the accident?
Driver Negligence or Recklessness
Negligence by a driver can occur in many ways such as speeding, running a stop sign, and drifting into a bike lane and even recklessness with knowing disregard for the safety of others.
When dealing with a lawsuit alleging negligence by another person, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant acted negligently. Auto accident cases show this as violating the basic duty of care owed to everyone else on or near the roadways. Accident lawsuits come down to facts specific to the individual case, and often the ability of the plaintiff to prove negligence through eyewitness testimony or other evidence.
If a cyclist sues a driver, or a cyclist is sued for causing someone else injury, cyclist negligence can determine the outcome of the lawsuit. Negligent cyclists may have the amount of their damages reduced or eliminated for injuries in accidents involving cars. This is called contributory or comparative negligence which means the cyclist’s negligence caused the accident to happen causing at least some of the cyclist’s injuries. If a cyclist rode negligently, and that negligence caused injury to someone else, the cyclist may be held liable for that person’s injuries.
Unfortunately, Florida has more cyclist deaths per million residents than any other state, according to Governing.com. Cyclists should be keeping an eye out for traffic dangers to avoid injury or liability. Have fun but be vigilant.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, don’t wait. Contact John Bales Attorneys for help.
Information via FindLaw.com