Bicycle accidents can cause serious and fatal injuries. Especially when such an accident involves a bicyclist struck by a motor vehicle, the results can be particularly catastrophic.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a bicycle versus car crash caused by a negligent or unlawful motorist, it may be possible to recover monetary damages from the at-fault party in the crash. In order to prevail in such a lawsuit, however, the bicyclist must prove that the driver is liable.
When is a motorist liable for a bicycle crash?
Both drivers and bicyclists must follow the rules of the road. This includes all traffic laws and the duty to exercise care and diligence to protect the safety of others. When a driver or bicyclist fails to follow the law or negligently endangers others through recklessness, he or she will be liable for financial damages related to any injuries that result.
Establishing negligence and liability following a bike crash involves the following two questions:
- Was the bike crash caused by recklessness or negligence committed by the driver, and did it result in the bicyclist suffering injuries?
- Did the bicyclist commit recklessness or negligence that resulted in the accident and injuries?
If the bicyclist was negligent and the driver was not, then the injured bicyclist will not be able to pursue a claim for damages. However, if the driver was negligent, then the bicyclist can pursue a claim. Even if both the bicyclist and the driver committed negligence that led to the crash and injuries, the bicyclist may still be able to hold the driver liable for part of his or her damages.
Review the facts before pursuing your lawsuit
Injured bicyclists should carefully consider the facts surrounding their accident and injuries. The nature of these facts will determine the potential strengths and weaknesses of a bike accident injury suit. Such facts might include:
- The nature of the bicyclist's injuries
- The series of events leading up to the bike crash
- Eyewitness testimony
- Was the bicyclist following the rules of the road?
- Was the motorist following the rules of the road?
- Did the bicyclist and/or motorist fail to exercise due care?
If successfully navigated, a bicycle accident lawsuit can help victims get money to pay for their medical care, property damage, lost income and other financial damages related to their accidents.