Q: Who is at fault in a bicycle accident?
With the beautiful weather and healthy, active lifestyle of Californians, it’s not surprising that bicyclists are out in full force on park trails and roadways. Unfortunately, when sharing the road with automobiles, accidents are bound to happen. When they do, even the most safety-conscious, protective gear-wearing bicyclists are no match for a moving car.
In a 24 hour period in late June, three separate fatal bike accidents happened in the Bay Area, two of them being hit-and-run incidents. Obviously, if the involved driver isn’t found, they can’t be held accountable for their actions or for compensating the victim for their injuries. But what if the driver was caught or remained at the accident scene?
In California, if the motor vehicle driver was negligent in causing the accident, the injured bicyclist can recover damages. But bicyclists also have a duty to obey the state and local rules of the road, so if the cyclist was negligent and caused the accident, that changes things. To make things more complicated, both the driver and the cyclist may each be partially to blame so fault is apportioned.
An injured cyclist (or the victim’s survivors in the case of a fatality) must be able to prove the driver was negligent. Factors that support a finding of negligence include, but aren’t limited to situations that might result in a citation like the driver running a red light or passing a stop sign, drifting into the bike lane, or speeding. Absent that evidence, negligence might be proven through eyewitness testimony, police reports or other evidence.
An attorney experienced in personal injury law can sort through the evidence of a bicycle accident and advise you as to your right to compensation since each case is unique.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bike accident or any kind of accident that was not your fault, The Law Offices of J&Y specializes in personal injury law (as well as wrongful death claims in cases where a loved one has died). We represent clients throughout Northern and Southern California. Call today at (888) 806-6722 for a free consultation or contact online here. Se habla Español.