Road Wars: Auto Accidents Involving Bicycles
Bicycle accidents especially those that involve automobiles–can be very serious, resulting in a lifetime of injury or worse. As such, liability for these accidents whether the driver or the cyclist was responsible for the collision–often comes down to who was being negligent. Hiring the right personal injury attorney and asking the right questions is crucial.
Consider the following 5 issues when dealing with auto accidents involving bicycles:
1. Laws both must follow
Laws of the road apply both to automobile drivers and to cyclists. Just like all other rules of the road, bicyclists must follow specific guidelines when riding in traffic. Sometimes cyclists assume they own the road while automobile drivers are often quick to believe cyclists belong off the road. Bottom line?
Both automobile drivers and cyclists have laws to follow. It is critical that these laws are followed so that if an accident occurs, the right party is held responsible.
2. Accident liability overview
Laws for bicycles vary state by state, but in nearly every state, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and must follow the rules of the road. As it pertains to collisions, specifically, cars are not at fault simply because they are bigger or may have caused more damage.
In the event of an accident, it is imperative that a car accident lawyer be hired who can properly assess the situation and give the right counsel.
3. Driver negligence
Many accidents with bicycles happen as a direct result of driver negligence. Many automobile drivers are antagonistic toward cyclists and do little–if anything–to watch for them on the road. The majority of automobile/bicycle accidents happen at intersections when auto drivers fail to yield or do not give the cyclist his right of way.
Additionally, many drivers fail to check their side view mirrors before switching lanes, and they end up side swiping a cyclist in the process.
4. Cyclist negligence
Cyclists are not exempt from following the rules of the road. Sometimes bikers ride the wrong way down a one-way street or roll through a stop instead of coming to a complete stop at the sign or light. Because of the size of the bike–as compared to the size of other vehicles on the road–it is sometimes easy to think various liberties can be taken or that certain laws do not apply.
Cyclists have been known to bike between vehicles or disregard road signs. Both of these decisions–and others like them–can be dangerous or even fatal.
5. Right of way rules
Automobile drivers and bicyclists share the road in equal measure, meaning both the driver and the cyclist should abide by standard right of way rules. Generally speaking, the vehicle that arrives first has the right of way, but extreme caution should be taken when coming to a stop.
Just as automobile drivers should watch for bikes, so, too, cyclists should pay close attention to what automobile drivers are doing.
What to Do if You’ve Been in an Accident
Cyclists and automobile drivers share the same legal rights on the road. As such, they are both responsible to obey the same rules of the road. In the event of an accident, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney who understands the liability issues present in the case and can work on your behalf to make sure everything is done fairly.
Get The Help at a Personal Injury Law Firm
If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle accident, contact Top Personal Injury Lawyer in Boca Raton, Florida at Glotzer & Kobren, P.A. at 561-300-6900 to discuss your rights. Serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Deerfield Beach & throughout Florida.