Bicycle Accidents & legal matters in the Personal Injury Context
A bicycle may not require a license or any age limit, but a bicycle accident is no less taxing than a full – fledged auto accident. In fact, if the bicycle rider is proved to have significant liability in causing the accident, he / she is liable for any compensation and damages it caused onto others. A bicycle is considered a vehicle under the eyes of the law and a bicycle accident case is treated similar to an automobile accident, therefore it is for the best to have an understanding of what you might face in such cases. What’s more, just like in a motorcycle accident, oftentimes the damages are egregious and therefore necessitate careful legal considerations.
Bicycle right of way
Anyone can ride a bicycle freely but must still follow all the rules of the road. In case you were not following these rules when the accident occurred you might land yourself into a whole lot of trouble even if you were innocent. Therefore it is of the utmost importance for the case as well as for your well-being that you ride responsibly and only take an intersection when safe and also use the bicycle lane, when available, for your trips.
Since a bicyclist is traveling in a smaller and lighter vehicle, the bulky automobile will always be in a disadvantageous position in any accident, but that does not mean you avoid responsibilities. A bicyclist is unlike a car which usually has significant metal shielding to provide some protection. Therefore, significant bodily injury can occur to the bicyclist.
If the cyclist is not in violation of any of the rules of the road, then, generally speaking, the bicyclist has the right of way and motor vehicles should yield. However, every situation is different, and cyclists and motorists should consult an attorney to properly address their rights.
Differences between motor vehicle accident and bicycle accident
In accident cases involving two or more automobiles, the brunt of the recoverable damages (in terms of monetary remuneration) falls with the insurance agency. But bicycle insurance is rare and also comparatively small and insignificant to the amount an auto insurance firm will be able to pay out. In such cases the liability may be shifted to the counterparty insurance agency or in a few cases may be transferred to you. Situations might arise where the bicycle rider may be gravely injured or might have passed away and may be represented by next of kin or companion. In effect, the estate of the demised individual may pursue the action against those how are culpable for the accident.
There are some situations where the extent of injuries received by the rider may be proved to be the riders own fault or a percentage of the fault, such in cases where he / she does not wear a helmet. In such scenarios, because of the rider’s negligence and non-usage of proper protection, the extent of compensation may drastically get lowered. Such a situation is termed as comparative negligence and may put the individual on in a compromising position. Hence it is always advisable to wear proper protective gear to prevent such comparative negligence.
A bicycle may offer a lot of freedom, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to follow the rules of the road. Wearing protective gear and following sensible judgment is a requirement which every cyclist should possess. In case an accident involving a bicycle does occur it is always better to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can help sort out the case and get you a befitting compensation and remedy.