When Is a Driver Liable in Your Bicycle Accident?

Who is liable in a bicycle accident?Bicycle accidents can be particularly dangerous since they offer far less protection to users than most other vehicles. Even an accident that would seem insignificant can result in serious injury and long term damage.

Many bicycle accidents causing injury could have been avoided if someone had not been acting negligently. In cases where your accident was caused by the negligent actions of another person, you could very well be entitled to compensation for any damaged property, medical expenses for past and future treatment, lost wages, and more.

Determining Liability in Bicycle Accidents

A bicycle is legally considered to be a vehicle on the same level as a motorcycle or a car, meaning that it must obey the same traffic laws as everyone else. Assuming that you are not violating any bicycle traffic laws at the time of the accident, it is very likely that a driver who hits you will be found liable.

For example, the driver could likely be found at fault in the following hypothetical situations:

  • A driver makes a left-turn into the path of an oncoming cyclist
  • A driver approaches too fast and rear-ends a rider
  • A driver pulls out of a stop sign and into the path of a cyclist
  • A driver changes lanes, turning directly into a rider
  • A driver pulls out of a driveway or parking lot into a cyclist

Liability in car to bike accidents, as with almost any other accident, really comes down to right-of-way. Whoever did not have right-of-way at the time of the accident is the one that should be fronting the bill.

Unfortunately, our society is still not fully accepting of bicyclists sharing the road, and even in cases where you were obeying all the traffic laws, police and other drivers may find you at fault in an accident. It becomes imperative that you know and understand all of the rules regarding liability in traffic accidents so that you can adequately prove your innocence and another party’s negligence.