What To Know About Liability In A Bicycle-Related Car Accident

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Sharing the road with bicyclists can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you're driving in a big city where it's more common to see people on bikes. That's why it's important to understand liability in an accident with a bicyclist, so you know who would be responsible in certain situations.

When The Driver Of The Car Can Be Found Liable

It may be difficult to navigate the road when you are sharing it with bicyclists, but you need to ensure that you are still following all traffic laws when doing so. As long as you are doing your part to follow the law, you should not be found liable in an accident with a bicyclist. 

A common reason that the driver of a car may be liable is if they are speeding. Simply approaching a bicyclist too fast can cause some unintended results. Especially when the bike in front of you does not have brake lights. Your reactions may be delayed and cause you to come to a stop much slower than you anticipated. Running through stop signs of red lights can also be problematic if you run into a bicyclist that has the right of way at the time. 

Other issues come from having to respect bike lanes and being aware of bicyclists that are in them. As a driver, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not swinging your car door open in the path of bicyclists, which can lead to a serious accident that injures the biker and your vehicle. 

When The Bicyclist Can Be Found Liable

It can be tempting to ignore the rules of the road when you are on a bicycle. Many bicyclists end up treating stop lights as if they are stop signs, continuing through traffic if looks to be clear. Others ignore all traffic laws when they are on the street, acting as if they are above the law due to the size of their method of transportation. 

The reality is that breaking those traffic laws on a bike can cause the bicyclists to become liable for their actions. If drivers are sharing the road with bicyclists that are unpredictable, it can easily lead to an accident that is out of the driver's control. 

In addition, bicyclists are responsible for maintaining their bicycle and being able to control it. This includes traveling at a speed where they are able to stop in time to prevent hitting other bicyclists or a driver. 

For help navigating the legal matters regarding a bicycle-related accident, reach out to a local bicycle accident attorney that specializes in these types of cases.