Car vs. Bicycle Collision
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Car vs. Bicycle Collision: A Guide on How Fault and Liability Is Determined

Bicycle collisions with cars are not uncommon. In fact, there is a standing average of one bicycle-car collision every hour in the US alone. Such accidents can happen on or off the road and it’s important to be aware of bicycles as they’re unpredictable vehicles that move quickly. So what happens when these two collide? Which party is at fault? How do liability rules work? Let’s explore this!

1. What Is A Car Vs. Bicycle Collision?

A bicycle collision is a crash between a cyclist and another vehicle, such as a car. Collisions with cars are the leading cause of death for cyclists under 34. Some common reasons why this collision is happening include:

  • The car is turning left and fails to notice the cyclist.
  • The car is turning right and fails to notice the cyclist.
  • The driver loses control of the vehicle e.g, swerves suddenly or brakes too late without any warning signs.
  • The car door is opened suddenly on a bike path or road and hits an oncoming biker
  • The cyclist swerves to avoid a pothole or other object on the road and collides with a car coming from the opposite direction.
  • The cyclist goes through an intersection while cars are turning left or right, which results in collisions.

2. How Does Fault Work In This Situation?

In most cases of a bike-car collision, the car driver is automatically presumed to be at fault. This simply means that the car driver is responsible for the accident and also liable to pay compensation. If you ever find yourself in a situation like this, it’s important that you find bicycle injury lawyers that can help you with your case, especially if the accident caused severe injuries to yourself or a loved one. However, sometimes the cyclist is at fault, for example when he/she fails to follow traffic rules and is therefore unable to avoid a collision or if he/she can’t stop in time or swerves into the car, causing the accident.

3. Liability Rules For These Types Of Collisions 

When an accident like this happens, you will need to determine liability and if the accident was partly your fault. To do this, there are two rules:

  • Comparative Negligence 
  • Contributory Negligence

Comparative negligence is a common-sense rule that can help you figure out liability by weighing the responsibility of every party involved in the accident. Comparative negligence means that if some or all parties are at fault for causing an accident, then everyone who caused the collision is partially responsible and may have to pay compensation depending on how much they contributed to the accident.

Contributory negligence, on the other hand, is a legal rule used in some states. This means that if you are even 1% responsible for the accident, then you lose your right to claim compensation from any party involved in the collision.

Car vs. Bicycle Collision

4. How To Avoid A Car Vs. Bicycle Collision?

The most important way to avoid any bicycle collision is to follow traffic rules, just like any other vehicle on the road. Always abide by speed limits, stop signs, and red lights. Also, always be sure of your surroundings so you can react quickly if necessary. If you’re a cyclist, wear reflective clothing so cars are able to see you even in low-light conditions. Be sure to always have a helmet too. You can also take up cycling classes or get professional training to improve your biking skills.

5. What Should You Do After The Collision Has Happened?

If you’ve experienced an accident with a car, it’s important that you call emergency services immediately and wait for them to reach the scene before talking with anyone else or doing anything. Your injuries can be severe such as whiplash, broken bones, and road rash. You may need to see a doctor or get medical attention immediately. After medical attention is received and injuries are treated, contact your lawyer or insurance company to discuss what happens next. Having a lawyer will help you to file a lawsuit and will ensure that your rights are protected.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car-pedestrian accident, bicycle collision, truck-bicycle collision, or another type of accident involving vehicles and pedestrians, it’s important to retain an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible to help you get the compensation you deserve and to ensure that your rights and best interests are kept safe throughout the process. However, the best thing would be to prevent these accidents by following traffic rules and being alert at all times. We hope this article has helped you.

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