According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), bicycles only account for 1% of transportation in United States. Even still, bicyclists are at a higher risk of suffering severe or fatal injuries than motorists. Safety features, such as bicycle helmets and reflectors, can improve safety but have failed to eliminate these accidents, injuries, and deaths.
If you were involved in a car-bicycle accident, you've probably asked the question, who is responsible? Although every crash is different and some may result from dangerous road conditions or defective products, most bicycle accidents are caused by the motorist, the cyclist, or a combination of both. When it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit or property damage claim, determining fault and liability is very important.
When the Bicyclist is at Fault
Answering the question, "was the cyclist negligent?" can help chart the outcome of your lawsuit. Under Texas law, cyclists are subject to the same privileges, restrictions, and traffic rules as motorists. This even includes drunk driving laws, which ban motorists from operating an automobile (or bicycle) under the influence of alcohol. A negligent cyclist might:
- Ride on the wrong side of the road
- Fail to use a designated bike lane
- Operate the bike under the influence
- Turn into traffic abruptly
- Ride through a designated stop sign
- Ignore traffic signals
When the Motorist is Negligent
Driver negligence can take innumerable forms. Common examples of negligence committed by drivers of cars and trucks include speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, or driving recklessly. Motorists should always share the road with bicyclists; failing to do so can easily lead to an accident. This might include:
- Failing to give the right of way
- Ignoring a bicyclists' signal to turn
- Failing to watch for bicyclists
By investigating your accident and working to determine who can be held responsible, our team of personal injury lawyers can help victims pursue financial compensation for their damages, including any medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering resulting from the accident. If you would like to learn more about your rights, contact The Daspit Law Firm for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.