Motorists must share the road with bicyclists, but unfortunately, many drivers fail to do so. If a negligent driver collides with a bicyclist, it’s usually the bicyclist who suffers the more severe injuries. Luckily, injured bicyclists may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering by filing a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced attorney.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
The vast majority of bicycle accidents involve a collision between a bicycle and a vehicle. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:
Car Turning Right
Many bicycle accidents occur when a car is attempting to turn right at an intersection, but fails to see the bicyclist. In most cases, the driver of the vehicle is at fault in these accidents, but if the bicyclist was not abiding by the rules of the road, it’s possible he could be held partly liable.
The “Left Cross”
The “left cross” accident occurs when a bicyclist and a motorist are approaching an intersection from opposite directions. If the motorist turns left while the bicyclist is in the middle of the intersection, the two may collide. This typically occurs when the motorist fails to see the bicyclist before making the turn, or when the motorist misjudges how long it will take the bicyclist to get out of the intersection.
Many accidents take place at intersections where the driver has a stop sign, but the bicyclist does not. In this case, the bicyclist is free to pass through the intersection, but the motorist may fail to stop and wait for the bicyclist to get across the road. Because the cyclist had the right of way in this situation, the motorist would be at fault.
People in parked cars must look to see if anyone is coming before they open their doors. If a bicyclist collides with a car door that is suddenly opened right in front of them, the motorist is at fault for this accident.
Rear End Collisions
Even a slight tap from behind can cause a bicyclist to completely lose control of the bike, which usually means serious injuries. Bicyclists can be rear ended by vehicles at any time of the day, but it is most common at night when they become more difficult to see.
Bicyclists have to follow the same rules as drivers, and if they fail to do so, they may be held liable in the event of an accident. For example, if a bicyclist is involved in an accident when he is riding against the traffic, he may be held liable since bicyclists are always supposed to ride with the traffic. It’s important to collect as much evidence from the scene of the accident so you are able to prove the other party was at fault. For example, take photos of any property damage, injuries, and traffic signals or signs that may have been ignored by the driver. A personal injury attorney can use all of this evidence to reconstruct the accident and prove that you were not to blame and should be compensated for your injuries.
Seek Legal Representation After A Bicycle Accident
Even if you are wearing a helmet and other protective gear, you can still sustain serious injuries if you are hit by a vehicle. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, and Rowley today to discuss your legal options with our team of experienced personal injury attorneys.