According to injury facts, under the National Safety Council, there are still many bicycle accidents in the U.S, resulting in fatal accidents. Most of these deadly accidents peak in the summer months that run from June. One of the common notion with motorists is that bicyclist ignores traffic laws. Others have the unwillingness to share roads with bicycles. When these parties are sharing roads, it’s common for traffic accidents to happen. In such cases, both parties are always blaming one another for causing the accident. Therefore determining who is at fault during the accident would be the only solution to have a winning case if one needs to pursue compensation. The law must be followed to hold the party who acted negligently responsible. The fact is, a bicyclist has the same rights to be on the road as a motorist. If you’re a bicyclist who’s suffered injuries in a traffic accident, you have a right to take action against the negligent driver.
The Legal Concept Of Negligence In Bicycle Versus Vehicle Accident
Though bicycles are unique from vehicles, most of the traffic rules are the same. Meaning, just as motorists, bicyclists have to follow issues to do with changing of lanes, or obeying the traffic signs and signals. Thus, determining fault has to be based on the concept of negligence.
The two main legal doctrines used by court to determine fault include:
1.Comparative Negligence: One of the main questions after a traffic accident is whether the driver acted negligently to cause the accident, or the cyclist is to blame. There are various circumstances where the motorist may be negligent; likewise, the cyclist could contribute to the accident too. Alaska observes pure comparative negligence rule. Therefore, in case of an accident, even if the bicyclist was partially to blame, he /she may still sue for damages and have the chance to obtain compensation. If you’re not sure about how the law may apply to your case, it’s better to look for a personal injury lawyer.
2.Contributory negligence: The idea behind this is that a cyclist has the responsibility of avoiding causing harm to themselves. This law is harsh, and that’s the reason most states don’t follow it. However, there are several instances where contributory negligence has favored the plaintiff in court finding. Most of the time, insurance companies argue that cyclist is partially to blame. The legal concept of negligence is so complex that why an individual may be required to call an attorney in Anchorage Ak for assistance. An experienced lawyer can determine who was at fault, and that person should be liable for all the losses ensuing from the accident.
How To Ensure You’re Safe
Anyone on the road owes the other a standard duty of care. If this doesn’t happen, then the law takes its course. For instance, one of the main areas of the contest is the accidents at intersections. This is where a bicyclist is at risk of an accident. The cyclist can lose control and crash. The main argument from the motorists is that cyclists never make themselves visible enough. To ensure you’re safe as a cyclist and avoid these crashes, you can:
1. Make sure to learn the traffic rules to be on the safer side in case of an accident
2. Learn the most dangerous intersection hazards. These include T-junctions or roundabouts, where motorists fail to give way while turning across oncoming traffic. You should slow down at intersections. Motorists should make sure to look out for cyclists in such circumstances.
3. Make yourself more visible by wearing hi-visibility colors. These colors must be unusual.
To prevent any accident, a cyclist should know the road laws. Most of the bicycle traffic laws are the same as motorists. Some of them include
1. Ride the same direction as the traffic flow
2. Yield until it’s safe to pass
3. Obey traffic signs and signals
There are other laws such as the use of bicycle lanes that vary by state; you can check this from your lawyer. For instance, if you’re involved in an accident on the wrong side of the road, this can be difficult for you to claim compensation.
What To Prove To Collect Damages
When you’re involved in a traffic accident, you need to know the evidence to produce do as to show the defendant was at fault. As a plaintiff, you need to prove that:
1. The motorist owed you a duty to act or refrained from acting
2. The motorist breached this duty, and as a result, you suffered injuries
3. As a result of the injuries, you suffered actual damages such as medical expenses
Bicycle accident cases are tough. Thus, one can only make it through a legal proceeding with the help of a lawyer. A good lawyer will help you gather the right evidence to prove the above. Also, your lawyer will help you know your rights and responsibilities as a cyclist.