Can a Bicyclist Sue a Driver After an Accident?

Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for most children, and once you’ve learned to ride, conventional wisdom says that you never forget how. That’s a good thing, as today’s environmentally conscious and health conscious society has made riding a bike an increasingly common practice for all ages and almost all environments.  As good as cycling is for your heart and for reducing your carbon footprint, it can also be a dangerous pastime, especially when you ride in areas where motorized vehicles like cars and trucks also travel. It is important to learn and follow all appropriate cycling rules, as well as to know your rights in case you are ever injured in a collision with a car.

Cyclists are able to sue a driver after an accident if the driver was negligent or careless. If the accident is either entirely or even partially your fault, there is less of a chance that you will be able to hold them legally responsible. Determining who is at fault will be part of a jury’s task should your bicycle accident case get to trial. How can you prove that the driver is at fault?

Motorists are automatically assumed to have a duty of care when they are operating a vehicle, and that duty of care means that they must guard against putting others into a dangerous or potentially dangerous position. Since cyclists are significantly more vulnerable than a driver who is protected by a car, there is an expectation that a car’s operator will exercise more caution when they see cyclists or can expect cyclists to be in the vicinity, and if they fail to do this and their lack of care results in an accident and injury, then they are likely to be accused of negligence and held legally responsible.  When a bicycle accident and injury is caused by a car driver who has broken the law, they are highly likely to be accused of negligence: however, a car driver can also be viewed as negligent even if they haven’t broken the law if the accident was caused by them not showing an enhanced level of care, or driving legally but aggressively, around the cyclist that they hit.

It is also true that cyclists have an obligation to ride in a way that reduces the possibility of accident or injury, and if they fail to do so or break the rules along with a motorist, they may find themselves sharing in the blame and legal responsibility for the damages that they suffer. If you are a cyclist who has been injured in an accident with a car, we can help you understand your rights and best next steps. Contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss your case.