Is a bicyclist ever liable in a traffic accident?
We have all been witness to it at least once in our lifetime behind the wheel. A bicyclist occupying the road, affecting traffic flow, seemingly unaware of their impact.
As drivers we might be saying less than savory things about the bicyclist under our breath as we drive angrily around or behind them. Often times though, that bicyclist is thinking the same negative things about motorists on the road refusing to share it.
In reality, both motorists and bicyclists have a right to the road and both must obey most of, if not all of, the same traffic laws.
So in the event of a traffic accident involving a bicyclist and a motor vehicle, can the bicyclist every be found liable?
The simple answer is yes. The bicyclist can be held liable for the injuries and other losses caused in a crash, especially if they were violating traffic laws. These violations can come in many forms, like the following:
- Failure to yield to pedestrians
- Unsafe lane changes
- Disobeying traffic signs and signals
- Staying off the sidewalks
Of course, any accident involving a car and a bicycle will come down to the concept of negligence. A motorist needs to exercise a duty of reasonable care to others on the road. Failure to do so could point to them being at fault in an accident.
For example, if a motorist runs a red light and hits a bicyclist, the driver of the vehicle will most likely by held liable for the accident. They did not exercise a reasonable duty of care and stop at the red light. With accidents where both parties are negligent there is a rule in place.
In the state of Alabama there exists the shared fault of contributory negligence. This means that if an individual is found to be responsible for causing the accident in any way, they will not be able to receive compensation for their injuries or damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
So even if a bicyclist was found to be five percent responsible for an accident (maybe failing to signal their turn, resulting in a car rear-ending them), they will not be able to recover anything at all.
This rule is a harsh one but it makes it especially important to make sure you hire a strong attorney experienced in pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
In Alabama, the personal injury attorneys at Salter Ferguson, LLC understand the law and can help you recover financial compensation from an injury sustained in a bicycle accident. They pursue compensation for damages related to medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other accident-related damages.
Call today at 205-408-4357 to set up a free initial consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.