Bike Blogs: Who Is at Fault if a Car Hits a Bicycle?

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car hits a bicycle

Have you recently been involved in a bicycle accident and looking to get compensated for your injuries? Do you feel as if you were the victim of a negligent driver? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about who is at fault if a car hits a bicycle.

You might be surprised to find out that the car driver isn’t always at fault. Depending on the circumstances, the cyclist can be just as liable for the accident, if not more so.

Let’s take a deeper dive into how fault is determined if a car hits a bicycle, what to do if you were hit by a car on your bike, and so on.

How Is Fault Determined When a Car Hits a Bicycle?

You see it all the time, cyclists riding on the road with vehicles all around them. If a cyclist is going to take the road and operate their bicycle as a car, then they must adhere to all the local traffic laws as well.

That means following roles such as alerting other drivers when you’re changing lanes, stopping for pedestrians, following all of the local traffic signs, and the like.

Generally, people assume that since the bike is a more simplistic mode of transportation than an automobile, they generally get the benefit of the doubt when they’re hit by a car.

However, the fault is assigned to whichever party shows the most negligence. If you were on your bike and ignoring traffic laws, the case could be made that your negligence is the only reason a crash occurred in the first place.

For example, let’s say you were on your bike and tried to skip over two lanes of traffic to avoid missing your turn. Then, an unsuspecting driver hits you. Your negligence, in that scenario, was the key reason the crash happened. That would give you the fault.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident

Thankfully, the steps you need to take after being involved in a bicycle accident aren’t that different from how you’d react to a typical crash. See below for more information.

1. Get to Safety

The goal after any car accident is to safely remove yourself from the road as quickly as possible. Be sure to check yourself for any injuries, then go to check on the other person involved in the accident.

Once everyone is out of the vehicle, get to the side of the road as quickly as possible. Make sure to keep the vehicle and the bicycle exactly where they are. This will help with the police report.

Once you’re on the side of the road, pick up your phone and call 911. If anyone needs medical attention, be sure to request it from the operator.

2. Cooperate and Gather Evidence

While you wait for the police to arrive, take the time to exchange information with the other party. Make sure to get their name, number, and car insurance information. You might even call the number to verify that you both have working numbers to contact each other.

After the police arrive, be sure to cooperate. Tell your side of the story and try to refrain from showing too much emotion or frustration.

Once you’ve given your side of the story, you’ll have to wait around until the police gather all the info they need for their police report. Use that time to gather useful evidence for your case.

Take out your phone and take as many photos as you can. Take pictures of the crash, the other driver, the road you were on, any injuries you sustained, the time of day, the witnesses that stayed behind, etc.

You’ll also want to speak with those witnesses. Get their name, number, email, and a brief synopsis of what they saw. Your attorney can contact them later for more information.

3. Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer

After the police officer dismisses you, pull out your phone, open your notes app, and write down all the details that you can remember leading up to the accident. Where were you? What were you doing? Where did the car hit you?

Next, reach out and hire a bicycle accident lawyer for your case. If you’d like to field a few candidates for the job, then be sure to have a few questions to ask when choosing a bicycle accident lawyer.

You want to make sure you’re hiring someone that specializes in bike accident cases. If you find someone that’s an avid cyclist themselves, then all the better!

Focus on their communication. When you reach out to them and tell them about your side of the story, do they make recommendations? Are they answering your questions with a bunch of legal jargon or are they taking the time to put it into terms that you will understand?

Be sure to ask them who they believe is at fault for your case. How can they build your case to help you get the financial compensation that you need? Will they be the ones primarily handling your case or do they distribute responsibilities to others at their firm?

Hire Legal Representation for Your Case Today

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on who is at fault when a car hits a bicycle and what to do when you’re involved in that scenario, be sure to use this information effectively.

If you have injuries and damage from the case, don’t shrug it off. Get legal representation to help you seek out the settlement that you need.

Be sure to browse our website for more articles on bicycle accidents, as well as many other helpful topics that you will enjoy.