Bicycle Accidents: 3 Aspects Of Liability

Car accident attorneys have the expertise to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve when you're injured in an accident, but not all collisions involve two automobiles. One area of the law for which car accident attorneys are often solicited involves bicycle collisions.

Often, these are accidents where a cyclist was struck by an oncoming vehicle, and other times, they involve circumstances of out-of-control cyclists colliding with nearby pedestrians. The following article discusses some of the ins and outs regarding bicycle accidents, including general liability, road obstructions, and helmet laws.

Regarding Liability

Although you might not consider a bicycle an automobile, in the eyes of the law, cyclists are considered vehicles. As such, they are subject to the rules of the road just like any other motorist. At the same time, drivers must also treat cyclists with the same due care as they would any other motorist on the road. Legally speaking, drivers of automobiles, and cyclists, are equals on the road.

Regarding Obstructions In The Road

Motorist involvement constitutes only a small portion of bicycle accidents across the country. One of the more common instances of bicycle accidents is the result of road hazards.

Road hazards aren't necessarily large slabs of concrete or furniture left squarely in the middle of the road. Things like poorly repaired asphalt patches or abnormally large potholes or divots in a roadway might constitute a road hazard and ultimately leave the city government liable for any property damages or injuries that result from your collision.

Additionally, items like sewer grates and even trolley tracks in metropolitan cities represent a serious road hazard to the cyclist, and accidents resulting from either are nearly always the responsibility of the local government.

Helmet Laws

It is important that cyclists always don their helmets when riding on populated roadways, not just for safety's sake but also to remain in accordance with the law. Cyclists who are injured in collisions with motor vehicles may have difficulty in procuring the compensation they deserve if they weren't wearing a helmet and the law stipulates that they should have been wearing one.

Essentially, this amounts to negligence on the part of the cyclist, which may preclude the rider from receiving the compensation necessary to cover medical expenses or damaged property. Although this probably wouldn't be the case if the cyclist was hit from behind by a drunk driver, if he or she was in any way at fault in the collision, not wearing a helmet when the law mandates you should may affect the outcome.

Ultimately, riding a bicycle alongside motor vehicles is a hazardous undertaking in and of itself, but it is important that those who engage in such activities understand the laws regarding liability and collisions. For more information, contact Stapleton Law Offices or a similar firm.