Bicycling has increased in popularity due to the health benefits and the ease of transportation. However, this pastime has a downside as well – the risk of accidents. In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, 720 riders lost their lives in accidents across the nation, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
According to a National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Accidents, the most common cause for cyclist accidents is getting hit by a car.
The impact of a vehicle with a bicyclist usually results in serious and life-changing injuries and even death.
Injuries might easily lead to permanent disabilities. Cyclists can sometimes mitigate damage by obeying traffic laws and wearing helmets.
Both drivers and cyclists must adhere to the law and exercise due diligence when it comes to others on the road. Generally, a driver needs to yield the right of way to a pedestrian or cyclist.
When assessing damages after a vehicle-bicycle collision, the courts will usually determine responsibility for the accident. However, some jurisdictions have traditionally held the cyclist responsible, even if the driver was partially at fault.
For example, the District of Columbia had a contributory negligence law that kept many bicycle accident attorneys from accepting personal injury cases. If the rider held even a small portion of responsibility for the accident, they would not receive any compensation. A 2016 proposal seeks to overturn that long-standing law.
If a child was riding the bicycle, the courts generally hold the driver of the vehicle to a higher standard of responsibility. Contact our personal injury lawyer if you have questions about liability issues.
Whenever a driver does not obey the traffic laws, he or she might be found negligent. The courts will determine on a case-by-case basis if the vehicle operator failed to fulfill a duty owed to the rider. This involves eyewitness testimony, evidence from the scene, police reports and other factors.
If you know someone who has suffered bicycle accidents in Cleveland, then you will need to seek seasoned legal representation in order to protect your rights. Call our bicycle accident lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio, to find out your options.
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