When cyclists are run down by drivers violating traffic safety laws or otherwise failing to take reasonable care to avoid causing a bicycle-automobile collision, the result can be devastating injuries for the rider. Although riding a bike provides a healthy and green mode of transportation, riders have virtually no protection from injury when struck by a motor vehicle made of steel and moving at comparatively high speeds. If you were struck by a vehicle while riding your bike, an experienced bicycle accident lawyer can evaluate the circumstances and facts to assess the viability and value of your claim for monetary compensation.
Although bike-car collisions tend to be relatively rare, bicycle accident injury victims often endure devastating injuries, partial or total disability, staggering medical bills, and more. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the most frequent causes of bike rider injuries include:
- Struck by a vehicle (30 percent)
- Falls (17 percent)
- Roadway defects (e.g., potholes, unsafe road shoulder) (13 percent)
- Bicyclist error (13 percent)
- Bike collision with fixed object (7 percent)
- Dog lunging at/chasing rider (4 percent)
This blog explores who might be financially responsible for injuries incurred by a rider in a bicycle accident.
Negligent Driver: Bicycle riders often go unnoticed by motorists because bikes tend to be small and can squeeze in spaces that an automobile cannot fit. Whether a driver is intoxicated, speeding, drowsy, distracted, or otherwise fails to exercise reasonable care to avoid colliding with a cyclist, the negligent driver constitutes the most common defendant in bicycle accident cases.
Vehicle Manufacturer/Seller: When a vehicle malfunctions due to a defect in its design, manufacturing, or warnings/instructions, companies involved in the manufacture-sales chain of the vehicle and/or the faulty parts and/or systems might be liable for injuries suffered in a bike-auto crash caused by a defect vehicle.
Public Entity: Sometimes a government entity can be financially responsible for the injury or death of a bicyclist. An employee for the city might be engaged in a work-related task for the municipality when he or she hits you. Subject to the circumstances and laws of the jurisdiction, the public entity be liable for its employee’s negligence. Bicycle accident claims are subject to strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit under the jurisdiction’s statute of limitations, but claims against public entities require notice to the government subject to even shorter time limits.
Bike Manufacturer/Seller: If you lose control of your bike because of a defective chain, a faulty brake system component, or improper wheel placement that interferes with your steering, entities in the manufacturer-seller chain might be financially responsible subject to state law and the surrounding facts.
Dog Owner: Although non-cyclist might not understand how dangerous unleashed dogs can be to someone on a bike. Subject to the law of the jurisdiction, a bicyclist who tips over because the rider is being chased or attacked by a dog might have a legal claim for compensation against the dog owner or handler depending on the facts.
Driver’s Employer: Depending on the jurisdiction, the negligent driver’s employer could be liable. Liability might depend on several factors that include the specific facts, the relationship of the driver’s excursion to his or her job, the type of legal relationship between the employer and employee (e.g., employment vs. independent contractor), and more.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of an individual or entity, a seasoned and knowledgeable cycling accident lawyer can analyze the facts under the jurisdiction’s law to assess the claim and provide valuable information about how to avoid decreasing its value.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Were you or a loved one harmed by a reckless driver? Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused during a bicycle accident. For your free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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