With the arrival of spring, many parts of the country see a surge in bicyclists hitting the roadways. That also means a rise in bicycle collisions with cars and trucks. Bicyclists generally come out on the short end of those encounters.
Bicyclists Have the Same Rights - and Reponsibilities - on the Road as Motorists
Bicyclists have the same rights—and responsibilities—on the road as motorists. If motorists are negligent or reckless and cause injury to a bicyclist, a bicyclist can be compensated for medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. Bicyclists might forfeit or receive reduced compensation if they are at least partially responsible for the accident (contributory or comparative negligence).
To avoid potential bicycle-car collisions and reduce injuries:
- Wear brightly colored clothing, and make sure your bike has lights and reflectors to improve nighttime visibility.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Follow all the rules of the road. Stop at stop signs and traffic lights; never ride on the wrong side of the street; signal your intentions; yield the right of way; and never ride intoxicated.
- Be mindful that nearly two-thirds of bicyclist injuries and fatalities occur at intersections. “T” intersections are the most hazardous, followed by roundabouts.
- When bicycling past parked cars, be on the lookout for drivers opening their doors to exit their vehicles (“dooring”).
If you are involved in a bicycle-car collision and injuries appear to be nonexistent or minor, seek medical attention anyway, as adrenaline can mask injuries. Some injuries don’t become evident for days or even weeks, and seemingly minor injuries sometimes lead to serious disabilities.
A bicyclist injured by a negligent driver should contact a bicycle accident attorney to protect their rights.
Take Action Quickly
If you have been in a bicycle or car accident, it is important to contact a lawyer so that you can take action as soon as possible. The sooner that you take action, the more likely it is that evidence will be available to help you prove your claim and that the more likely it is that you will get a fair recovery sooner.
We encourage you to contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation with attorney Ben Crittenden. After that, you can make an informed decision about how to protect your legal rights. To learn more, please read our free report, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, or call attorney Ben Crittenden today to schedule a free case evaluation.