Accidents involving bicycles are frequent, particularly on roads with poor conditions. Even a small patch of an unmaintained road might result in catastrophic injuries. Unless they are exempt, the government might be held responsible if this happens.
Bicycle Injuries Caused by Road Hazards
In the following circumstances, the government may be responsible for your injuries if a pothole causes them.
If wear and tear led to the pothole, the government would be responsible if they were careless. The extent of the government agency’s negligence is determined by how much warning it receives of the pothole and whether it takes anything to fix it. In general, it is based on how long the pothole has existed.
If poor road maintenance results in the pothole, the government agency is responsible if they fail to warn the public about it. If the government agency places barriers around the pothole or warning signs, they might be released from liability.
The government is not responsible for any damage caused by railroad lines or trolley tracks that are in use. However, you might be able to file a lawsuit for your injuries if the rails are abandoned and still present a danger. You’ll probably need to demonstrate that the situation is dangerous and that the government hasn’t taken any action to reduce or warn about the risk.
Roadside sewer grates can seriously hurt riders, especially if they are young children. If the grate bars of the gates are parallel to the tires of the bikers, they could become stuck in the gates. Since it is the government’s responsibility to make the road safe for bikes, it has become usual for government entities to remove grating bars.
If I Don’t Wear a Helmet, What Happens?
The majority of states have fines and penalties for not wearing a helmet. Many states may forgive the ticket and related fees if a parent can prove they have bought a helmet for their child after they have been issued a citation for their child’s refusal to wear a helmet.
Wearing a helmet is simply one factor to consider when determining whether someone is to blame for a bicycle accident. Helmets stop skull fractures, but recent research has questioned whether they may stop concussions as well. If a child was not wearing a helmet when hit and suffered a skull fracture or another preventable head injury, a parent might be held partially liable for the damage.
What Exactly Do Automobile-Bicycle Collisions Entail?
In crashes involving autos and bicycles, the bicyclist is substantially more likely to sustain injuries or pass away than the vehicle driver. Statistics show that 843 cyclists died in vehicle incidents in only 2019 alone.
The accident statistics from that year are rather jarring.
70% of bike fatalities were in cities, where there is a higher volume of vehicle traffic to deal with; 35% happened at intersections, and 65% happened on major highways that weren’t interstates or freeways.
90% of bike fatalities were 20 years of age or older, 62% of victims were not wearing helmets, 21% of victims aged 16 or older had blood alcohol levels at or above 0.08%, and 78% of cyclist fatalities happened in cities.
High blood alcohol levels are typically present in both the automobile driver and the bikers. The amount of alcohol that was found in a person’s bloodstream at the time of testing is known as “blood alcohol content,” or “BAC.”
Bicycles and cars are both considered vehicles in the law’s eyes. This implies that everyone operating a vehicle or riding a bicycle is accountable for abiding by the law. The acts of the drivers of both vehicles will be examined in the case of a lawsuit involving a bicycle-car incident. Both the car’s driver and the cyclist will undergo questioning to determine whether either had any role in the collision. Contact a lawyer for more information.
Who Is Legally Liable for Collisions Between Cars and Bicycles?
Again, both cars and bicycles are considered to be vehicles for legal purposes. After a collision involving two automobiles, each party will be questioned to determine guilt or negligence. As a result, each party’s carelessness or responsibility will be a factor in a lawsuit involving a bike and car accident because it is still believed to have included two vehicles.
The responsibility for exercising ordinary caution on the road rests with the car driver and the cyclist.
Both parties must follow the rules of the road and traffic laws. As a result, while discussing laws pertaining to bicycle-car collisions, right-of-way regulations are among the most commonly addressed.
The order of cars at an intersection is referred to as right-of-way. When there are no traffic signals in place, the person who arrives at an intersection first usually has the right of way. It is recommended to obey traffic signals wherever they are present. Another typical right-of-way issue is when a car driver makes a right turn and hits a bike. This would be considered careless driving and would violate the right-of-way rule.
Since they are required to follow “side-of-the-road” laws, bicycles must move as far to the right as they can in their lane if they are not keeping up with the flow of traffic. They must also utilize bike lanes when they are present. Breaking one of these rules could lead to cycling negligence. Bicyclists should wear light or reflective clothing to improve visibility and so reduce their liability, especially at night. Bicyclists should also use a range of lights and reflectors when riding.
As an alternative, motorists are obligated by law to maintain a safe distance while driving between themselves and bikes. For these uses, a three-foot buffer zone is usually considered safe. Because of this, drivers who pass bicyclists too closely risk being found negligent and liable for any resulting collisions.
Additionally, unless it is safe to do so, drivers must maintain a reasonable distance between their cars and bicycles when passing them. Cars touching bicycles as they pass them is one of the most frequent types of car-bicycle crashes.
Drivers may also be charged with negligence if they violate any further traffic laws, such as those that prohibit speeding or drunk driving. It is important to remember that bikers may be liable for negligence if they violate traffic laws. For instance, if they fail to heed traffic signals or stop signs and cause an accident, their negligence will be considered.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Bike Helmet Manufacturer?
There are several ways a bike helmet might be defective. The product’s labeling, manufacture, materials, design, or use of labor could all be problematic. Inadequate liners, cracked shells, and broken chin straps are other signs of a substandard helmet.
You might be able to sue the manufacturer if you can show that they were responsible for the bike helmet’s issue.
Should I Speak with an Attorney?
Consider speaking with a bicycle accident attorney if you were hurt while bicycling because of dangerous road conditions. If the government might be responsible for your injuries, your attorney can review the facts of your case and make that determination.
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