Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Establishing liability in a bicycle vs. car accident in Ohio can be complicated. You may think that it’s always the car’s fault due to its size, but some believe that cyclists create the hazard. Nonetheless, if you are an injured cyclist or otherwise involved in a car vs. bike accident, you are probably wondering, “Who is liable in a bicycle vs. car accident?”
We have handled bicycle accident claims for years and are ready to take on your case no matter which vehicle caused the crash.
Who Is Liable in a Bicycle vs. Car Accident?
Whether or not a cyclist or driver is responsible for a crash depends on the situation. Both could cause accidents in various ways.
When it comes to determining fault in a bicycle vs. car accident, one way to establish liability is to determine who broke the law. Violating a traffic law is typically strong evidence of negligence and liability for a crash.
Who Broke a Traffic Law?
In general, cyclists must follow all of the rules of the road. There may be some exceptions such as bicycle-specific rules:
- Cyclists should ride as far to the right side of the road as possible.
- Two bikes can ride next to each other in one lane.
- Bikes must have a white light in front and red light and red reflector in the back between sunset and sunrise or during poor weather.
Despite common belief, cyclists do not have to use bike lanes when they are available or move out of the way for faster vehicles. They can continue to ride in a lane in the manner that is safest to them, and vehicles must appropriately pass them.
Who Was Careless?
If it is not clear whether the cyclist or driver was at fault based on a traffic violation, then the next consideration is whether one of the parties was operating their vehicle carelessly or recklessly. There are many situations during which accidents happen without either breaking a law. However, one is almost always behaving in a way that fails to keep themselves and others as safe as possible. For example, was the driver on their cell phone, or was the cyclist weaving between cars?
When neither was ticketed for violating a traffic law, establishing fault can get complicated. At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we are well versed in bicycle accidents.
From accidents involving cars backing up on private property or on busy roads, we will listen to your story and thoroughly examine the evidence. Then, we’ll help determine who was at fault and what that means for your claim.
Contributory Negligence May be a Factor
In many bicycle vs. car accidents, both parties hold some responsibility. The issue usually comes down to how much responsibility each party has.
Whoever is less than half at-fault may be entitled to compensation from the party that is more than 50% at fault.
Keep in mind, if one party contributed to the accident, the insurer or court will reduce the available compensation by their percentage of fault.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Call Kisling, Nestico & Redick
If you were in an accident with a car or bicycle, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick.
Our offices are conveniently located throughout Ohio, including in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. As one of the largest personal injury firms in the state, we have the experience and history of success to make sure your rights are respected.
Whether you were on the bike or in the vehicle, we are here to listen, evaluate your situation, and advise you on the next steps. If you were injured hurt, we will help you pursue the compensation you are entitled to under the law.