Who is at Fault in a Car-Bike Accident?

by William Mattar | September 2nd, 2021

Bicycle in road that has been hit by a vehicleBicyclists involved in accidents with cars and other vehicles can be severely impacted and suffer serious injuries. If you are injured while bicycling, you may wonder who is at fault and whether you can pursue damages for your injuries.

Fault in a car-bike is important because you may be entitled to compensation depending on who is at fault. Drivers and bicyclists can share liability in the event of a car-bike accident. Keep reading below to learn more about how fault can be determined in a vehicle-bicycle accident.

When is a Driver Liable for a Bike Accident?

Drivers must follow the rules of the road, which includes exercising “due care” around bicyclists. This can entail yielding the right-of-way when appropriate and giving clearance when passing. Examples of reckless driving around bicyclists include driving too close to a bicyclist in a bike lane, not yielding the right-of-way to a bicyclist crossing the street, and making turns and maneuvers without looking for others (including other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists).

Driving while distracted or under the influence can also cause a bicycle accident. Distracted drivers, who may be texting, might fail to see a bicyclist crossing an intersection or riding along the shoulder. Alcohol and other substances can also impair judgment and cause a driver to make dangerous mistakes on the road.

In bike accident cases a driver who does not exercise due care, or drives recklessly, is most likely liable for damages. Likewise, a distracted or alcohol-impaired driver will likely be found liable for a bicycle accident if their actions contribute to the collision.

When is a Bicyclist Liable for a Bike Accident?

Like motorists, bicyclists have to follow the rules of the road. In New York, these laws, which are outlined in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws, specify that bicyclists should use designated bike lanes when possible. Otherwise, bicyclists can ride near the right-hand side of the road, whether near a curb or along a right-hand shoulder. Bicyclists must also follow traffic signals and signs.

Due to poor visibility, bicyclists can be at a higher risk of an accident with a vehicle at night.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), regardless of the season, most bicyclist deaths happen between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. For this reason, by law, bicyclists must equip their bikes with front and rear lights when riding at night.

If a bicyclist breaks traffic laws or does not take the proper precautions to remain visible while riding in the dark, they may be liable for a bike accident. Contact us today if you’ve been injured in a car-bike accident to learn about your options.

Can I Receive Compensation if I Was Hit by a Car While Bike Riding?

If you’ve suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation depending on the circumstances of your case. Bicyclists have certain legal rights. If you were not at fault for the bike accident, you may be able to make a claim against the driver that struck and injured you.

If you were somewhat at fault for the accident, you may still be able to receive compensation. New York is a “comparative fault” state, meaning that even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you could potentially still make a claim against the driver. This would apply in situations where the driver also contributed to the collision. In these cases, the amount of your recovery may be reduced in proportion with your level of fault.

If you’ve been hit by a car while riding your bike, contact William Mattar today. We can examine your case and fight to help you obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Call a Bike Accident Lawyer Today

Bicyclists that are hit and injured by reckless drivers deserve compensation. Contact William Mattar today to get in touch with one of our bicycle accident lawyers. We can help you receive the best possible outcome. You can schedule a free initial case consultation today – just complete our online form or call (844) 444-4444 to speak to a team member.