What Are Your Legal Options if You Hit a Bike Rider With Your Car
Hitting a bicyclist with your car can be terrifying for a driver — and deadly for the rider. It is essential that you react quickly if an accident does occur, and keep everyone’s safety in mind.
If you have hit someone who is riding a bicycle, you need to first stop and attend to the possibly injured rider. Make sure that 911 is called and that medical help is given in anyway possible. Make sure everyone is out of the road, as well. Enlist help from passersby to make sure everyone is ok. Of course, if you are injured, make sure to seek out medical attention.
Leaving the scene before emergency medical services or other first responders arrive is not an option and police will be required to fill out the official report.
Always provide as much information as possible to the police and make sure to get the investigating officer’s name and any reference number associated with your case. You will need this to follow up and to talk with the insurance company later on.
Brain injury accidents are not only frightening but can be costly. Obviously your first a foremost responsibility is to make sure you do everything you can to help the injured victim. Then whether you think the person will press legal charges against you or not, you will need a good car accident lawyer to help you.
While it may seem obvious that the driver of the car should be at fault, such cases are not always that cut and dry. According to Veloinsurance, a bicyclist who veers into traffic, does not follow the rules of the road, is distracted by a cellphone, fails to yield the right of way, or does not have proper lighting or other required safety equipment (such as a helmet), could be found at fault for an accident.
Take pictures of the accident for your own benefit. Others may take photos as well, but it is important for you to have your own copy for your own version of events.
Drivers must always take reasonable care, especially when driving near a bike lane, or when children are obviously present. If you are driving next to a park, for example, it would be reasonable to expect children to be riding bikes, scooters, or skateboards in the area. Children are not always aware of their surroundings or simply fall down and can end up in the street or parking area. As an adult who is driving a car, there is more of an expectation that you will be aware of what is going on around you. While not all accidents involving children would be the drivers fault, it is reasonable to assume that a driver should be paying extra attention around areas where children are playing.
According to Findlaw.com “State laws vary widely on whether and when children may be held responsible for contributing to the cause of accidents. Under the “tender years” doctrine, most jurisdictions hold that very young children (up to age 4 in many places) are incapable of contributory negligence because they are incapable of exercising care for their own safety or that of others. This applies to child bicycle accident cases, meaning that a driver found negligent may not argue that contributory negligence by such a young child caused the accident.”
If you have been involved in a car accident where you are driving a car and the other party is a person on a bicycle, it is essential that you contact a bike accident lawyer.
Bicyclists are hit most often by cars in several ways, however, this does not mean it is always the car driver’s fault. For example, the “Right Cross” happens when a car “pulls out of a side street, alley, driveway, or parking lot exit to a cyclist’s right, ” according to attorney and avid cyclist Ben Sansone. “The cyclist has already passed the front of the motor vehicle, which then strikes the cyclist. Or the car pulls out far enough at the last second to block the biker’s right of way, making it impossible for the cyclist to avoid a collision with the side of the car.”
Other dangerous collisions can occur when a bike and a car are next to each other. If the driver fails to notice the bike and turns in front of him, he can cause the bike to hit the car, or run into the bike during the turn. Bicyclists are also in danger when riding next to parked cars that could have a person still in them. When the person opens the door into traffic, usually without looking first, a bike can plow into the car and the cyclist get injured quickly.
While bicycles are subject to the same rules of the road, it is important to remember that we must share the road with cyclists, and they can become injured much more quickly than someone in a car. Being aware of cyclists when they are on the road and giving them room to ride when you can and it is safe is essential.
Consulting an attorney is equally as essential if you are involved in an accident with a bicyclist. Even if the bicyclist is injured, if they were negligent in their operation of their bike, you shouldn’t be required to pay for their injuries, no matter how badly you feel. It is always sad when someone gets hurt, but it is also important to remember that taking the blame for an accident that might not be your fault can affect your own future financially.
It is important that your own attorney helps you complete the investigation and negotiate with insurance companies so that your best interests are also kept in mind.