As a cyclist, you know that the streets can be dangerous. Drivers don’t always look for you while you’re riding, hazards end up in the bike lane, and potholes put you at risk of unexpected falls. But all these risks can’t keep you from enjoying your time on two wheels, nor should they. However, you still need to understand how fault is determined so you can be prepared should you get hit by a car.
This is what your Chicago personal injury lawyer wants you to know about fault in cyclist-car accidents.
The Driver Is Typically at Fault
If you’ve assumed that the driver will likely be at fault for the accident, you’re right. In most cases, these accidents are caused by the driver’s negligence, not the cyclist’s. Cars are much larger than bikes and tend to stray into a cyclist’s space more often.
This invasion of space is often the result of drivers forgetting or not knowing that bicycles should be treated as vehicles. They have the same rights as cars and are entitled to full use of the road, just like cars and motorcycles.
The Type of Accident Can Determine Fault
Though drivers are more often at fault, the type of accident can also influence who is responsible for the accident and your injuries. For example, if a cyclist hits a parked car, they’ll be at fault for the collision. If a cyclist is hit as a result of running a red light or the cyclist was riding on the wrong side of the road, they may be at fault for the accident.
However, if you’re injured in a dooring accident or get hit by a car that’s turning as you’re riding in the bike lane, the fault is clearly on the driver’s shoulders.
Cyclists Are Still Expected to Follow the Law
Ultimately, if there’s a chance that you may have caused the accident as a result of your own negligence while riding your bike, it’s likely that you won’t receive a fair settlement for your injuries. That’s why it’s important that you follow the law and the rules of the road every time you ride.
These are a few rules you’re expected to follow when biking in Chicago:
- Ride as close to the right-hand curb as you can to stay far away from traffic and to allow other cyclists to pass you without difficulty.
- Always move in the direction of traffic. Never ride against the flow.
- Ride side-by-side with no more than one other bicycle and cyclist and only in instances where doing so won’t interfere with the flow of traffic.
- Use hand signals when stopping and turning.
- Yield to pedestrians at intersections.
- Yield to pedestrians when riding on sidewalks and travel at slower speeds to reduce the risk of accidents.
Chicago can be a great place to ride your bike, and as long as you follow the rules, you’ll be able to stay safe and avoid questions of fault if you’re in an accident.
Get the Legal Help You Need
If you’ve been hit by a car while riding your bike, getting a fair settlement from the driver’s insurance company can be difficult, even if it’s clear that the driver was at fault. The insurance company may even try to claim that you, as a cyclist, were responsible for the accident.
The best thing you can do is consult with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. At Anesi Ozmon, LTD., we firmly believe that cyclists have every right to use the road and enjoy the fresh air. Our team will do everything we can to help you get the settlement and compensation you deserve so you can better focus on your recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.