Although often overlooked in comparison to auto accidents, bicycle accidents
can result in serious and sometimes even fatal injuries. Lawsuits to recover
damages for injuries sustained in bicycle accidents involve many of the
same issues as any auto accident. The personal injury attorneys at Goldstein
& Hayes, P.C. are experienced in all types of personal injury lawsuits..
Contact them if you have suffered an injury in a bicycle or automobile accident.
Bicycle Accidents Similar to Automobile Accidents
Who is responsible for
causing a bicycle accident, or who is liable, is often determined by negligence, that is, whether
the car driver’s negligence caused the cyclist’s injuries,
and also whether there was negligence on the cyclist’s part that
caused or contributed to the injuries. Cyclists, like drivers, are required
to obey the rules of the road. These rules include traffic laws and a
duty to exercise ordinary care with regards to the safety of everyone
on the road.
When a bicyclist sues for damages related to an accident, the outcome generally
depends on two questions:
Negligence by a driver can take many forms, such as speeding, running a
stop sign, and drifting into a bike lane. These actions can be considered
reckless in some cases if they are done with a knowing disregard for the
safety of others. Likewise, cyclist negligence can take on many forms,
such as riding on a one-way street, running stop signs, and turning abruptly
into traffic. Cyclists engaging in negligent behavior can lower or sometimes
eliminate an award for damages.
Are Bikes Getting Safer?
743 people were killed by bicycle/motor vehicle accidents. This was the highest total
since 2006, when 772 were killed, and was a stark increase from the 682
killed the year before, representing about 2% of all persons killed in
traffic accidents. The estimated number of bicyclists injured in accidents
fell from 49,000 in 2012 to 48,000 in 2013. Injury figures for bicycles
are often spotty at best, as it is estimated that the police record only
10% of all bicycle injuries.
There are obvious risks associated with biking, just as with any other
mode of transportation. While bicycle fatalities represent only 2% of
all traffic fatalities, they account for only 1% of all trips in the United
States, thus accounting for a disproportionate amount of traffic deaths.
And yet, bicycling remains a safe and healthy activity for tens of millions
of people every year. Despite this over-representation in crash data,
there is no reliable way to know how many miles bicyclists travel each
year or how long it takes them to cover these distances. Because of this,
we currently do not know the amount of risk that bicyclists face when
out on the road, but the health benefits of riding may mitigate some of the risk.