In the aftermath of a bicycle-vehicle collision, determining who is liable, or at fault, may prove challenging. Often cyclists assume larger vehicles are always at fault, while drivers claim the cyclists created the hazards. If you have been hurt, it is critical to determine who is liable and if you have a right to compensation. Our Columbus bicycle accident attorney explains the process below.
Traffic Violations Can Determine Liability
Drivers are legally bound to obey road rules, such as abiding by speed limits, not using handheld devices while driving, and maintaining blood alcohol content (BAC) under 0.08%. Any time a motorist breaks a law and causes a bicycle collision as a result, they are generally considered liable.
Cyclists must also follow the same rules of the road as drivers. However, there are some exceptions under Ohio law:
Cyclists should remain as far to the right side of the road whenever possible
Two bicyclists can ride side-by-side in the same lane if it is safe to do so
Cyclists must have a white light in front of their bike and a red reflector and red light in the back if they are riding during inclement weather or between sunrise and sunset
Like motorists, if cyclists violate any traffic law, they can also be held liable for a crash.
Carelessness Can Determine Liability
Sometimes, motorists and cyclists do not violate any traffic laws but are still careless. For example, a motorist may back out of a driveway and fail to look behind them as they do, crashing into a cyclist. Although not necessarily a violation of traffic law, this inaction is considered careless and so the motorist could be held liable. Or, if a cyclist tries to cross a road without first making sure the way is safe, they could also be held liable.
When Both Parties Are at Fault
It is not uncommon for both a motorist and cyclist to be liable for an accident. For example, a cyclist may weave in and out of lanes while a motorist is speeding. In this case, the motorist does not have time to stop before crashing into the bike. In these instances, only the party who was less than 50 percent at fault for the accident can file a claim against the negligent party for compensation.
Our Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Columbus Can Determine Liability
Determining liability after a bicycle collision can be complicated. At Oliver Law Office, our Columbus bicycle accident lawyer can pinpoint who was at fault for your crash and hold them accountable for paying the full settlement you are entitled to. Call or text us now at 614-220-9100 or chat with us online to schedule a case evaluation.
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