If you were in a bicycle accident, you might be thinking about contacting a personal injury attorney about suing for your injuries. When you do contact your attorney, he or she will want to determine the cause of your bike accident. They will want to do this due to the fact that there are some accidents that will put you at fault for the accident, and you won't have a case. There are a few top causes of bike accidents, some which will hold you at fault, and others which will not.
You've heard of distracted driving, but do you know about distracted cycling? There are many instances where cyclists become distracted from this primary duty as a driver and wind up not paying attention to the road. Technology has made this even more of a cause for alarm. Many cyclists are distracted by their smart phone, portable music player or other forms of mobile technology and are not paying enough attention to what is right in front of their noses: the road. When you are cycling, your primary duty should be just that: cycling. If your accident was due to distracted cycling, you most likely do not have a case.
While it is basically impossible for cyclists to reach the speeds that automobiles do, there is nonetheless cause for alarm when cyclists begin pedaling far too fast. Many serious injuries and even death are causally linked to the cyclist's speed at their time of collision. It is highly recommended that all cyclists should not go any faster than they need to, especially on roads of a commercial nature. Although, generally speaking, there is no set speed limit for cyclists, you should pay attention to a larger number of factors when it comes to the speed at which you are carrying yourself. Factors such as the number of people on the road, the weather conditions and the terrain on which you traveling. If your lawyer determines that you were traveling at a dangerous speed, you might not have a case.
Driving Too Close To Motor Traffic
In many states, motorists are required to give cyclists three feet of space between their vehicle and a bicycle. In some states, only motorcycles are required to give bicyclists that much room. In a perfect world, most motorists would obey these rules. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. As such, many motorists do not obey this command and bicyclists have to pay for their indignation or ignorance. Bicyclists should never assume that motorists will give them this much room. It has been proven time and time again that motorists will generally not give cyclists the space they legally require. Those cyclists who do not remain the proper distance from traffic, and as a result are injured, often times find they do not have a case.
Intersections and Lane Merging
This is a serious issue and one that is as serious for bikes as it is for automobiles. This particularly applies to states where bicycles are legally considered a vehicle, which means that bicycles are subject to all of the same rules and regulations to which automobiles are subject, as well. A cyclist, in these states, must obey all traffic signs, especially when these signs have to do with changing a lane or merging. For example, a cyclist would not be able to turn left on a red light in these states. As such, it is important for a cyclist to pay attention to signage and be careful when merging with oncoming traffic. If you were injured at an intersection or while merging, your personal injury attorney will want to look at different factors to determine whether or not you were at fault.
Be careful when riding upon sidewalks. In most communities, driving your bicycle on a sidewalk is, in fact, illegal, except in instances where the bicycle is going to be parked or when you are rolling into a destination (that is, to say, still piloting your bike, but no longer pedaling). Be careful on sidewalks, as they are not as wide as roads, as sidewalks are mainly the destination and walkway for pedestrians. Most likely, if you were injured riding on the sidewalk, you will not have a case.