When it comes to traffic laws, the majority of the states treat bicycles as motor vehicles. Cyclists should stick to all the traffic laws that every motorist follows. Not unless the law is impractical due to the bicycle’s nature.
Generally, bicycle-related accidents are considered the most common traffic incidents in different states. Cyclists are often less visible on the highways making them prone to accidents. They also sustain a lot of injuries when accidents happen since they are more vulnerable with just a few protective gear.
Thus, bicycle safety necessitates that cyclists must clearly understand all traffic laws. Most states have particular bicycle-related traffic laws that riders need to know and follow.
Often, colliding with an automobile is cyclers’ greatest fear. In fact, the fear of colliding with an automobile is one greatest hindrance to having more people on bikes. Most people want to ride but aren’t secure when the bicycle infrastructure feels inadequate.
But, you shouldn’t fear anything when you can read and understand the laws regarding bicycle accidents. Following those simple rules ensures you’re safe on the road. You also contribute to other road users’ safety and reduce the possibility of accidents.
So, what should everyone know about these rules regarding bicycle accidents? Let’s find out.
1. Consult Your Bicycle Accident Lawyer Before You Admit Any Fault
If you end up in a bicycle accident, never admit fault. The rule applies, especially if you are unsure who had the right of way.
Please, consult a lawyer for bicycle accidents before you make any statement or answer questions regarding the accident. It helps to know that any bicycle accident has a party that was indeed in the wrong. Trying to figure out and prove everything can present challenges.
But, the well-versed bicycle accident lawyers in Costa Mesa reveal how law firms, like the bicycle accident in California, take such accidents seriously. The experienced legal experts are always diligent about investigating all details of your cases.
The investigations also help them prove to insurance companies that you deserve everything claimed for. Let’s say the lawyer for bicycle accidents in California is defending you, and you’re found not to be at fault. In this case, the lawyer will do everything possible to gather all the evidence needed to prove the case.
2. Understand The Right of Way Rule
Bicyclists should observe the same conditions as motor vehicles in yielding the right of way. When cycling, you must yield the right of way to those walking. You must also obey the traffic lights by pausing at the stop signs.
Simply because a cyclist yields the right of way does not guarantee that a motorist will have the right of way. The driver may not see a bicycle coming about because of a distraction. It may also be that the bicycle is in the motor driver’s blind spot. It helps to know how to find your blind spot.
Thus, as a cyclist, never should you assume that a motorist will act right and yield the right of way. Instead, you should take the proper steps to avoid right-of-way accidents. Besides, you must also yield to pedestrians.
Let’s find out rules that can help cyclists avoid right-of-way accidents.
- Stay attentive and indicate your intentions. You must pay close attention to traffic as you approach intersections. Always check the turn signals indicating that a vehicle may cut right ahead of your bicycle.
- Ensure you use hand signals to indicate your intentions. Being visible to drivers is significant. Drivers will most likely see you when you use hand signals. Also, putting on brightly-colored clothes and bicycle helmets is a crucial rule. It helps lower the risk of a bicycle accident.
3. Get to Know The Rules of Fair Compensation for Damages
Bicyclists have the same rights to road use as motorists. They are also obliged to operate their bicycles in a way that does not place other road users at risk of accidents.
Most accident victims may not know what fair compensation is in their case. Thus, it helps to work with experienced bicycle accident lawyers. The professional will help you get over your claims and attain the desired results as quickly as possible.
A bicycle accident lawyer investigates the facts of the accident to establish who had the right of way. They also want to find out who is responsible for the cause of the accident.
If the motor vehicle driver is at fault for the crash, you can easily get compensated for your injuries and damages. If you and the motor driver share responsibility, you could get partial compensation for your damages.
Depending on your state, the laws concerning contributory or comparative negligence are enacted. So, based on your state’s laws, you could receive compensation for some of your damages. This is done based on the percentage of your fault for the cause of the crash.
Can a Cyclist Be Held Liable for Accident-Related Damages?
As a cyclist, you can be held financially responsible for the damages resulting from an accident if you are at fault. For example, if you fail to yield the right of way at a junction and cause a crash, you may have to pay for the damages. Because cyclists are not often necessitated to have liability insurance, you could receive personal judgment.
But, most bicycle accidents are often caused by motorists. And unfortunately, bicyclists mainly sustain severe injuries in a car versus bicycle accidents. This is mainly because the rider doesn’t have protective gear such as airbags and seat belts to safeguard them from injuries.
If you love cycling, you must be responsible for understanding and following all traffic laws in your state and city. It helps to review the specific laws for cyclists.
The basic rule to remember is that; whenever you are cycling on the road, you must use the designated lanes. Do not forget to use hand signals whenever you should.
Lastly, stay alert always; not every road user might be sober or alert. So, you could save yourself from accident encounters by always being on the lookout.