Whenever bicycles and cars are in close proximity to one other, accidents are bound to happen. When most people think of these kinds of accidents, they tend to imagine a situation in which a motorist failed to see a bicycle or otherwise was at fault for an accident resulting in serious injury to the bicyclist. While this scenario does occur on a regular basis, the reverse scenario can also occur. When people driving or riding motor vehicles are involved in accidents caused by the negligence of a bicyclist, they can often sustain significant injuries and property damage. When this occurs, motorists should be certain to speak to an experienced attorney to ensure that their legal rights are protected.
Bicyclists Are Required to Follow Traffic Laws
Most of us who regularly drive have seen bicyclists roll through stop signs, weave through traffic, or even ride on the right side of the road. While this kind of conduct may regularly occur among many bicyclists, it does not make it legal. If a bicyclist violates a traffic law and his or her violation causes an accident, victims may be able to recover for their injuries. The kinds of violations that could potentially cause serious injuries include the following:
- Failure to yield the right of way;
- Improper lane usage;
- Failure to stop at a stop sign; and
- Failure to observe traffic signals.
After an accident, it is important for victims to describe any observed traffic violations to any law enforcement personnel that responds to the scene. In addition, it is a good idea to obtain contact information from anyone who may have seen the accident occur.
Negligence Can Occur without a Traffic Violation
It is a general legal rule that individuals who are using the roadways are required to act in a way that does not pose an unreasonable risk of injury to others. Negligence occurs when a person fails to conduct himself or herself with the degree of care that would ordinarily be exercised by a person in the same or similar circumstances. When a bicyclist acts negligently and causes an accident, victims can generally recover for their losses by filing a personal injury claim. While traffic violations are often considered negligence as a matter of law, negligence can also occur in the absence of a violation. The issue of whether or not negligence occurred usually turns on the question of whether a “reasonable” bicyclist would have acted similarly. Some examples of bicyclist negligence that may not involve a traffic violation include the following:
- Distracted riding;
- Riding in unsafe weather conditions;
- Failure to properly maintain a bicycle; and
- Riding with headphones in.
Contact a Greenville Auto Accident Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
Car accidents that are caused by the negligence of a bicyclist can leave motorists with significant injuries and other losses. In the event that you have been hurt in an accident that you believe was caused by a bicyclist or other non-motorist on the road, you should contact a Greenville, South Carolina car accident attorney immediately. To schedule a free consultation with attorney Dan Pruitt Injury Law, contact our office today.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.