More people report that the idea of colliding with an automobile is the greatest impediment to mounting their bicycles. Though this fear is widespread, the truth is that such collisions are relatively rare. In fact, most accidents involve “child riders”, not adult cyclists.
However, in the event that a collision does occur when you are riding your bicycle, you must be prepared with the answers to these two important questions:
- Did the negligence of the driver cause the collision?
- Did negligence of the cyclist contribute to or cause the collision?
At this point, you need to talk to the best bicycle accident lawyer Philadelphia residents rely on to begin sorting out answers that will hold up in a court of law.
The Question of Negligence
When “accidents” happen, in most cases there is someone who can be declared at fault. Because negligence encompasses recklessness, or a knowing disregard for law breaking, in the eyes of the law a bike and auto wreck is a collision, not an accident.
Negligence of the driver could include speeding, running a stop sign, drifting into the bike lane, not checking blind spots, or not adequately following traffic signals.
In a lawsuit claiming negligence of the driver, the cyclist must prove that the driver acted in a way that violated their duty to the cyclist, such as the disregard of their basic duty of care to all people on roadways.
Collision lawsuits tend to come down to the specific facts that makeup that particular case, and the plaintiff’s (cyclist’s) ability to demonstrate negligence, usually through eyewitness testimony. Any behavior that lead to traffic violation is considered “negligence per se”. Then the burden shifts to the defendant to prove innocence of the alleged violations, including the injury to the cyclist.
Cyclist negligence, however, may also be at work in the case and could determine the outcome of the lawsuit. Examples might include running a stop sign, merging abruptly into traffic, and riding the wrong way on one-way streets.
If you are a cyclist found to be negligent, you may not be able to recoup benefits for the injuries you suffered in the collision. That type of negligence is called contributory or comparative negligence, which means that the cyclist’s negligence contributed at least partially to the event.
First, talk to a bicycle accident lawyer Philadelphia residents trust before proceeding with a lawsuit. You’ll save time and money if you learn early that your contributory negligence would make you lose any claims to monetary benefits.
TMH Law is an experienced firm that has fought and won cases for cyclists involved in collisions. It’s advisable to find, specifically a bicycle and traffic lawyer who knows the provisions governing this area of law in the local Philadelphia region. Our boutique firm offers one free consultation for cyclists considering a lawsuit. To learn more or contact us on our website, or call TMH Law at 215-543-6771 today.