Can I Sue if a Bicycle Hits My Car?
By Chris Dixon
More than 5,000 bicylists are involved in car accidents every year. When a bicyclist hits a car, the process of dealing with the accident is nearly the same as a car accident. Evidence must be collected, information has to be exchanged, and you must get in contact with your personal injury lawyer immediately as you may be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries.
Who is At-Fault if a Bicycle Hits My Car?
One of the most complicated elements of a car crash can be determining who is at-fault in the accident. If a bicycle hits a car and it is the fault of the bicyclist, you can sue for damages but it must be proved that the bicyclist was at-fault. Take photos of the scene of the crash, any damage that was done to your vehicle and talk to any witnesses that were around at the time the accident happened. Bicyclists must follow their State’s bike laws while riding on the road.
If there is a bike lane this must be used, but if there isn’t a designated bike lane, bicyclists are required to ride as far right as possible near parked cars. If a bicyclist is riding in the middle of the street or another part of the road, and isn’t doing so to avoid debris or other obstructions in their path, the bike rider may be found at-fault for the accident. If a bicycle hits a car and is following all road rules, it may be determined that the motor vehicle driver is at-fault in the accident. If a bicyclist is rounding a corner at the same moment that a car is turning right as well and an accident occurs, by default the driver of the motor vehicle is at-fault. It is a basic road safety rule that motor vehicle drivers should only turn once they know that the path is completely clear to do so. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident with a bicycle and are wondering if you’re legally eligible to sue the bicyclist that hit your car, a bike accident lawyer can sit down with you and analyze your case. Accidents happen for a variety of reasons that are often unclear, but your lawyer has the experience and legal knowledge needed to give an informed opinion on your case and offer legal guidance.
Damages That Can Be Claimed if a Bicycle Hits Your Car
Not everyone will receive damages for their case, but depending on the circumstances of your case you may be eligible to recover damages. If a bicycle hits your car and the bicyclist is found to be liable for the accident, they must pay out-of-pocket for your damages. Most of the time, car insurance coverage doesn’t apply to bicycle accident damages. If a motor vehicle driver is ruled at-fault for an accident where a bicycle hits their car, the driver of the vehicle could be sued by the bicyclist and their insurance company will have to pay for the bicyclist’s damages, or if they don’t have car insurance, they’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for damages. Some of the most common damages that are claimed from suing a bicyclist that has hit your car include:
- Bodily damage – if there is any damage done to your vehicle from the accident, such as scratches, knicks, dents and more, the amount to fix these issues can be included in the damages that you are seeking from the other party
- Personal injury – if you suffered any injuries from the accident, such as whiplash, bleeding or other injuries, be sure to seek medical attention for these injuries after the accident. A medical report will be filed detailing your injuries and how they occurred which can be used by your lawyer when recovering damages
- Emotional distress – accidents happen suddenly and can leave lasting mental affects. If you require therapy after the accident, you may be eligible to recover any monetary costs that are associated with your emotional distress including appointment fees, medication and more
- Loss of wages – injuries can prevent car accident victims from working in some cases. If you had to miss work at all due to your injuries from the accident, you could be eligible to recover lost wages that occurred because of the crash
- Rental vehicle – if your vehicle is damaged in the accident and is being repaired in the shop, you can recover any money that you paid out-of-pocket for a car rental because of the accident
It can be difficult to know what damages you should seek from an accident and how much you should claim for damages that don’t have a set cost such as pain and suffering. If you are unsure of what damages you should claim from your car accident with a bicyclist, don’t worry. Your personal injury lawyer has likely handled dozens of accident cases and can guide you in the right direction. Your lawyer will help you write a detailed demand letter that includes the damages you’re seeking from the other party in the accident, what grounds you have to claim those damages and how much you’re seeking for each of the damages. The demand letter will be included when you file your car accident claim with your attorney against the bicyclist that caused the accident.
Speak with a Bike Accident Lawyer About Your Case
It can be easy to assume that the driver of a motor vehicle is at-fault in an accident with a bicycle, but if the bicyclist caused the accident, your lawyer can help you prove this and recover damages for any suffering that occurred on your part. Your bike accident lawyer will fight for your car accident claim and make sure that you get justice for your pain and suffering that occurred because of the accident. Your lawyer will negotiate for the highest settlement and if the other party refuses to pay out-of-pocket for your damages, your lawyer will help you file a powerful lawsuit against the bicyclist and fight for your case in court until you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident because a bicycle hit your car, contact our personal injury lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm immediately and schedule a free consultation.