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Can a Bicyclist Be Liable for a Traffic Accident?

People have been relying on bicycles for transportation for a long time, but in recent years bicycles have been used more (and more) as a green alternative to driving vehicles and as an excellent form of exercise.

While we can see people riding bicycles at the beach, in the mountains, and in the suburbs, they’re especially common in the cities, where people will ride them for their health, to save fuel, and to protect the environment.

Traditionally, the bicycle-car relationship has been complicated. Drivers can get frustrated by bicycles that are by their nature, slower than vehicles, and bicyclists can feel like they’re constantly having to ride defensively around antagonistic and impatient motorists, or motorists who simply fail to see them. Clearly, bicycle accidents happen, but is it always the driver who is legally liable, or can bicyclists be liable for the traffic accidents they cause?

Following the Rules of the Road

By law, bicyclists are sharing the road with motorists and therefore, they are legally required to follow the exact same traffic laws. This means using turn signals, stopping at red lights, yielding to pedestrians, and following all the same rules as drivers who are operating motor vehicles. But, just like motorists, not all bicyclists follow the rules, and they too can be negligent and cause traffic accidents.

Contrary to popular belief, not all drivers are held legally responsible for every collision they are in with a bicyclist. Case in point: Imagine a bicyclist sped through a red light and was hit by a car that had the right of way. Or, imagine a bicyclist failed to stop at a stop sign and they were struck by a vehicle as it legally crossed the intersection. In both examples, the bicyclist would be to blame for the crash, so why should the driver take the blame for accidents they did not cause? In some cases though, the driver can also be partially to blame; for example, when the driver was speeding, driving under the influence, texting while driving, or breaking another traffic law.

If you were in a car accident involving a bicycle and have questions about legal liability or comparative negligence, we urge you to reach out to our legal team to get your questions answered and concerns addressed.

Next: No-Doubt Liability Car Accidents

If you have questions about liability in a car on bicycle accident, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to meet with a Plano car accident lawyer.

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