Who is usually at fault in a bicycle accident?
By GNGF on January 20th, 2023 in
In the state of Texas, bicyclists have the rights and duties of other vehicles. This means that while bicyclists must obey all traffic and safety rules, vehicles are required to yield the right-of-way to a bicycle “when appropriate.” Vehicles must leave a “safety zone” of at least three feet between their vehicle and a bicyclist, and a cyclist has the right to ride in a vehicle lane when necessary for safety. Bicyclists may ride two abreast as long as traffic is not impeded by them doing so.
Bicycle laws in the state of New Mexico are very similar, with bicyclists granted all the same rights and duties as drivers. New Mexico requires bicyclists to ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable. Bicyclists are also not allowed to operate their bicycles in any manner that “would create a public safety hazard,” and may not ride more than two abreast—and only when doing so is not considered a safety hazard.
Bicycles generally have the same rights and responsibilities as cars and trucks on the roadway. However, there are many laws that apply specifically to bicycles on the road, including the right to take the lane and ride two abreast as detailed above. A good bicycle lawyer will know the rules of the road applicable to your crash in order to hold a negligent driver accountable for the bicyclist’s injuries.
When a bicycle accident occurs in El Paso or Las Cruces, the driver of the automobile is almost always liable for the accident. Drivers are charged with ensuring the more vulnerable on the roadways (bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians) can safely share the roadways. This means drivers must yield to bicyclists and must take care to watch for them and not drive too close to them. Even in cases where a vehicle causes a bicyclist to swerve and crash (a no-contact accident), the driver could still be held liable for the resulting injuries.
How can I prove that I wasn’t at fault in a bicycle accident?
Bicycles generally have the same rights and are subject to the same rules of the road that apply to motor vehicles. Unless a speciﬁc statutory right or duty is altered, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as cars and trucks. We look to Texas Transportation Code Chapter 551, sometimes called the “Rules of the Road” when determining who is at fault for causing a bicycle accident.
Additionally, fault will be determined in a bicycle accident in the same way it is determined in any type of automobile accident. Following a bicycle accident, the police will come and investigate the accident. In some cases, it may be immediately clear who was responsible for the accident. If liability is clear, then this will be included in the police report and this report can be beneficial to you and your attorney in proving liability. If the police cannot determine who was responsible for the accident, the insurance company or companies may conduct their own investigation.
Once you have hired a bicycle accident attorney, they will also conduct an investigation which can include talking to witnesses, securing any video recordings in the area, or even having an accident reconstruction done by an expert. Your account of the accident is equally important. Once you have received medical attention following your accident and are home, write down every detail you can remember about the accident. If there were witnesses to your accident and you are able, to obtain contact information from those witnesses. Anything you can do to help your attorney build a solid case on your behalf will help you obtain a full and fair settlement following your bicycle accident.
How Can the Harmonson Law Firm with Offices in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM Help?
Following your bicycle accident, the sooner you speak to an attorney from Harmonson Law Firm, the better outcome you are likely to have. At our law firm, we offer you highly personalized attention and care. We can hire accident reconstructionists, engineers, and safety experts to help us prove your case. We also have a large network of medical providers that can ensure you receive the medical attention you need for your recovery.
At Harmonson Law Firm, we work with rehabilitation, vocational specialists, and life care planners to fully quantify the damages you have suffered following catastrophic injuries. Attorneys Clark Harmonson and Hadley Huchton are ready to answer all your questions, then ensure you receive the settlement you need and deserve. Contact Harmonson Law Firm today for the help you need for your bicycle accident injuries. Please note that nothing herein is meant as legal advice specifically related to your case.