Can Cyclists Be Held At Fault For An Accident?
On the road, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers, but they are much more likely to become injured. Drivers and cyclists often wonder who is at fault in a car-bicycle collision. Although the situation can become complicated, the simple answer is that cyclists can be deemed at fault in an accident and be sued for any injuries that may have resulted from the collision. If you’ve been involved in a bike-car accident, it’s important to consult with a Las Vegas bike accident injury lawyer to understand how to protect yourself and to learn more about your rights and options.
What To Do After an Accident
Your actions immediately after an accident will significantly affect whether you get full compensation for damages and injuries. It’s crucial to follow all of the following steps whenever physically possible:
- Call 911 and tell the police what happened
- Call for help and get medical attention, even if you feel fine
- Assess the damage to yourself and your bicycle
- Get the name of the driver along with their contact information, license plate, and insurance information
- Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident if it is safe to do so, including your bike, helmet, nearby buildings or fences, and any other equipment
- Keep records of all injury-related losses and expenses
- Consult with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer
Making an Insurance Claim After a Car-Bike Accident
The fastest way to get compensation after your accident is through an insurance claim. These types of cases are typically settled out of court with your Las Vegas personal injury attorney and the insurance company. If you were the cyclist, you may be able to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. You’ll need to prove that the driver was at fault and calculate your anticipated damages and losses. Documentation such as police reports, medical records, and photographs are needed to support your claim. You’ll typically be contacted by an insurance adjuster who will work with you to reach a settlement. Be in contact with your lawyer throughout this process.
You may also be able to file a first-party claim with your own health and auto insurance companies after a car-bicycle accident, even if you were riding a bicycle. If the driver is determined to be at fault for the accident and doesn’t carry any insurance, you can use an uninsured motorist policy to recover your losses. If you as the cyclist are determined to be at fault in the accident, your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance may also help cover any legal or medical expenses.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your insurance claim is denied and you’ve consulted with your Las Vegas bike accident lawyer, you may be able to file a civil or small claim court lawsuit. But don’t delay; waiting too long reduces the strength of your case and you run the risk of passing the statute of limitations.
Can Cyclists Be at Fault?
It’s a common misconception that vehicle drivers are always at fault in car-bike accidents. Although a cyclist is more likely to be injured, they can also be at fault for the accident. Drivers and cyclists must share the road. If a cyclist violates the rules of the road, they may be unable to get compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages that may result from the collision. The cyclist may even face a personal injury lawsuit if pedestrians, other cyclists, or drivers were harmed in the accident.
What About a Hit & Run?
Nevada state law requires drivers to stop at the scene of a car accident to exchange information and provide assistance if it’s needed. Drivers who hit and run another driver or cyclist are at risk of criminal prosecution and a variety of consequences, including jail time, fines, and being sued in civil court. Never chase a hit-and-run driver. Instead, call the police and provide as much information as you can. Consult with your Las Vegas car accident lawyer about your options, which typically include whether the driver is found and what insurance coverage you and they carry.
How Much Compensation Can I Get?
Every accident is different, but compensation for car-bike accidents generally includes past and anticipated medical expenses, lost income if the accident forced time off of work, reduced earning capacity if applicable, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Get Legal Advice For Your Bike-Car Accident
If you are a driver or cyclist who was injured in an accident, talk with the experienced attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers. We will walk you through the claims process, help negotiate a settlement on your behalf, and represent you in court if needed. Our extensive understanding of Nevada law, personalized approach, and many years of experience helping people just like you make us one of the top-rated personal injury law firms in Nevada. Trust us with your claim. Contact our office today and talk directly with one of our attorneys to learn more about how we can help.