Bicycle accidents are often devastating for cyclists, especially if they involve an automobile. Although there has been an overall decline in bicycle accidents in the U.S., a larger percentage of the collisions that do occur are fatal. Approximately 96 percent of fatal bicycle accidents involve an automobile. Here, our bicycle accident attorneys in San Diego discuss why automobiles collide with cyclists, and who is held responsible for these incidents.
Motor vehicle drivers have a responsibility and a legal obligation to drive safely and prevent accidents. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore the rules and engage in dangerous or careless practices, such as:
When a driver’s carelessness or reckless behavior causes a collision with a cyclist, the driver can be held civilly responsible in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Bicyclists are required to follow most of the same traffic laws as motor vehicles, which means bicyclists can also be attributed fault for an accident. Under California’s pure comparative fault system, each party involved in the accident can still recover compensation, even if both are partially responsible. However, their amount of payment will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a jury finds a bicyclist is 20 percent at fault for an accident and a driver is 80 percent, the bicyclist will recover 80 percent of their total compensation.