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Determining Fault When a Car and Bicycle Collide

When a car hits a bicycle, each party might point blame at the other. While you might assume the driver is always at fault, it is not always the case, and you need an investigation and evidence to determine and prove fault. If you cannot prove fault, you cannot hold someone else liable for your losses. 

Always allow our Clearwater bicycle accident lawyers to evaluate fault and advise of your rights following an accident and injuries.

Factors in Determining Liability

Determining fault in a car-bicycle collision involves careful examination of the circumstances and applicable traffic laws. While each case is unique, several factors can influence fault assignment.

One crucial aspect is traffic regulations. Cyclists are typically subject to the same rules as motorists, such as obeying traffic signals and using designated lanes. If a cyclist violates any rules, they may share some responsibility for the accident. Motorists must also exercise due care when sharing the road with cyclists. Failure to yield, distracted driving, speeding, or not providing sufficient space when passing a bicycle can contribute to fault on the part of the motorist.

The location of impact matters. If a car hits a cyclist from behind, it may imply that the driver was not paying attention or maintaining a safe following distance, potentially attributing fault to the motorist. On the other hand, if a cyclist abruptly swerves into a lane without signaling, they might bear some responsibility.

Witness statements and evidence from the scene, such as skid marks or traffic camera footage, can provide valuable insights. Eyewitness accounts can help reconstruct the events leading to the collision, aiding in the determination of fault.

Local laws and infrastructure play a role. Some areas have specific ordinances related to cycling, like designated bike lanes or rules about where cyclists should ride on the road. Understanding and adhering to these regulations is essential for both cyclists and motorists.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence laws also affect fault assignment. In Florida, if either party is more than 50 percent at fault, they may be barred from recovering damages. Even if a party contributed to the accident but is less than 50 percent to blame, they can seek compensation for the percentage of the other party’s fault. Even if you believe you were partially to blame, it is always worth consulting a lawyer who can advise if you stand to recover any compensation.

Seeking legal advice is crucial for all parties involved. Our skilled attorneys can help gather evidence, analyze the circumstances, and apply the law to build a strong case.

Speak with a Clearwater Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Determining fault in a car-bicycle collision demands a comprehensive assessment of many factors. Both cyclists and motorists must adhere to traffic rules, and understanding the nuances of local laws can significantly impact fault assignment.

While a driver is often to blame for a collision, other parties might also share fault and liability. Seeking legal counsel ensures a thorough examination of the case and helps individuals navigate the legal process to secure fair compensation.

Contact Tragos, Sartes & Tragos today for more information about your options.