Can a Biker Be Sued for a Car-Bicycle Accident?
Any bicycle accident lawyer can tell you, bikers can and are sued for car-bicycle accidents. Bike accidents are on the rise. While most are at least primarily the fault of the automobile driver, that’s not always how it goes.
If the bicyclist isn’t following the rules of the road, they might be at fault. Those rules include yielding when appropriate, signaling before turning, using lights at night and more. It will be up to the authorities to officially assign fault in an accident.
Watching out for other people on the road is part of the responsibility factor of driving. This applies to drivers or cyclists. Sometimes things go wrong no matter what you do. You’re watching the road, being conscientious, and suddenly a bike comes out of nowhere.
Even if you do your job as a responsible driver, accidents can happen. If you are injured in a collision with a cyclist, what can you do? You can sue the bicyclist if necessary, but that isn’t always the easiest way to have your damages paid.
Options for Seeking Compensation
The biggest challenge to drivers trying to get compensation in an article like this is that bicyclists aren’t required to have insurance before getting on the road. If they’re liable for an accident, their car insurance won’t cover any of the damages they cause.
A cyclist may cause an accident when they:
- Abruptly turning without giving signal
- Do not ride in the bike lane
- Fail to stop or roll through stop signs
- Fail to yield to traffic
- Ride against the direction of traffic
- Ride on the wrong side of the road
If the responsible biker has cyclist and bicycle insurance, that can cover the damages. Some homeowner’s insurance policies also cover bicycle accidents.
If the biker has no insurance policy that applies, it may be worthwhile to bring the claim to your own insurance company. Their willingness to cover damages may depend on your specific policy, but it’s worth the attempt.
It may also be possible to make an arrangement directly with the biker. Addressing their insurance company directly is the best place to start.
Taking It to Court
Although it may be tempting to file a lawsuit, suing a biker generally shouldn’t be your first choice in responding to an accident like this for two reasons:
- The bicyclist in all likelihood won’t have the same financial resources available to be able to compensate you that an insurance company will
- The case might not be worthwhile to bring before a judge
Attempting to hold a bicyclist liable for a traffic accident can take time and money. This is generally only worth the investment if the reward is significant. Some judges may also be more sympathetic to the biker than the driver, which can make securing compensation more difficult.
An experienced attorney can help you evaluate your claim and assess your options for getting the highest possible award. Be sure to talk to a bike accident lawyer to help get you the justice and compensation you deserve.