Negligence is the foundation for many personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents. When bicycles and motor vehicles are both involved in accidents, and bicyclists suffer injuries, determining which party is negligent can be vital to the claim. Establishing negligent conduct on behalf of the drivers involved can entitle bicyclists to compensation from the negligent parties in some cases. If the bicycle riders are wholly at fault for the accident, for instance, they cannot recover damages from the other parties involved, even if they have suffered severe injuries.
On the other hand, if bicyclists and drivers are both at fault to some degree, injured bicyclists still can recover compensation. California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that injured parties can seek compensation from other negligent parties even if they are primarily responsible for causing the accident. For example, if a bicycle rider is 60% at fault for the accident that caused his injuries, he still can recover up to 40% of his total damages from the other negligent parties.
Apportioning fault, especially when multiple parties are involved or more than one party may be at fault, is far from precise. However, determining the degree of responsibility that each party to the accident bears is essential to the damages award in a personal injury case.
Various examples of negligence may exist for both drivers and bicyclists. Drivers may be negligent for disobeying traffic signals and signs or speeding. Bicyclists also could be negligent if they ride the wrong way down a one-way street or fail to abide by other traffic rules and regulations. Determining the fault of each party to the accident thus depends totally on the facts surrounding the crash that led to the bicyclist’s injuries.
When you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you need an attorney who knows bicycles and who can stand up for your interests from the outset of your personal injury claim. It is our goal to evaluate the facts and assess your potential claim. This step will allow you to explore your options and help you build the most substantial claim for compensation possible. Do not hesitate to contact Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 today and set up an appointment to speak with us soon.