What You Need to Know If You Are Injured in a Bicycle Accident
Bicyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injury or death since they share the road with vehicles but do not have the same protections. A bicycle accident can be caused by a number of factors. In some cases, it may be the result of another person’s negligence or the carelessness of the bike rider. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney to determine your legal rights.
At Coletrane & Messersmith, we represent individuals who have been seriously injured in bicycle accidents throughout Newport News, Virginia. Our dedicated legal team has secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Let us help you get the compensation you need. Contact our office today at (757) 744-6315 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Are Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
Many bicycle accidents happen because bikes share the roadway with motor vehicles. Inattentive drivers may not see a bicyclist, causing catastrophic results. In some cases, the accident may be caused by the bicyclist themselves because they are driving while impaired or recklessly.
Common causes of bicycle accidents:
- Biking while under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Inattentive motorist or distracted driving
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Aggressive driving
- Following too closely
- Vehicle traveling too fast (speeding)
Regardless of the cause of the accident, it is within your best interest to consult with an attorney immediately after the crash. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bike Accident?
There may be one or more parties that can be held liable for a bicycle accident. In many instances, it is the driver of a vehicle that can be held legally responsible for the injuries caused to a bicyclist. However, if the bicyclist fails to obey state or local law, including by biking recklessly, they may be held liable.
A bicyclist may be held liable for failing to obey these and other traffic laws:
- Carrying an object that prevents them from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Wearing earphones in both ears while biking.
- Not traveling with the flow of traffic on the right side of the road.
- Not having the proper bicycle equipment.
- Failing to use caution when passing a vehicle.
These are just a few of the many laws that govern bicyclists in Virginia. It is important to note that the Commonwealth does require bicyclists to wear helmets if they are riding on a Class 3 electric-assisted bicycle. Some cities also have ordinances requiring all people 14 years old or younger to wear a helmet while riding any bike.
What Happens If I Am Partially At Fault for the Accident?
Virginia is one of only a few states that follows the harsh law of pure contributory negligence. What this means is that if you are found to be even partially responsible for the accident, you may be barred from obtaining compensation. The harsh rule often results in injured parties being left without the right to recovery.
It is imperative to speak with an attorney immediately if you believe that a negligent party will argue that you contributed to the accident or your injuries. An attorney can help you understand your rights and help determine all of your legal options.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Contact Our Office.
Were you injured in a bicycle accident in Newport News, VA? Contact our office today at (757) 744-6315 to schedule a free consultation. There are no fees unless we win. Call now to speak directly with an experienced member of our firm.