Bicycle accidents can be devastating, resulting in serious injuries and even fatalities. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, one of the most important steps in pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages is determining liability. Liability refers to who is responsible for the accident and therefore who is responsible for compensating you for your losses. In this blog post, we will discuss how liability is determined in a bicycle accident case.
Factors that Determine Liability in a Bicycle Accident
- Negligence: One of the most common factors in determining liability is negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care in a situation, resulting in harm to another person. In a bicycle accident, negligence can take many forms, such as a driver failing to yield to a bicyclist, a driver speeding or driving recklessly, or a driver failing to check their blind spot before turning.
- Violation of Traffic Laws: Another important factor in determining liability is whether one or more parties involved in the accident violated traffic laws. For example, if a driver ran a red light and hit a bicyclist who was lawfully crossing the intersection, the driver may be found liable for the accident.
- Road Conditions: The condition of the road can also play a role in determining liability. If a bicycle accident was caused by a hazardous road condition, such as a pothole or uneven pavement, the government agency responsible for maintaining the road may be liable for the accident.
- Equipment Malfunction: Equipment malfunction, such as brake failure, can also contribute to bicycle accidents. If the accident was caused by a malfunctioning bicycle or part, the manufacturer or seller of the bicycle or part may be held liable.
- Contributory Negligence: Contributory negligence is when the plaintiff’s own actions contribute to their injuries. In a bicycle accident, the plaintiff may be found to be partially at fault if they were not following traffic laws, such as riding on the wrong side of the road or failing to use hand signals.
Proving Liability in a Bicycle Accident
To prove liability in a bicycle accident case, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible. Evidence may include police reports, witness statements, photographs of the accident scene, and medical records. It’s also important to work with an experienced bicycle accident attorney who can help investigate the accident, evaluate the evidence, and build a strong case.
In some cases, liability may be clear-cut, such as when a driver rear-ends a bicyclist who was lawfully stopped at a red light. However, in other cases, liability may be more difficult to prove. For example, if the accident was caused by a hazardous road condition, proving liability may require expert testimony or an investigation by a government agency.
It’s important to note that Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that the plaintiff’s damages may be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, their damages may be reduced by 20%. If the plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault, however, they may not be entitled to any damages.
Determining liability in a bicycle accident case can be complex, but it’s a critical step in pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages. Factors that may contribute to liability include negligence, violation of traffic laws, road conditions, equipment malfunction, and contributory negligence. To prove liability, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible and work with an experienced bicycle accident attorney who can help build a strong case. By proving liability, you can hold the responsible party accountable and receive the compensation you deserve.
How The Lopez Law Group Can Help
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Weslaco, TX, it is important to speak with our experienced Weslaco bicycle accident attorney to determine who is at fault. The Lopez Law Group can help you investigate the circumstances of the accident and gather evidence to support your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.