In a collision between a two-hundred-pound bike rider and a two-ton car driver, it’s pretty clear which party is more likely to be injured. But that does not necessarily mean that the motorist was at fault and must therefore pay for all damages. As with any unintentional crash, one side must have done something wrong to be held liable. In legal terminology, the responsible party must have been negligent in some way.
Failure to look both ways, turning without using a signal, and speeding are all classic examples of negligence that may have caused a crash. Because cyclists don’t need riding insurance, negotiations between the two parties almost always involve the rider and driver’s insurance company. If the insurer agrees that the driver was at fault, then a settlement may be reached. If not, the cyclist may have to take the case to court to recover compensation for documented injuries.
What to do
A cyclists who has suffered anything more than minor cuts and scrapes should always consult a personal injury attorney soon after the accident occurs. When they know their driver was in the wrong, lawyers for insurance companies almost always attempt to contact the injured party and make a deal as soon as possible. But before you agree to anything, talk to an attorney that has your best interests in mind.