About two percent of motor vehicle accidents per year involve bicyclists. In 2014, 720 bicycle riders were killed in crashes involving vehicles.
Older people have become more involved in fitness, and persons 20 and older are 86 percent of the fatalities, tripling the numbers from 1975. In 2014, 551 males to 68 females over the age of 20 were killed. Of those deceased, only 17 percent were wearing helmets. If you were injured as a result of a motor vehicle crash with a bicycle in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, please contact a Rhode Island bicycle accident attorney.
Fault in Rhode Island bicycle accident
In view of these statistics, who is more likely to be at fault or have a legal case in a car-bike collision? The Federal Highway Administration admits that they don’t know. “Fault is difficult to determine,” replied a spokesperson for the administration. Cars seem the more likely culprit, because they are big and powerful compared to bikes. But what are the possibilities of legal claims for bikers or drivers?
Rear end crashes
Cars striking bikes from behind seem the most common bike accident. Even traveling at a very slow speed, a car hitting the back of a bicycle can send the rider face-first into the pavement. Who’s at fault? Again, a good legal inspection is imperative, as there are many variables besides carelessness determining why a vehicle might strike a bicycle from behind. In nearly every situation in Rhode Island, a car motorist striking a cyclist is at fault for the crash.
Forty five percent of bike/vehicle accidents take place in intersections. Drivers need to take that second look to make sure intersections are not just cleared of cars, but of smaller vehicles like bikes. Bike riders need to maximize their visibility and realize the hazards of biking through a busy intersection.
The basic laws of liability require all to follow the rules of the road. Whoever is at fault for disobeying traffic laws will most likely be found liable. Even though a cyclist will sustain more damage than a car, not following the rules of the road will find the cyclist liable.
Upon approaching an unmarked intersection, the vehicle arriving first, and bikes are legally considered vehicles, has the right-of-way. Upon arrival at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way. If a car hits a bicycle because of failing to yield the right-of-way to the cyclist, the driver is at fault.
Intersection with one stop sign
If the bicycle rider is riding in a street with no stop sign and a car approaches from a street that does have a stop sign, the car motorist woukd be liable for any bicycle accident. Whether poor visibility or absent-mindedness, the accident will be attributed to the driver. However, if the cyclist was riding against traffic, (60 percent of the time) both of the drivers may be found at fault.
Bike and car accidents don’t often end well. No matter who is at fault, the bike rider is often severely injured and the vehicle driver traumatized.
If you have been involved in a car-bike accident, you are no doubt struggling with medical bills and insurance claims. Taking the proper steps to handle your case and possible compensation is vital to your future. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Rhode Island then contact a RI bicycle accident lawyer / Rhode island personal injury attorney at our firm to get the justice you deserve.