There are many different circumstances that can lead to accidents between cars and bicycles. If the accident occurs but the vehicle had the right of way, can the driver still be held at fault?
Here’s a quick overview of this situation.
Driver not likely to be at fault
If the driver had the right of way, he or she is technically not at fault for the accident, no matter the size disparity between the vehicle and the bike. It could be a semi-truck colliding with a cyclist, and if the semi had the right of way, the driver is not going to be held liable.
The main issue is who violated the rule of the road or traffic law in the case. Bicycles are considered a vehicle with equal rights on the road, and equal restrictions and obligations as well, meaning they are responsible for yielding the right of way to other vehicles in the correct situations.
Therefore, the success of your case depends on your ability to prove you had the right of way, whether you were the cyclist or the driver. Witnesses can be a big help here, as it might be otherwise difficult to provide unimpeachable evidence that you were not the one who violated traffic law.
Keep in mind that while most traffic laws are equal between drivers and cyclists, there are some that are only applicable to cyclists. A failure to follow those traffic laws on the cyclist’s part could also help the driver to prove the cyclist did not act with the care and safety expected of them at the time of the accident. For example, this could include the cyclist failing to ride on the right side of the road or in the bike lane, carrying oversized packages or passengers or not wearing proper visibility aids when riding at night.
For more information about proving liability in an accident, contact an experienced Manatee County personal injury attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.