A bike laying on the road

What if My Bicycle Was to Blame for the Accident?

Bicycling is a favorite pastime in the U.S. It’s also a convenient way of getting around for many people. However, riding a bicycle can sometimes be dangerous, especially in heavy traffic and busy cities. 

Accidents between cars and bicycles can be catastrophic for the bicyclist, but in some instances, the bicycle may be the cause of the accident. What happens then?

Determining Liability in Bicycle and Car Accidents

Understanding who is at fault for the accident is essential, but it’s not always easy to do, especially if the accident involves numerous parties. Many times, the blame is placed squarely on the bicyclist, but it’s important to consider a few factors. 

Your actions as a cyclist have to be taken into account. Cyclists who have not obeyed traffic signals, including stop signs and red lights, or those who rode between lines of traffic can all be liable for accidents that occur from these actions. You could also be liable if you unexpectedly crossed a road or merged into traffic from a sidewalk. 

However, if you lost control of the bicycle, leading to the accident, one of the first things to investigate is why you lost control. It can come down to road conditions. If potholes or debris caused you to swerve unexpectedly, you may not be at fault, or you may be partly at fault. In that case, the burden of fault could fall on local authorities. 

Liability could also be impacted by the bicycle infrastructure where the accident occurred. If there are bicycle lanes, other vehicles must be aware of them and make concessions as needed as they drive. That could also remove some liability from the bicyclist. 

The visibility and safety measures you take while riding your bicycle also impact your liability. If you weren’t wearing light-reflective clothing or didn’t have working headlights, you could be partially or fully responsible for the accident. 

Your Next Steps if You Are Liable

If your bicycle caused the accident, it’s essential that you reach out to a personal injury lawyer. Even if you think the case is clear-cut, you still need representation. 

Why is this so important? Because California is an at-fault state. This means that the person responsible for the accident is the one whose insurance has to pay for the resulting injuries and property damage. 

California is a state that follows comparative negligence laws, so everyone involved in the accident could have some degree of fault. Even if you are seen as the person liable, you could still get compensation, but that usually only occurs if you have a lawyer ready to fight for your rights. 

A personal injury lawyer has the experience necessary to handle negotiations with insurance companies. This isn’t easy to do on your own. If you’re dealing with the other party’s attorneys and your insurance company at the same time, you need to have the right representation on your side.

Experienced Representation in Beverly Hills, CA

If you have been in a bicycle accident and are at fault, help from a personal injury lawyer can be crucial. You may not be fully to blame and may be entitled to some compensation under California’s comparative negligence laws. 

At Saeedian Law Group, we represent people who have been in accidents in Beverly Hills and throughout California. We can help gather the necessary evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and even take your case to trial if necessary. 

Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact us at Saeedian Law Group in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, CA, to speak with a personal injury lawyer.