When Motorists Don’t “Share The Road”
Most modern American streets were constructed to accommodate motorists and their automobiles. All too often, pedestrians and cyclists were – if considered at all – afterthoughts in the minds of developers and city planners. As a result, over the past several decades, several public awareness campaigns have launched imploring motorists, truckers, motorcyclists, and commercial vehicle operators to “share the road” with cyclists. Far too often, the core message of these campaigns has gone unheeded.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 1,000 Americans was killed while riding their bicycles in 2020 alone. This figure does not account for the thousands upon thousands of non-fatal bike accidents which cause injury that occur each and every year. If you have recently been injured while riding your bike, know that while the situation you’re facing is unjust – the road is just as much yours as it is everyone else’s and you have a right to travel on it safely – there are opportunities for justice and recourse available to you.
Causation and Fault – Bicycle Accidents
As an experienced bicycle accident lawyer – including those who practice at The Law Offices of Cliff Enten – can confirm, it isn’t always easy to determine the cause of – and, by extension, who or what is at fault for – a bicycle accident at first glance. You may have made some assumptions about the circumstances surrounding your crash, but it is important to avoid acting on those assumptions until an experienced attorney has assessed your legal situation both thoroughly and objectively.
For example, you may be under the impression that your accident was your fault because you weren’t paying attention to the extent that you should have been while crossing a street. What you aren’t yet aware of is that the driver who struck you with their vehicle had been awake for 36 hours at the time of the crash, had faulty brakes installed in their car, and had momentarily fallen asleep just before hitting you.
If, after your crash has been thoroughly investigated, you are deemed to have been partially at fault for the accident, you may remain entitled to pursue compensation against those who also contributed to the causes of your harm. Each state handles the concept of comparative fault a little differently, so you’ll want to speak with a lawyer about your unique circumstances. In any event, however, you don’t want to avoid the opportunity to explore your legal options simply because you’re under the impression that your accident was all your fault. Why? You might be wrong.