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Your bike, his car: Who was negligent?

Imagine doing your long Saturday training ride, breathing in the fresh Texas air and riding by massive fields of bluebonnets. Unfortunately, you are not the only one on the road enjoying the spring weather. As you ride along the shoulder of the road, a car veers toward you and the next thing you know you are laying in the grass with a broken collarbone and a mangled bike.

Bicycle accidents are fairly common in Texas, where the shoulders on country roads tend to be very narrow and bike lanes in the city end abruptly. Motor vehicle collisions with bicycle often end with very serious, if not fatal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a driver's negligence, it is important to understand your rights and options. A person injury attorney in the Arlington area can help you take legal action. Read further for an overview of bicycle liability.

Duty of care

Both cyclists and drivers have an obligation to obey traffic laws and the rules of the road. This means that you, and the driver that hit you, had a duty to exercise due care. In general, due care refers to the efforts you make to protect your own safety and respect the safety of others while on the road.

Suing for negligence

If you choose to sue the driver for negligence, there are two questions that the court will ask. First, did the driver's negligent act cause the accident that resulted in your injuries? Second, did you commit any acts of negligence that contributed to your accident? The outcome of most cases is directly related to the answers of these questions.

The driver's negligence

Common examples of driver negligence include speeding, ignoring stop signs, veering into bike lanes, and distracted driving. You will have to prove that the driver violated his duty of care for the safety of others on or near the road. Statements from eyewitnesses will help you prove that the driver veered into the shoulder for no particular purpose.

The cyclist's negligence

If you pursue a lawsuit against the driver, be prepared to give your statements regarding any of your behavior that could have been negligent. For example, if you were riding the wrong way or suddenly turned into traffic, the court could hold you partially responsible for the accident. This is known as contributory or comparative negligence. It means that your negligence played a part in the accident that caused your injuries. The court may reduce your award by the percentage your own actions contributed to the accident.

Get the help you need

In many cases, contributory negligence plays a significant role in lawsuits involving cyclists and motorists. If you have been injured by a driver's negligence while riding your bicycle, you may be able to sue.

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