Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Personal Injury Claims
Bicycle accidents can lead to severe injuries and, in some cases, even fatalities. The Greater Rochester area, with its active cycling community, witnesses a significant number of bicycle accidents annually. Understanding the most common causes of these accidents is essential for both cyclists and personal injury claims. These are the primary factors contributing to bicycle accidents in our region:
- Negligent Motorists
One of the leading causes of bicycle accidents is the negligence of motorists. Drivers failing to yield the right of way to cyclists, running red lights or stop signs, distracted driving (such as using cell phones), and speeding are all common examples of negligent behavior. When motorists fail to exercise reasonable care, they put cyclists' lives at risk and can be held liable for the injuries and injuries they cause.
- Door Accidents
Another significant cause of bicycle accidents is "dooring." This occurs when a driver or passenger in a parked car opens their door without checking for approaching cyclists. The cyclist may not have enough time to react, leading to a collision with the open door or being forced into the path of other vehicles. Dooring accidents can result in severe injuries and are often the fault of the person opening the door, making them liable for the damages caused.
- Inadequate Bicycle Infrastructure
The lack of proper bicycle infrastructure, including designated bike lanes, can contribute to accidents involving cyclists. The absence of dedicated bike lanes and poorly maintained roads pose risks to cyclists. These hazardous conditions can lead to collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians and may result in personal injury claims against the responsible municipality or other entities responsible for road maintenance and design.
- Cyclist Negligence
While motorists are often wholly at fault for bike accidents, cyclists themselves can also contribute to the occurrence of accidents. Cyclist negligence can involve actions such as running red lights or stop signs, riding against traffic flow, riding while intoxicated, or failing to yield the right of way. When a cyclist's negligence leads to an accident, it can negatively impact their personal injury claim and the compensation they may be entitled to. Comparative negligence laws in New York State determine the extent to which each party's negligence contributes to the accident and the resulting damages.
- Poor Visibility
Limited visibility can increase the likelihood of bicycle accidents, especially during the nighttime or in adverse weather conditions. Cyclists should ensure they are visible to motorists by using lights, reflectors, and wearing bright or reflective clothing. Lack of proper visibility can lead to accidents due to motorists not being able to see the cyclist until it is too late to avoid a collision.
Bicycle accidents in the Greater Rochester area are often caused by a combination of factors. Understanding these common causes of bicycle accidents can help cyclists and personal injury claimants navigate legal proceedings, hold the responsible parties accountable, and seek appropriate compensation for their injuries and damages.
If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury in a bicycle accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. It is important to consult with a lawyer early to investigate your options and preserve crucial evidence. For assistance with these matters, please contact us to learn more.
About the author: Peter J. Gregory is a partner with MCCM Personal Injury Lawyers in Rochester, NY. He is a trial lawyer with extensive experience resolving disputes in state and federal trial courts. As a personal injury lawyer, Gregory focuses on advising clients who have been injured or lost loved ones in accidents caused by the carelessness or recklessness of others. Please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 512-3506.
This publication is intended as an information source for clients, prospective clients, and colleagues and constitutes attorney advertising. The content should not be considered legal advice and readers should not act upon information in this publication without individualized professional counsel.
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