The breeze and sunshine bathe your face, leaving you feeling carefree during your lunchtime bicycle ride. However, all of a sudden, a car approaches you -- and it does not stop. The next thing you know, you are on the ground, writhing in pain. So much for a carefree afternoon.
Sometimes injury-causing bike accidents in Virginia occur due to the carelessness of other motorists on the road. If you suffer an injury in such a bike accident, you have the right to seek justice.
Liability in bicycle accidents
Both motorists and bicyclists have a legal obligation to follow traffic rules when they are on the road. They also have a duty to exercise reasonable care -- or the type of care that any ordinary person would exercise. This is necessary to keep themselves safe as well as others safe on the roadways.
Bicycle crashes and negligence or recklessness
If the driver of a car struck you, causing you to suffer serious injuries, you may choose to seek the reimbursement of monetary damages. However, the outcome of your efforts will depend on the answers to a couple of questions.
The first question is did recklessness or negligence on the car driver's part cause the bike collision that injured you? Second, did negligence on your part contribute to the accident as well?
What exactly is driver negligence and recklessness?
Driver negligence can take several forms. For instance, perhaps the driver of the car that hit you was speeding or ran a stop sign at the time of the accident. Maybe the driver drifted into the bike lane in which you were riding. These types of acts may be considered reckless behaviors if the driver committed them with knowing disregard for others' safety.
To receive compensation in a personal injury claim, you must be able to prove that the car driver behaved in such a way as to violate the duty of care that he or she owed to you. Proving negligence in a bike crash is possible by providing evidence such as eyewitness testimony or even a citation that the driver received for speeding when the accident occurred, for example.
What happens if you contributed to your bike accident?
If the evidence indicates that you contributed to the bike accident due to carelessness on your part, the compensation you ultimately receive may be reduced accordingly. However, the monetary award may still help you to cover your medical bills and other losses stemming from the bike accident.