When we hear about bicycle vs. car accidents, many people assume the car is at fault. Bicycles can rarely match vehicle speeds. They’re also lighter and offer less protection than a vehicle, so cyclists are more likely to suffer major injuries.

However, not all vehicle vs. bike accidents are the driver’s fault. Bicyclists can also act negligently. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle vs. automobile accident, the Law Offices of Tim Misny can help. Read on to learn about cyclist negligence, then call us for further assistance.

Understanding negligence

To prove that a person was negligent, a plaintiff must show:

  • The defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff;
  • The defendant breached that duty;
  • The defendant’s breach of duty caused the accident; and
  • The plaintiff suffered actual harm.

Both cyclists and drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws and avoid harming others. If either party takes unsafe actions, like running a stop sign or texting while driving, they have breached their duty of care. Next, the plaintiff has to prove that the breach caused the action—that is, but for the defendant’s actions, the accident never would have happened. Finally, the plaintiff has to show that they suffered actual harm. You cannot file a lawsuit for a “near miss.” There has to be actual personal injury, property damage or other kinds of harm.

How cyclists can be negligent

Although bicycles are much less likely to cause harm to others, it can still happen. Bicyclists still have to obey the rules of the road.

Common cyclist negligence includes:

  • Riding against traffic
  • Running stop signs or traffic lights
  • Distracted biking (such as texting while cycling)
  • Biking under the influence
  • Speeding

Comparative fault

In some cases, both the vehicle driver and the cyclist bear some fault: perhaps the vehicle driver was texting and driving, but the bicyclist ran a red light.

Ohio is a comparative fault state. A party can still collect damages, as long as they were no more than 50 percent at fault. Their compensation is reduced by the percent at which they were at fault. For example, imagine a bicyclist sued a driver for $100,000 in damages. If they were deemed 30 percent at fault, their compensation would drop to $70,000.

If you suspect cyclist negligence in your accident case, call the Law Offices of Tim Misny. We’ll review your claim and help you understand your best legal options.

Discuss your case with an Ohio personal injury lawyer

The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your bike accident case. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877-614-95243 so that I can evaluate your case right away.