Filing a negligence claim after a bike accident

On Behalf of Griswold LaSalle Cobb Dowd & Gin LLP

As we approach the spring and summer months, more and more bicyclists will be out and about in Central Valley. Unfortunately, some of these bicyclists may suffer serious injuries in accidents involving motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 49,000 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2019, a 4.3 percent increase from 2018.

Even with helmets and other protective gear, bicyclists involved in accidents may suffer serious injuries including traumatic brain injuries, hemorrhages or hemotomas, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and fractures. Injured bicyclists may file a lawsuit against negligent drivers to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related costs.

Proving driver negligence

Injured bicyclists may file a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for their accident. In most cases, the bicyclist will have to prove that the driver of the vehicle acted negligently behind the wheel. Proving driver negligence requires victims to establish:

  • Duty – The motorist owed a duty to all other persons on the roadways to operate their vehicles in accordance with all traffic laws.
  • Breach – The motorist breached their duty by violating a traffic law or otherwise driving in a negligent or reckless manner. Common forms of driver negligence may include: failure to keep a proper lookout for bicyclists, failure to yield at an intersection, and failure to stop at a stop sign.
  • Causation – The motorist’s negligence directly and proximately caused the accident and injuries to the bicyclist.
  • Damages – The bicyclist suffered personal injuries and damages as a result of the collision.

In an accident between a bicycle and motor vehicle, it is no surprise that the bicyclist typically suffers the most serious injuries. A personal injury attorney can help victims of bicycle accidents recover compensation from the at-fault driver.


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