What Happens if a Cyclist Is at Fault for a Car Accident?
Serious Injuries with Cyclists and Autos
It may not characterize the majority of cyclist accidents, but accidents in which the bicyclist is at fault do happen.
Just like motorists and pedestrians, there are rules of safety that cyclists must follow.
When they don’t, they are not only at fault for their own injuries but they may be liable for the injuries of others and property damage their negligence caused.
As such, it is important to understand what happens when a cyclist is responsible for a car accident in Colorado.
Determining Fault in Bicycle-Car Accident
Negligence and liability are two concepts that dominate traffic accidents. The driver has a duty of care to ensure that they are observing the rules of traffic and on the lookout for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.
The cyclist may not have as high a duty of care as the driver, but the cyclist still needs to obey the rules of traffic, ensure that they are signaling properly, using proper lighting, and being on the lookout for cars and other pedestrians.
If a cyclist fails in that duty of care, they responsible for their own injuries. They can also be liable for property damage and any injuries anyone else suffered as a result of the cyclist’s negligence.
Comparative Negligence Under Colorado Law
Colorado is one of a number of states that uses a modified comparative negligence rule. Comparative negligence means that each individual has some blame in an accident. Determining who is at fault is a complicated process. But under Colorado’s modified rule, a driver or cyclist who is over 50% at fault is liable for any damages to the driver or others. In addition, they may not be able to recover damages for any injuries that they’ve sustained.
Cyclists must follow the rules of the road just like everyone else.
How Should I Handle a Bicycle Accident?
Regardless of whether or not you’re the driver or the cyclist, you need to collect as much information as you can. If you’re the cyclist and you’re badly injured, you may not be in much of a position to. But you should insist, if you have serious injuries, you should call police and paramedics to the scene immediately.
At this point, determining who is at fault for the accident is a secondary concern to ensuring that everyone is safe and getting the medical attention they need.
Physical evidence is very important because even people who admit they were at fault can turn around and try to blame the other person after they’ve had time to think about it. Even still, admit nothing, do not apologize, and make sure that, if you can, you take pictures at the scene.
Contact a Denver Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve sustained injuries in a traffic accident, it helps to have an attorney represent your interests. The Law Office of Steve Roberts can help you determine your options for recovering damages. Give us a call or contact us online for a free case evaluation.