What Happens When a Bicyclist is At Fault for an Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in Missouri, determining fault so you can seek compensation can be challenging. While motorists are often blamed for accidents involving cyclists, it’s also possible for a bicyclist to be at fault.

If you were the victim of a bicycle accident where the cyclist was at fault, understanding cyclist liability can help you receive a settlement for your damages. The personal injury attorneys at Cofman Townsley can help you determine who is responsible for your injuries and file an appropriate claim for compensation.

How Can a Bicyclist Be At Fault for a Collision?

Though bicyclists often suffer more serious injuries in a collision with a vehicle, bicycle riders have the same duties, rights, and responsibilities as drivers. This means that bicyclists can be held responsible if their actions contribute to a crash that causes injury to themselves or others.

Bicyclists can be at fault for a collision if they engage in the following behaviors:

  • Violating traffic laws: Bicyclists must follow the same traffic laws as motorists. If bicyclists run a red light, fail to yield to oncoming traffic, or otherwise violate traffic laws, they can be held responsible for any resulting accidents.
  • Riding under the influence: Although it isn’t a criminal offense in Missouri, bicyclists who ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be held responsible for any accidents they cause.
  • Riding recklessly: Bicyclists who ride recklessly or carelessly can be held responsible for any accidents resulting from their behavior. This can include weaving in and out of traffic, riding too fast, or failing to signal turns.
  • Riding on sidewalks: In Missouri, bicyclists are prohibited from riding on sidewalks in business districts. Doing so can be dangerous for pedestrians. If bicyclists hit a pedestrian while riding on a sidewalk, they can be held responsible for any injuries.
  • Riding the wrong way: Bicyclists must ride on the right side of the road, in the same direction as traffic. If a bicyclist is riding on the wrong side of the road and causes an accident, they can be held responsible.
  • Riding without proper lighting: Bicyclists are required to have appropriate lighting on their bikes when riding at night. In Missouri, this means having headlights that are visible at 500 feet. If a bicyclist does not have adequate lighting and causes an accident, they can be held responsible.

How Can You Hold a Bicyclist Liable for Damages?

If a bicyclist is at fault for an accident, you may be able to hold them liable for damages. However, since bicyclists are not required to carry minimum liability insurance in Missouri, the type of claim you file depends on whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist.

  • Pedestrians or Other Cyclists

As a pedestrian or cyclist injured in an accident with a bicyclist, you may be able to file a claim with the cyclist’s homeowners’ or renter’s insurance for damages. To file the claim, you must gather evidence of the accident, including witness statements, photos of the scene, and any medical records related to your injuries.

You can then contact the cyclist’s insurance company and file your claim. If approved, you may receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other losses incurred due to the accident.

  • Motorist

Motorists injured in an accident caused by a negligent cyclist can file a claim against the cyclist’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to recover damages. When a cyclist does not have insurance or their policy doesn’t cover all your damages, you can file a claim for coverage under your uninsured motorist’s policy to help cover the remaining costs.

Missouri requires drivers to have at least $25,000 in coverages for bodily injury per person and $50,000 per accident. This can help cover your expenses if a cyclist causes injury to you or your passenger.

You may also seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit which seeks damages from the cyclist’s personal assets.

Seek Compensation for Your Injuries

If a negligent cyclist caused you to suffer injuries in a collision, seek legal representation from the experienced attorneys at Cofman Townsley. We understand the complex liability in personal injury cases and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn your options for pursuing a settlement to help you pay for your accident-related damages.