What is a Driver’s Responsibility in Bike and Car Collisions?
Bike accidents happen every day in California, and many of them involve collisions between bikes and cars. Whether you were in the car or were riding the bike, if you have been in one of these accidents then you may wonder what the responsibility of the driver was. Are they always at fault? Read on to get basic answers and then contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 877-982-0707 if you need a free legal case evaluation.
Drivers Have a Duty of Reasonable Care
In the state of California, the law clearly states that drivers have a “duty of reasonable care” to other drivers and to others on the road, including bike riders and pedestrians. This means that drivers are required to reasonably safe when driving. If they are not, and an accident occurs, in which people are injured and / or damages result, then the driver can be held civilly responsible, and, in some cases, criminally responsible for their actions.
A Driver’s Specific Responsibilities to Cyclists and Pedestrians
The above information is true but it is also very general. More specifically, drivers must not interfere with or obstruct the movements of bike riders, they must not drive in or otherwise encroach into a marked bike lane, and they cannot illegally overtake or pass a bike rider. This means that if they are passing a bike in a way that they would not be able to legally pass a car (such as passing in the same lane) then they are not following their legal responsibilities.
Drivers must also yield the right of way to cyclists when cyclists have the right of way. Drivers must take due care to prevent hitting bikes, and they must offer at least three feet of clearance when they are passing a bike. If they do not follow any of these rules, then they can be held civilly responsible for the accident. In certain cases, they could also face criminal charges.
Have You Been Involved in a Bike or Pedestrian Accident?
The truth of the matter is that bike and pedestrian accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries and even death. They have the potential to cause significant property damage. If you have been involved in this type of accident and you were injured, then you may need the help of a personal injury attorney.
If you are not sure what your rights are, or are not sure if you have grounds for a case, then we highly recommend you contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 877-982-0707 for your free legal consultation. We will carefully consider your case and offer our best advice on how you can proceed. This may mean taking a settlement from the insurance company or it may mean fighting for a fair jury award. Regardless of the situation, you can count on us to be open and honest about your case.