Bike paths are a safe way for bicyclists to travel. However, they can’t be installed on every roadway. As a result, bicyclists find themselves sharing the road with cars. So, what happens if there are no specified bike lanes on the road, and you were hit by a car while riding your bike?
No Bike Lanes – General Rules
On a road without bike lanes, the general rule is that bikes stay as far to the right as is safe. Notice that the general rule is not as far to the right as possible. This is because all the way to the right might not be the safest place for cyclists, especially when there is street parking. Riding a bike as close to the parked cars as possible is incredibly dangerous. A car door might open at any moment and cause a collision. Sometimes, the safest place for the bike is toward the center of the car lane.
What to Do if You’re Hit By a Car
Just like with any auto accident, make sure you contact the police. Doing so will create an accident report, which can be useful if you decide to make a claim. Then, get examined by a medical professional right away. The most important thing is your health and well-being, and you’ll want a medical record indicating your injuries for the claim.
If you decide to pursue a claim, you will most likely sue the car’s driver for negligence. Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. Under this sort of claim, you would need to prove the following:
- Duty: The driver owed you a duty to drive responsibly and safely on the road.
- Breach of duty: The driver breached their duty to drive in a reasonable manner and hit you.
- Causation: The driver’s breach of duty caused the collision.
- Damages: You suffered a personal injury as a result.
If you were injured in the collision and decide to pursue a personal injury claim, what you are really seeking are “damages”. Damages is a legal term for money awarded to a party in a lawsuit. In the case of a personal injury, a party usually seeks compensatory damages. As you might infer from the name, compensatory damages are intended to compensate for a loss or injury. You might be able to collect damages for:
- Medical bills
- Therapy bills
- Lost wages (calculated from your salary)
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Property damage
How much and what type of damages a party is awarded depends on the specific facts of each case.
Contact an Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand what sort of damages you may be entitled to and will fight to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.