Who Is At Fault When a Bike Hits a Car?

Collisions involving bicycles and cars usually result in serious injuries for cyclists. Cars are designed to handle collisions with other large vehicles, so an unprotected cyclist usually suffers the brunt of the crash. They can easily end up in the hospital.

When it comes to determining fault, our personal injury lawyers need to look at what happened. Either the cyclist or the car driver could be at fault for the crash, or maybe a third party. Contact Groth & Associates if you have a question about fault.

When the Cyclist is At Fault

Cyclists must use reasonable care when riding on the road. At a minimum, this means following the rules of the road and keeping their bicycle in good condition. For example, Ohio requires that cyclists ride with traffic and signal before making a turn. If the cyclist doesn’t, they could be at fault for any collision that results.

Some cyclists hit cars when weaving in and out of traffic, or even when running a red light. Some cyclists don’t think they need to stop at intersections with other traffic, but they do.

A cyclist could also become distracted by looking at a phone, or they could get into a wreck due to fatigue or intoxication. In all of these examples, the cyclist could be at fault.

When the Car Driver is At Fault

Although a car might get hit, the driver is sometimes still at fault for the crash. For example:

  • A motorist might pull directly in front of a bicyclist. The cyclist doesn’t have enough time to avoid the collision, so the driver is at fault.
  • A motorist might slam on the brakes for no reason. A cyclist can’t stop in time, so they crash into the back of the car.
  • A motorist parked on the side of the street might open their door without checking whether a cyclist is coming from behind. The cyclist then hits the opened door.

In these examples, the driver is not using sufficient care. Instead, their careless or reckless conduct has led to the collision, which means they are at fault. The cyclist could possibly sue the driver.

When Another Entity is At Fault

It’s possible that something else caused the collision. For example, a road defect (like a big pothole) could force a cyclist to lose control and slam into a vehicle. Neither the cyclist nor the driver is responsible for the quality of the road, so neither is at fault. Instead, they might sue the government entity responsible for the road.

In other cases, a second vehicle could have forced the cyclist to take defensive action. This type of “phantom” car could be responsible for the collision.

Contact Groth Law

We’ll use our knowledge to carefully scrutinize whether you can sue, and who you should name as the defendant. Call our personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Ideally, accident victims should receive compensation for all their losses, including medical care and loss of income, not to mention pain and suffering.