Factors to Consider When Determining the At-Fault Person in a Bicycle Dooring Accident
Determining the at-fault person in a bicycle dooring accident can be difficult. Still, certain factors should be considered to determine which party is legally responsible for the crash. To make a sound decision, it is necessary to consider whether the cyclist was operating the bike safely or whether they were attempting something risky. Here are factors to consider when determining the at-fault person in a bicycle dooring accident:
1. The Cyclist’s Speed
How fast was the cyclist traveling at the time of the accident? If the cyclist was going too fast or recklessly, they might be partially to blame for the accident. Just like in car accidents, speeding can have severe consequences. This may lead to a larger payout for your claim. For instance, if the cyclist was going 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone, then it’s likely that they are at fault for causing the accident.
2. The Cyclist’s Age and Experience Level
This is another factor to consider if the cyclist was young or inexperienced. An experienced cyclist is more likely to know all of the risks that come with bicycling on city streets and may take more extraordinary precautions against dooring accidents. For example, an experienced cyclist may wear more protective gear (such as a helmet), signaling systems, and reflective clothing to help prevent a dooring accident. An experienced cyclist may also be more careful when choosing their path on the road, keeping in mind the road’s curves, speed limits, and other factors that need to be taken into consideration by an experienced cyclist.
3. The Cyclist’s Conduct
Was the cyclist acting recklessly or in a dangerous manner? For example, was the cyclist swerving between parked cars or dooring zones, thus making themselves more likely to crash? Or was the cyclist traveling too slowly and impeding traffic? If the cyclist showed poor conduct or illegally entered a lane of traffic, they may be partially to blame for the dooring accident.
4. The Cyclist’s Location
Was the cyclist biking on the road or in a designated bike lane? A cyclist who is on the road and not in a bike lane (designated by white or yellow lines) has a greater chance of crashing into another vehicle. Cyclists are supposed to stay off of city streets unless they are on a designated bike lane, so if the cyclist was biking on the road and swerved into traffic, they may be partially to blame for causing their accident. For dooring accidents, this is a major factor. If the cyclist was biking in a designated bike lane, the driver should have been more aware of them and kept their doors locked. In addition, drivers should know that cyclists need to stay on bike lanes when biking on city streets and avoid swerving into traffic.
5. The Cyclist’s Condition
Was the cyclist intoxicated? If they were riding their bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be partially to blame for the accident. Taking these substances may impair a person’s senses, making them less aware of their surroundings and could cause them to be less cautious in their actions. Not only is this an unsafe practice for the cyclist, but it can also result in a crash with another vehicle and injury. Under dooring accidents this is one of the most important factors. If the cyclist was riding while drunk or under the influence of drugs, they might be partially to blame for causing their crash. This can lead to a higher payout for your claim.
Although many factors should be considered when determining the at-fault person in a bicycle dooring accident, these five factors are some of the most important. If you were injured in a bike accident and seek compensation for your medical bills and lost wages, contact us for a free consultation today.