I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle. Can I sue for damages?


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Question:

I was riding my bicycle in the specified bike lane when I was hit by a car and broke my arm, some ribs, and my leg. Do I have a case?

Answer:

It sounds like you definitely have a viable personal injury case against the driver who hit you. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Fault May Not Be as Clear as You Think. Even in a car versus bicycle accident, where you’ve got a 5,000 pound vehicle going up against an exposed bicycle rider, the rules of the road still apply. There are situations where a bicycle rider comes away from an accident with severe injuries, but he or she also bears most of the fault for causing the accident. Learn more about Common Liability Issues in Car-Bike Accident Cases.

Insurance Will Be Key. If you were on your bicycle and were hit by the driver of a car, that person’s car insurance will probably be the best first place to turn for making an injury claim. Bicycle riders face unique challenges when making injury claims with car insurance carriers. For helpful information, check out Tips for Bicyclists When Handling an Injury Claim.

This is all not to mention the fact that if you were the victim of a hit and run where the car driver didn’t stop, your legal options will be seriously limited. You’ll likely need to first turn to your own health insurance coverage to pay your medical bills, and then hope that you (and local law enforcement) are successful in your effort to locate the at-fault driver.     

by: , J.D.

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