There is a certain amount of trust that is necessary when a bicycle rider shares the road with motorists. Bicyclists are at a distinct disadvantage if a crash occurs, because they lack the protective metal, air bags, and safety features of a car. Each year hundreds of people die in bicycle accidents on U.S. roads that were caused by motorists.
Who’s Liable for a Fatal Bike Crash?
As with any accident, a full investigation may be conducted after a fatal bicycle collision. As the representative of the bicyclist’s estate or a close relative, you cannot recover damages unless you can prove that someone other than the bicyclist caused the accident and the bicyclist’s death.
In the case of a fatal bike crash, you will need to prove that the motorist involved in the collision was negligent. The driver was negligent if:
- The driver owed the bicyclist a duty of care. Motorists owe everyone with whom they share a duty of care—including bicyclists.
- The driver breached that duty of care. If the driver failed to act like a reasonable driver would in similar circumstances then the driver breached his duty of care. Some examples may include texting while driving, eating while driving, or failing to stop for a traffic signal.
- The driver’s breach of the duty of care caused the bicyclist’s death. In other words, your loved one would not have died but for the actions or inactions of the motorist.
- You have the right to recover damages. State law provides people with certain relationships to the deceased the right to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Of course, you will need evidence to convince the insurance company or court to provide you with fair damages in this type of wrongful death action.
Take Action Without Delay
The best time to get evidence in a fatal bicycle accident case is as soon as possible after the crash. Accordingly, it is important to contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as you can. Your lawyer will work hard to make sure a thorough investigation is done, will advise you of your rights, and will help during this difficult time. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, please start a live chat with us now.