DC Bicycle Accident Case Dynamics

Bike collisions can have serious consequences for an individual. Usually, bicycle accidents are more severe than motor vehicle accidents because a bicycle rider is exposed on a bicycle. Typical injuries sustained in a bicycle accident are worse than injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. When litigating bicycle accidents, it is important to work with an accomplished bike accident attorney that is familiar with DC bicycle accident case dynamics. A skilled lawyer could work towards a positive outcome for you.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents

The biggest factor that leads to bicycle accidents are bicyclists who ignore the street signals. They ignore traffic signals, stop signs, and run red lights. As a result, they are more exposed to accidents, particularly if they are ignoring street signs. A car does not anticipate a bike that races through an intersection when the car has the right of way. When a bicyclist obeys the street signs, there would be fewer pedestrian accidents.

Common Injuries in Bike Crashes

Common injuries in a bicycle accident are spinal process fractures and broken ribs. They are more often seen in bicycle accidents at intersection accidents involving bicycles than accidents involving pedestrians or cars.

There is more trauma to the spine in a bicycle accident that can result in a spinal process fracture. The outer portion of the vertebrae is called the spinal process. It is common to see spinal process fractures in bicycle accidents from direct trauma when a bicyclist hits a car and lands on their back.

Bicycle Classification

One of the DC bicycle accident case dynamics to keep in mind is the classification of bicycles in DC. Bicycles are classified as non-motorized vehicles in DC. They are regulated as bicycles. It is a self-contained definition that is classified as a bicycle which is a non-motorized cycle with two wheels that can be pedaled.

The comparative negligence standard means that bicycles are judged more as pedestrians than vehicles; notwithstanding the fact that they can travel at a speed more equal with vehicles than pedestrians.

What Standards are Bicycles Held To? 

Bicyclists are held to the standard of reasonable conduct which is the same for any individual in any negligence case in the District.

In civil law, the standard is enforced by a jury. The police are empowered to regulate bicyclist conduct. If they see a bicyclist run a red light or run a stop sign, they have the right to give them a ticket just as they do with motor vehicles.

Comparative and Contributory Negligence in Bike Accident Cases

Generally, DC is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. However, with pedestrians and bicyclists, DC is a comparative negligence jurisdiction.

Comparative negligence apportions fault between the parties. For instance, if a jury feels that both parties are equally responsible, they can find each party 50 percent responsible. Any award rendered by the jury is cut in half as a portion of comparative fault attributable to the plaintiff. 

The impact of these DC bicycle accident case dynamics on a case depends on how the accident occurred, the injuries, and the insurance company. These factors generally have the most impact on a client’s case regarding whether it goes to court or whether one needs to file a lawsuit. Generally, it depends on what the insurance company wants to do.

How a DC Bike Accident Lawyer Could Help

A bike crash lawyer looks at what took place in a bicycle accident. The attorney obtains the police report, reviews it, and evaluates the police officers version of the events. If there is something wrong with the police reconstruction, the attorney can get an accident reconstructionist to evaluate the accident. It is important to keep the various DC bicycle accident case dynamics in mind while building a case. If an individual has been injured in a bike accident, they should speak with a capable attorney that could help them recover the damages that they deserve.