Arlington Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicycles are an excellent way to travel throughout Arlington, the District of Columbia, and the surrounding area of Virginia and Maryland.  Every cyclist knows, however, that there are dangers inherent to clipping into the pedals.

Every year cyclists are involved in accidents with pedestrians, other cyclists, and vehicles. When these accidents happen, the knowledge and skill of an Arlington bicycle accident lawyer is essential to preserving your legal rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve.

If you are injured in a cycling accident in Arlington or the surrounding area, qualified personal injury attorneys can help you get back in the saddle.

Rights of Virginia Cyclists

Generally, bicycle riders are expected to follow the rules of the road.  Title 46.2 of the Virginia Code applies, in many circumstances, to cyclists and contains numerous bicycle-specific provisions.

Bicycles are expected to:

  • Ride in the rightmost lane of the roadway
  • Stop at all stop signs
  • Obey traffic signals
  • Yield appropriately to pedestrian and vehicular traffic with the right-of-way
  • Yield to pedestrians on trails, paths, and roadways

Automobiles are, in turn, expected to yield to cyclists. Unfortunately, there are many situations where this idyllic world does not exist; in the chaos of the streets cyclists are often the victims of aggressive motorists, inattentive or distracted drivers, and oblivious pedestrians.  This can result in serious accidents with grave injuries.

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident

If someone has the misfortune of being involved in a bicycle accident there a number of steps that can be taken to assist in a future lawsuit. First and foremost, ensure that the injured person and those around them are safe and uninjured. If someone requires medical attention see that emergency services are contacted and medical treatment is sought.

Contacting the police is often the next step taken in most serious bicycle accidents.  When they arrive, the police will assist in ensuring all parties are safe, generating an accident report, and gathering necessary evidence.  The injured party could assist in gathering evidence by taking photos of the scene including:

  • The roadway
  • Stop signs
  • Traffic lights
  • Painted markings
  • The position of vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians prior to the accident
  • Any other relevant details

Identifying witnesses and asking for their names and contact information is also a worthwhile step. Contacting the individual’s insurance company is also an important step to learning if their policy covers cyclists. Contacting a competent and professional Arlington bicycle accident lawyer is an essential step. An attorney can help people understand their legal rights as a cyclist, explain the legal details of their case, and assist them in developing a plan to recover the maximum possible compensation for sustained injuries.

Defining Negligence in Bike Collision Cases

Most frequently negligence will be the legal theory underlying recovery of compensation for injuries sustained in a bicycle accident.  Negligence, simply, occurs when someone fails to adhere to a reasonable standard of care for the circumstances.  As it pertains to most cycling accidents, negligence usually involves the failure of an automobile driver to take reasonable care while driving.  Failing to obey traffic laws, distraction, and failing to yield to cyclists are among the most common causes.

What is Contributory Negligence?

It is worth noting that Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland are all “contributory negligence” jurisdictions.  This means that if a plaintiff is found to be even 1% at-fault for an accident they are barred from recovery.  This means that a defendant will do everything in their power to demonstrate that the plaintiff was at least partially at-fault for an accident.

Attorneys are experienced in bicycle accident claims and understand how the contributory negligence framework of the area affects a negligence claim. They will work to preserve the individual’s right to recovery in the face of contributory negligence allegations.

How an Arlington Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help

Unfortunately, cyclists frequently lose in all aspects of a bicycle accident. Drivers, police, insurance companies, and others often assume that a cyclist was at-fault for an accident.

Drivers will often believe that a cyclist should not be on the roads; police may assume that a cyclist was riding in an unsafe or negligent manner; insurance companies will offer low-ball settlement offers; everything can seem stacked against an injured cyclist.

If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Arlington or the surrounding area Arlington bicycle accident lawyers stand ready to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.