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How is liability established following a bicycle accident?

The immediate aftermath of a bicycle and car collision is jarring for bicyclists. A bicyclist may be injured and disoriented. After seeking medical care, an injured Hoosier may opt to seek compensation for the injuries he or she suffered in the bicycle accident. It can be helpful for a Hoosier to understand how Indiana courts might evaluate liability after a bike crash.

If an injured bicyclist opts to pursue a lawsuit against a negligent driver, he or she will likely discover that many of the same issues that arise in automobile accidents will arise in a bicycle-car crash case. For example, the major issue may be whether either party acted negligently. Did the driver of a vehicle act recklessly or negligently and therefore cause the accident, or did the cyclist act in a negligent manner that contributed to or caused the accident?

A negligent driver may be the one who runs a stop sign, swerves into a bike lane or speeds down the road. To establish that a driver's negligence led to a bicycle accident, a plaintiff must show that the way a defendant acted violated the duty he or she owed to the bicyclist plaintiff. If a driver was cited for a traffic violation, such as reckless driving when the accident occurred, this can help an accident victim establish that the driver's actions contributed to the bicyclist's injuries.

Both automobile drivers and bicyclists must obey Indiana's traffic laws, plus they must exercise ordinary care with respect to their own safety and the safety of others. If you have been injured in a bike crash due to the negligence of a driver, you may have a legal cause of action. An attorney may be able to offer guidance.

Source:, "Bicycle Accidents," accessed on May 27, 2016

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