How Does Comparative Negligence Apply to Bicycle Accidents?

Bicycling is the preferred method of transportation for many in Florida who do not want to drive. However, this means that bicycle accidents regularly occur. When a bicyclist pursues a lawsuit following a crash with a motor vehicle, two questions will generally have to be answered. The first is whether the motorist’s negligent acts caused the collision, resulting in the injuries the bicyclist suffered. The second is whether the bicyclist also committed negligent acts that contributed to the crash.

There are a number of ways a motorist can be negligent. For example, running a red light, driving over the posted speed limit or swerving into a bike lane could all be considered negligent acts under the right circumstances. A negligence case consists of three elements: a motorist breached their duty to drive with due care, this breach caused the accident, and the accident resulted in damages to the victim.

However, sometimes a bicyclist also acts negligently. For example, failing to stop at a stop sign or suddenly turning into traffic may be considered negligent acts. Florida follows the law of comparative fault when determining damages in a negligence lawsuit. In Florida, if a bicyclist’s actions contributed to the crash, the damages the bicyclist may be awarded will be reduced by the percentage the bicyclist was at fault. Therefore, even if the crash was partly the bicyclist’s fault, the bicyclist could still receive damages in a negligence lawsuit.

As this shows, liability in bicycle accidents is not always straightforward. Victims of bicycle accidents who wish to pursue a lawsuit will want to seek the aid of an attorney. With the right information, bicycle accident victims will be able to make the choices that are best for them.


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