Bicycle riders are generally required to observe the same rules, regulations, and safety standards as car drivers.
Stopping at signals, yielding the right of way at intersections, and using turn signals are as important for cyclists as motorists. However, many bicycle cases are lost because the bicyclists failed to follow the same safety standards required of motorists.
The following liability factors should be examined carefully when assessing an auto vs. bicyclist case:
1. Designated riding area. Were you riding in a lane set for bicycles?
2. Reckless riding. Just prior to impact, were you riding against traffic,performing stunts, or otherwise riding recklessly?
3. Safety equipment. At the time of accident, did your bicycle have the required lights and reflectors?
4. Police assessment. Does the police report place responsibility on either the driver or bicyclist?
5. Available light. What were the lighting conditions at the time of accident? Was it easy or difficult for the driver to see you, the bicyclist?
6. Visibility of clothing. Did the clothing you were wearing make harder or easier to see you? Save the clothing you were wearing when hit.
7. Driver statements. What did the driver say immediately after the accident? While drivers who hit other cars seldom make incriminating statements, drivers who hit bicyclists will sometimes speak to victims lying on the ground after being hit.
8. Bicyclists statements. Conversely, did you say anything to the driver after the accident?
9. Degree of injury. How serious are your injuries? Jurors are not sympathetic to bicyclists as motorists because of the inherent danger of bicycle riding.