Road accidents don’t always involve passenger vehicles or big automobiles. Bicycle accidents are as common as any other auto accident. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 13 bicycle fatalities in the year 2017. Over 0.5% of road accidents are bicycle crashes. If you commute to work on your bicycle, you should be aware of the traffic laws in Virginia. Most cyclists wonder if they can be held responsible for an accident. In Virginia, even a person is held partially responsible for an accident; they will not be entitled to recover compensation for their damages.
It’s usually believed that bicyclists are more vulnerable to an auto accident, and thus, they can’t be at fault. However, the fault is not determined by the vulnerability.
So, how is liability determined in bicycle accidents?
Bicyclists have to follow the same traffic rules as other drivers. If an accident happens due to the bicyclist’s negligence, he will be liable for the injuries and damages caused to the other person. The bicyclist will be legally responsible for the injuries incurred by the other person involved in the accident. In Virginia, negligence is the key factor used to determine who is at fault for the accident. If it’s found that the bicyclist was negligent on his part, he will be responsible for the accident. Whether you ride a bicycle, motorcycle, car, or any other vehicle, you must comply with the traffic laws.
If you violate a traffic rule, it would be considered negligence on your part if your actions cause injuries to someone else.
Similar to any other auto accident, negligence is crucial when assessing who is liable for the accident. Suppose a bicyclist fails to signal before taking a turn or ignores the traffic light, their actions will be considered negligence if they cause an accident.
While determining who is at fault for the accident, the Commonwealth laws for shared fault are referred. In the U.S, there four states that have contributory negligence rules. Virginia is one of these four states. According to the contributory negligence rule, if a person involved in an accident is partially responsible for the accident, he/she will not be entitled to any compensation. Even if you are 1% responsible for the accident, the contributory negligence law and personal injury law may prevent you from securing any financial settlement for your damages.
How to ride safely in Virginia?
If you ride a bicycle on a regular basis, you should be aware of all the traffic laws and rules in Virginia. Besides this, one should obey the traffic rules even if they are cycling on the lane’s right-hand side. It has been noted that bicycle fatalities occur during April and October. However, bicycle accidents can happen anytime, anywhere.
Children are most vulnerable to bicycle accidents. If your child is learning to ride a bicycle or has started to set out on a bicycle ride, you should teach them road safety tips.