Motorists are legally required to share the road with bicyclists, and in many areas, citizens have access to lanes devoted solely to bicycles. Unfortunately, laws and lanes cannot stop irresponsible drivers who risk the lives and well-being of others from causing bicycle accidents.
Accident injuries can be very painful, and if they leave you unable to work and provide for yourself, you will end up having to deal with the emotional pain of financial distress. If you or someone you care about was injured in a bicycle accident, a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help you better understand your legal options. Work with an adept personal injury attorney that can evaluate your claim, and determine what legal steps you should take next.
Motorists and the Role of Designated Bike Lanes
As most responsible and safe drivers know, many highways and streets have designated bicycle lanes that are solely for bicyclists, typically marked off with paint and symbols of bicycles. Drivers should avoid driving in this lane, and they are expected to maintain a safe distance from bicyclists at all times.
These lanes are meant to keep both drivers and bicyclists safe, but unfortunately, some drivers do not pay attention and accidentally veer into bicycle lanes. This is immensely dangerous. If a person hits a bicyclist while using a designated bicycle lane, they should be held accountable for their actions in a civil court.
Establishing Liability in Court
When evaluating a personal claim involving a bicycle accident, most courts will examine the actions of both the driver and the bicyclist extensively. Both drivers and bicyclists have a legal obligation to exercise a reasonable degree of care, and as long as the bicyclist was following traffic laws at the time of the accident, a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer may be able to prove the driver engaged in negligent behavior.
Drivers are legally required to share the roadways with bicyclists, and if speeding or reckless driving is a factor in the accident, it will be taken into consideration by the court. However, if the bicyclist is believed to have engaged in the dangerous or reckless behavior, the court may decide that both parties bear a certain degree of responsibility.
Bicycle Laws Protecting Children
In many areas across the state, bicycle accidents often involve children in residential neighborhoods. Children are significantly more impulsive than adults, and their inability to reason at an adult level may cause them to make irrational decisions. To prevent accidents involving minors, lawmakers require motorists to exercise a higher degree of care when driving through areas where children may be bicycling.
This does not mean that every driver who collides with a child will be automatically found guilty of negligence. However, if the driver hits a child in a residential area or an area where there are schools, playgrounds or daycares, they may be held to a higher standard legally. Many courts have even ruled that extremely young children are incapable of exercising a reasonable degree of care when riding a bicycle.
Speaking with a St. Louis Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you are currently recovering from accident injuries, the idea of filing a civil suit may sound unappealing at this moment. However, without financial compensation, you will likely end up paying for your own medical expenses out of pocket even though the incident was not your fault. To potentially avoid such a scenario, a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help. Call today to discuss the details of your case.