When cars and bicycles collide, the results can be deadly. Michigan saw 985 cyclist deaths in 2019, and over 1,260 cyclists injured in collisions with vehicles in 2021. With an increasing number of bicyclists sharing the road with motorists, these accidents are more likely to occur than ever, and determining who is at fault for damages can be tricky
You can take a few legal avenues if you have been involved in a car-on-bicycle accident. You can file a claim against your own insurance company for no-fault benefits, or sue the negligent driver for compensation, if your injuries are severe.
Hiring an experienced vehicle accident lawyer from Fieger Law can increase your chances of successfully navigating the legal system and winning the compensation you deserve.
When is a Car at Fault in a Bicycle Accident?
A car may be at fault in a bicycle crash if the driver fails to follow basic traffic laws or drives recklessly and without regard to other road users. Negligent drivers may do the following, resulting in an accident with an unsuspecting cyclist:
- Fail to yield to cyclists or pedestrians
- Drive over the speed limit
- Fail to come to a complete stop at designated stop signs or intersections
- Fail to signal when turning or changing lanes
- Operate the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drive distracted
While there are many ways a driver can be at fault for an accident with a bicyclist, this negligence can be challenging to prove when many drivers, police officers, insurance adjustors, and juries may already be biased against cyclists and assume they were breaking a law when they were hit. Speak with a vehicle accident attorney from Fieger Law to review your case and chances for compensation. We have experience handling bicycle collision cases and can increase your chances of getting the money you deserve for your injuries and pain and suffering.
Can a Cyclist Sue the Driver if They Were Hit?
Michigan drivers are responsible for taking reasonable action to avoid a collision—not just with other cars, but also bicyclists. If a driver runs into you on your bike and causes injuries, you can file a claim for no-fault insurance benefits. If your injuries meet the serious injury threshold in Michigan, you may even be able to sue the at-fault motorist for further damages than PIP provides.
Fieger Law’s Michigan bicycle injury attorneys can help you understand your legal options and seek a fair settlement for the damages you suffered.
When is a Cyclist at Fault in a Car Accident?
Although cars owe a more significant duty of care to cyclists, bicyclists can also carry fault in Michigan for crashes. For example, the rider must obey traffic laws and use hand signals when riding a bike. A cyclist can’t legally ignore traffic lights or stop signs any more than a driver can.
If a cyclist weaves in and out of traffic dangerously, doesn’t wear a helmet or use lights (which are legally required) when riding after dark, or is distracted by their phone while riding, they may hit a car or crash and injure themselves. Under these circumstances, the cyclist may be considered at least partially at fault for their own damages resulting from the collision, meaning any compensation they can get from the driver of the other vehicle in the collision is greatly reduced.
Can a Driver Sue a Cyclist if They Hit Their Car?
If a negligent cyclist hits your car, you will likely suffer property damage rather than bodily injury. For instance, if they hit your door, it may cause a dent or knock off your mirror. Under these circumstances, you may not have many compensation options.
PIP insurance doesn’t cover property damage, only injuries. Likewise, you cannot file a personal injury claim because you didn’t suffer injuries. While it may be possible to file a mini-tort claim against the cyclist’s auto insurance policy, they may not have purchased this optional coverage or may not have auto insurance at all. In which case, you may need to depend on the cyclist having the money to pay out of pocket or use your own collision insurance.
However, you may have recourse if the cyclist’s actions lead to a crash causing you or your passengers bodily injury. For instance, if a cyclist runs a red light or rides against traffic, they may cause drivers around them to swerve or brake suddenly to avoid them, causing a crash.
Bicycle-on-car collisions are complicated and subjective. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney from Fieger Law can help determine fault after a crash involving a vehicle and someone on a bicycle. We have years of experience handling these cases and can provide you with skillful representation.
Should You Consider a Michigan Vehicle & Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Roadway accidents are often complicated and involve several variables. Hiring an attorney with a proven track record in successfully handling vehicle accident cases is vital to help you make sound legal decisions for your case.
The attorneys at Fieger Law have won their clients millions in damages and possess the experience necessary to help you win your case. Contact Fieger Law today to schedule a free initial consultation if you have suffered injuries in a collision. We handle cases from across the United States, so we will fight for you no matter your location.