What Happens When a Bicyclist is at Fault for an Accident? - Catalano Law

What Happens When a Bicyclist is at Fault for an Accident?

In New York, many people ride their bikes in urban areas and rural settings to avoid vehicle traffic, be physically active, and reduce transportation costs. However, bicycle accidents happen often, with 1,046 fatalities occurring in 2020.

While many of these accidents are caused by motor vehicle drivers, there are situations where a bicyclist may be at fault for an accident. Whether you are a bicyclist or a motorist, knowing what happens when a bicyclist is responsible for a collision can help you understand your rights and seek compensation.

Responsibilities for Cyclists in New York

Bicyclists in New York have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle operators to ensure their safety and that of others on the road.

How Can Bicyclists Have Fault in an Accident?

Bicyclists can be liable for an accident if they engage in negligent behavior. Some examples of negligent behavior include:

New York Modified Comparative Negligence

In New York, the concept of pure contributory negligence plays a crucial role in determining fault and compensation in bicycle accidents. Section 1411 allows any party to claim damages, even if they are 99% responsible for the accident. This means that both parties may be partially responsible for the incident and receive compensation.

For example, a bicyclist is found to be 30% at fault for an accident and is awarded $100,000 in damages. They receive $70,000 after their percentage of fault is accounted for.

Maximizing Your Safety While Biking in New York

While it’s crucial to understand the legal aspects of bicycle accidents, taking preventative measures to maximize your safety while biking in New York can help reduce the risk of accidents. Always wear a helmet, maintain your bike in good condition, and practice defensive biking techniques.

Be extra vigilant at intersections and be prepared for the unexpected. Additionally, consider taking a bicycle safety course to learn best practices for sharing the road with motor vehicles, pedestrians, and other cyclists. By prioritizing safety, you can contribute to a safer biking environment for everyone on the road.

Speak with a Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

Determining fault in a bicycle accident can be a complex and challenging process. At Catalano Law, our team of skilled attorneys understands New York laws and can help you navigate the legal system. 

We are dedicated to representing bicycle accident victims and ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free case review to get started on your claim.

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