Operating a vehicle is much more than looking both ways before you make a turn at an intersection. Whether it is driving a car or riding a bicycle, everyone owes a duty to act with care. Those on the road should do everything possible to prevent harmful accidents from occurring.
Sometimes bicycle accidents happen regardless of how careful someone might have been. If you suffered injuries from a bicycle collision, the process of seeking legal recovery could be confusing.
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In most situations, a police report is made for collisions involving bicycle accidents. Police reports generally state who is at fault for the collision. When a police report is not made and the injury results from the careless acts of another person, negligence of the careless person will have to be shown before recovery can be made. Negligence laws in Kentucky set the standard of care for wrongful acts that inflict physical, mental, or financial harm to others.
A person could be considered negligent if they fail to act reasonably. This means people have a duty to prevent an unreasonable risk of harm to others around them.
This duty applies to both bicycle riders and automobile drivers. For example, bicyclists and drivers are required to follow all traffic laws while on the road.
There are four principal elements that a bicycle accident victim’s attorney must prove to receive compensation under a negligence claim These four elements are:
Bicyclists and drivers both owe a duty of care to operate their vehicles with reasonable care. When they fail to act reasonably, they are in breach of their duty. Common examples would be driving over the speed limit, texting while driving, or turning without signaling.
The breach of duty must also be the actual and proximate causes of the plaintiff’s injuries. Actual cause is straightforward and refers to the wrongful act itself. Proximate cause is a foreseeable consequence of the wrongful act. For example, if the driver of a motor vehicle ran a stop sign and crashed into a bicyclist, running the stop sign would be both the proximate and actual cause of the bicyclist’s injuries.
Kentucky imposes bicycle safety regulations through the Transportation Cabinet which is known as the “Kentucky Administrative Regulations.” The following are some notable laws that might affect bicycle crash cases in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Bicyclists are required to operate their vehicle in the same manner as a motor vehicle. Bike riders must use a bicycle lane or ride in the shoulder lane of a highway. There should be no more than two bicyclists riding side-by-side in a single lane. Bicyclists must use a front light when visibility is low such as at night or in overcast conditions. For more information on when lights must be turned on refer to Kentucky Revised Statutes §189.030(1).
A PDF brochure outlining Kentucky’s laws and regulations for bicycle travel and safety standards can be found here.
Seeking compensation for your injuries while you are recovering could be overwhelming.
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