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A bike crash doesn't have to send your world crashing down

You love cycling -- after all, it can be an excellent way to get some exercise and save on gas costs. Unfortunately, if you ride your bike around a negligent vehicle driver, you may end up suffering injuries in an accident.

A bike crash can easily lead to serious if not fatal injuries. Fortunately, if a motorist has injured you due to careless behavior behind the wheel, you have the right to seek to hold him or her accountable through the California civil court system.

Drivers' responsibility on the road

Motor vehicle drivers have an obligation to follow traffic laws. They also have an obligation to exercise reasonable care when it comes to their own safety as well as the safety of others, including bicyclists.

Unfortunately, not all vehicle drivers fulfill their obligations while behind the wheel. For example, perhaps the driver that struck you blew through a stop sign or was speeding at the time of the bike crash. The driver may have even drifted into your bike lane. All of this is negligent behavior, or it could even be reckless behavior if the driver committed these actions while knowingly disregarding your safety.

Cyclists' responsibility on the road

Like drivers, bicyclists must obey the established road rules and exercise care while traveling near or on roadways. If you turn suddenly into traffic, run a stop sign or travel in the wrong direction on a one-way road, you have engaged in negligent cycling.

If you suffer injuries in a bike vs. vehicle accident involving a negligent car driver and authorities determine that your negligent cycling also contributed to the accident, you can still file a personal injury claim against the driver seeking damages. However, based on the theory of comparative negligence, the amount of compensation you receive in a successfully fought claim will be decreased in proportion to how much the court determines you contributed to the collision.

Monetary compensation in a successfully litigated claim

If you end up receiving compensation in your case, this may help you to cover your medical bills and even the loss of wages if your bike crash injuries caused you to miss work for a period of time. Monetary damages may also help you to address pain and suffering as well as emotional distress stemming from these types of accidents.

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