Know What Your Rights Are
Accidents involving a cyclist can result in damaged property, serious injury or even death. If you are the victim of a careless or dangerous individual, then you are due compensation. The Law Offices of Brent Hankins can help you receive the fair recourse you deserve. In Kansas and Missouri, although the bicycle statutes differ, both states hold a cyclist to same rules, responsibilities and rights as drivers. This ensures that bicyclist can be held legally responsible for their actions, just as a cyclist can hold others accountable for their actions. The parties involved in an accident, and each parties degree of negligence, can result in different levels of responsibility and compensation for damages.
Rights of the Cyclist
Drivers should always be aware of nearby cyclists. Drivers should ensure their vehicle never gets so close to a bicycler that it endangers them. Drivers must also keep a safe distance while passing a bicycler. Bicyclers are not expected to remain on right hand of the road if the shoulder is dangerous, there are parked cars, or the lane is too narrow to ride alongside traffic. In these situations, a bicycler may occupy the center of a traffic lane. All cars in the lane behind this bicycle must respect the bicycle's speed and wait for the bicycler to move back to the right-hand side of the road to pass. If you are a bicycler who was the victim of a careless or dangerous driver, you may have legal recourse. This may include a driver whose reckless driving caused a collision during an aggressive pass, who didn’t yield to a bicycler turning at a stoplight, or who didn’t check their vehicle's blind spot.
Pedestrians always have the right-of-way. However, if a pedestrian purposively puts you in danger while you are riding a bicycle, you may have legal recourse. This could be a pedestrian that intended to obstruct the sidewalk, or suddenly decided to jaywalk.
Other cyclists must also obey traffic laws. If you were the victim of a careless or dangerous bicycler, you may have legal recourse. This could include another cyclist causing a bicycle-on-bicycle collision or riding so close they force you into another vehicle.
Rights of Drivers
Bicyclers are subjected to the same traffic laws that vehicles must follow. If you are a driver who was the victim of dangerous bicycler, you may have legal recourse. This may include a bicycler whose sporadic motions forced you to take a sudden maneuver, who wasn’t using the right-hand side of the road when possible, or who was operating a bicycle without the proper reflectors and lights.
If you are a driver who struck a cyclist who wasn’t obeying the law, you may have a legal defense. By law, bicyclists are required to use specific reflectors, front-facing lamps, brakes, turn signals, bicycle lanes etc. If a bicyclist neglected the law that would have made them visible to the driver, then the fault of the accident cannot be placed solely on the driver. Maybe the cyclist wasn’t wearing required prescription glasses, was inebriated, or using headphones.
Rights of Pedestrians
Bicyclers must operate in a way that does not threaten the safety of pedestrians. If you are a pedestrian who was the victim of a dangerous bicycler who broke the law, you may have legal recourse. Bicycles cannot be operated on the sidewalks of a business district in Missouri. If you were hit by a bicyclist on a business district sidewalk, crosswalk or struck by a bicycler who didn’t use an audible signal before passing you on a sidewalk, you may be due compensation for damages caused by negligence.