Many people mistakenly believe that because bicyclists face higher levels of risk on the road, they could never be responsible for a serious motor vehicle accident. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as both bicycle drivers and motorists have a shared responsibility to protect each other from undue hazards.
If you’ve been injured because of a negligent bicycle rider in Hartford, you can turn to our experienced injury lawyer at Zayas Law Firm. With over 44 years of legal experience and 24/7 availability, we can give you the dedicated and personalized representation you need after an accident takes place.
Understanding Connecticut Bicycle Accident Laws
It’s true that cyclists are more likely to be involved in fatal and serious crashes than motorists, due in part to how these vehicles are constructed. By exposing riders to the elements, bicycles offer little to no physical buffer against spinal cord injury, organ damage, and lower body injuries. Because of this fact, the number of fatal bicycle accidents has continued to rise, even as bike accidents have continued to decrease overall.
Under Connecticut law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities of motorists, but they also share the same responsibilities as pedestrians. This “hybrid” quality means that bicyclists in Connecticut are required to observe a few more safety laws than cyclists in other states. From using reflectors to keeping both hands on the handlebars, there are many specific requirements a bicyclist must follow in order to avoid accident liability.
Here are some ways that a bicyclist could be held accountable for an accident:
- Failing to follow traffic laws
- Passing in-between cars
- Using parkways or limited state access highways without a bike path
- Cycling under the influence of alcohol or marijuana
- Failing to ride with oncoming traffic
- Incorrectly using turn signals, or failing to signal at all
- Not using a bike lane when travelling slowly
- Not using a front light in conditions with limited light
Of course, even though bicyclists do have a duty of care towards other motorists on the road, their status as “vulnerable users” means that vehicle drivers can inflict more damage, and that drivers must yield right-of-way to cyclists during a turn. This is why it can be difficult to determine liability in a complex bicycle accident case – and why you may need the assistance of a skilled attorney.
Fighting for Your Rights After a Crash
At Zayas Law Firm, we represent both injured drivers and injured bicyclists, and we have the knowledge and experience to pursue full compensation under the law. Skilled at investigating the true cause of a collision, we’ll get to the bottom of your bicycle accident and hold the right party accountable. We also have access to medical experts and other expert individuals who can testify to your injuries, and ensure that your story is heard.
For more information about our legal services in Hartford, call (860) 278-0820 today.