Legal outcomes for drivers involved in accidents with bicyclists

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Road safety is a critical issue, especially involving interactions between motor vehicles and bicycles. Understanding the balance of responsibilities and the legal framework that governs these interactions can help maintain safer roads for everyone.

What responsibilities do drivers have?

To safeguard cyclists, the law requires drivers in Wisconsin to follow specific safety guidelines. According to these rules, cars must give bicycles at least three feet of space when passing them. They must also avoid bike lanes unless absolutely required, like during turns.

Doing so helps reduce the chances of accidents. It’s critical, because research showed that 60% of bicycle accidents involving adults were because of motorist error, not the bicyclist. For children, 90% of these crashes were due to child error, not the motorist. 

The investigation process

Local law enforcement typically carries out a comprehensive investigation after a bicycle accident. The process includes gathering evidence from the site, including pictures, video from the camera system, and witness accounts. 

The main goals are to establish a coherent account of the accident’s events and identify the responsible party. The driver’s main concern will be whether they broke any traffic laws and whether those violations were a factor in the collision.

Dealing with damages and liability

If a driver is at fault, they might have to pay for the cyclist’s medical bills as well as any damages to their property. The normal process for handling this liability is through insurance claims.

But if the parties cannot agree, the matter may go to court as a personal injury claim. It’s critical to realize that responsibility depends on the details of the collision. It also includes the pre-accident behavior of the cyclist and the driver.

Road safety reflections

Creating safer roads is a shared responsibility. Drivers and cyclists alike should be mindful of their environment and operate cautiously to ensure their own safety and that of others. 


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