Image courtesy Richard Masoner / Cyclelicio.us
With our Bike Summit coming up, it got us thinking about some of the legal issues surrounding bicycling. We hope that we never collide with a car or need legal advice for some encounter we have on our bikes, but unfortunately these things happen. Fortunately, we know some great lawyers who handle bike cases, so we asked for their professional advice on a few key questions. In their answers, there was definitely some consensus and major themes worth noting.
- Medical care and police report: If you are hit by a car while riding and injured, get the medical care you need as soon as possible, but make sure you also get a police report at the scene to record what happened.
- Gather evidence: While the police should be taking photos and getting witness information and testimonials, get your own photos and write down witnesses’ names/phone numbers, or have someone do it for you. You may need this info later.
- DO NOT fix your bike. The bike is an important piece of evidence and might be used to show what happened in the collision in a court case.
- Motorist point of view: There is definitely a motorist point of view dominant in court cases. The cyclist is at a disadvantage with most jurors, so evidence is critical in proving what actually happened, as well as a lawyer experienced in bicycle cases.
- Don’t talk to the other person’s insurance company – that is what the police report is for.
- Know the vehicle code 21202. Bicyclists can use the full lane (“take the lane”) in a number of situations. Generally, we are supposed to ride as close as “practicable” to the right side of the road or in the bike lane, if there is one, but there are so many exceptions to this rule to almost make the exception the rule.
To read their complete responses, please click below
Thank you to all the participating attorneys for your thoughtful responses!