Negligence refers to failure to comply with the accepted standard of care in a particular situation. Establishing the negligence of another party after a bicycle accidents depends on factors unique to each accident. Proving negligence in a bike accident case can be done in several different ways.
If a statute or regulation applies to the accident, proving that a party failed to comply with the law can constitute negligence. Negligence can also be proven by proximate cause if a person is able to establish that certain types of injuries occur.
If there is a superseding cause for the bicycle accident, however, an accident victim might not be able to obtain compensation. If there is some superseding or intervening cause of the injury, the negligence of a defendant alone may not be enough to warrant a recovery.
The Standard for Bicyclists
Bicyclists in the state of Maryland are viewed as operating a vehicle in the same way as motor vehicle drivers. As a result, bicyclists are required to obey all applicable road regulations that the drivers of cars are. As a result, proving negligence in bike accident cases often involves the same legal standard as motor vehicle accidents.
The Four Elements of a Negligence Case
There are four elements that must be satisfied in a number of negligence cases, which include the following:
A Duty of Care Was Owed
Both bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers have certain obligations when traveling on the road. This obligation includes a general level of reasonable care which includes obeying the speed limit and stopping at red light. Proving negligence in a bike accident case involves establishing that the other party owed the bicyclist a duty of care.
This Duty of Care Was Breached
After establishing that the other party had a duty of care to act in a certain way, it must be established that the other party breached this duty of care. If it can be shown that a person violated an applicable road regulation, a court will likely find this to constitute the breach of a duty of care because motorists are viewed as having a duty of care to obey the laws.
This Breach Caused the Victim’s Injuries
To successfully establish a negligence case, a party must establish that the breach of duty actually caused injuries or damage.
Your Injuries Qualify for Compensation
Many bicycle accident cases revolve around establishing what the exact worth of the resulting damages are. While some types of damages can be calculated based off of receipts, other damages like pain and suffering are much more difficult to place an exact numerical value on.
Comparative Negligence Laws
Maryland is one of few states that decides personal injury cases (including bike and car accidents) in accordance with the contributory negligence doctrine. Under the terms of comparative negligence law, any amount of compensation is reduced in proportion with the amount of negligence that the victim of the accident is responsible.
For example, if a person is awarded $100,000 in compensation but it is determined that they are 25% at fault for the accident then the amount of compensation that they ultimately received will be reduced by 25% or $25,000. As a result, the accident victim would only receive $75,000 in compensation.
Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, it is common to end up facing very serious injuries. Successfully proving negligence in a bike accident case often relies on a person’s ability to obtain strong legal representation like attorney Randolph Rice, who has successfully helped many injured bicyclists obtain the compensation they deserve.
Contact our law office today to make sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner.