If you can believe it, one of our team members was behind a car getting on the freeway when one of the rear tires flew off of the car, narrowly missing another vehicle and causing a lot of mayhem on the onramp. Someone failed to put the tire back on the vehicle with proper care. This is negligence. And negligence is often a point of dispute in cycling injury cases.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is a term you may have not heard before if you haven’t been involved in a legal dispute. In California, negligence is defined as “the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to oneself or to others. A person can be negligent by acting or by failing to act,” (CACI No. 401). This means when someone fails to take proper or reasonable care in doing something or doesn’t take steps or precautions necessary to proceed safely, and this failure to act or negligent act injures someone, the injured party can recover monetary damages from the negligent party.
What’s Considered Reasonable Care?
The argument for what’s “reasonable” as a step or procedure is often debated. “A person is negligent if that person does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation” (CACI No. 401). A “reasonable person” is also sometimes referred to a prudent or rational person. Often violating a California law, such as laws applying to drivers and cyclists found in the Vehicle Code is determined to be negligence.
What is Negligence in Cycling Injury Cases?
When cyclists are struck by cars, the most common types of a driver’s negligent behavior include distracted driving, like texting while driving, driving too fast for the surrounding conditions, and failing to obey traffic signs and signals.
A company, like bicycle manufacturer or bicycle repair shop, can also be found negligent if their product or repair is unsafe. We handle a lot of cycling injury cases as personal injury lawyers, but we also represent cyclists in product liability cases. If you were cycling and a weld suddenly broke loose on your bicycle causing an accident, the question would arise if there was any negligence on the part of the manufacturer or repair shop.
Insurance Companies Fight Liability to Avoid Paying Compensation
Remember that in all legal cases, gathering the evidence to establish another party’s negligence and liability can be a complicated process. Insurance companies fight very hard to try and show the injured person was negligent, not their driver. Things may not always be black and white, which is why it is so important to hire a cycling injury lawyer as soon as possible. We’re here to help fight for your rights and we bring years of experience in handling cycling injury cases, plus… we ride, too! We know what it’s like to cyclists out there. If you have been injured or had property damage to your bicycle, give us a call; consultations are free. You may also contact us online here.