Although it can bear a strong resemblance to other types of motor vehicle crashes, there are certain dynamics of Manchester bicycle accidents that warrant special attention. Bicycles function differently than cars or trucks, and that can be an asset as well as a hindrance. A respected bicycle accident attorney could provide more information on how these accidents occur and what the legal implications might be.
The Difference Between Bicycle Crashes and Other Types of Crashes
Manchester roads are designed to cater to the needs of drivers, and not the needs of cyclists. Bicycle accidents are often caused by drivers disregarding safety rules that protect the less-vulnerable bicyclists who have every right to be using the roads safely.
The vulnerability of the cyclist is at the core of what makes these cases unique. A car has a lot to protect somebody: airbags, seatbelts, impact zones, and the entire frame. These protections do not exist for a cyclist, who only has a helmet and other wearable gear to protect them. In accidents involving bicycles and automobiles, the bike rider often sustains broken bones, and in some severe cases it results in catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis or even death. Hit-and-run accidents are also common when a driver accidently drifts towards the shoulder and hits a bicycle.
Bicycle accidents are unique because what might be a minor fender-bender for the car could end up being a major strike against a bicycle. Attorneys look at the physics of how a crash occurred and the biomechanics of the injuries, which are often unique to bicycle and motorcycle crashes.
How Can Someone be Prepared While Riding?
One of the things that bicyclists can do to stay safe is to be aware of their equipment, double-check the maintenance of their bike, make sure their helmet is in good working order, wear reflective clothing, and keep abreast of weather changes and driver visibility. They should make sure that they are riding on the right side of the road, they are not wearing headphones, and are generally aware of their surroundings. Understanding the frequent dynamics at play in local bicycle accidents is the best way to prevent one.
Manchester gets a lot of rain that can puddle and cause problems with cyclists, as well as ice, snow, wet leaves, and grass clippings. Even throughout the day, there can be a profound difference in temperature and precipitation, so the weather should always be front of mind.
The best way for cyclists to protect themselves in severe weather conditions is to stay off the road, if possible. In addition to their own maneuverability, it is more likely that a large vehicle might spin out and strike someone as well. An erratic driver could try to blame an accident on the weather, and might be able to get away with it if there is no contradictory evidence.
What Kind of Jurisdiction is Manchester?
Connecticut is a contributory negligence jurisdiction, which means that if an injured bicyclist is found to be more than 51 percent at fault for the accident, they cannot recover damages. If someone were found to be 20 percent at fault, any verdict would be reduced by 20 percent, and so on. The lack of a helmet cannot be considered as contributory negligence although some jurists might still have a bias against it.
Liability is calculated by looking at the totality of the circumstances. Attorneys look at the police report, witness statements, and other evidence, then assess them against what experts may say. Through this, they usually have a good idea of which party was primarily liable for the incident.
Bicyclists are held to the standard of a reasonable cyclist, which means they must operate their bicycle reasonably under reasonable conditions. Ultimately, it is a jury or a judge who would determine whether or not their actions were reasonable.
Bicycles are their own unique class in Manchester law, which allows for some confusing dynamics in accident cases. In some respects, they are treated as motor vehicles under the law and they must follow road rules. In other respects, they are subject to some special rules such as helmet laws for minors, having a three-foot protection, and they have to ride on the shoulder whenever possible.
Learn More About the Dynamics of Manchester Bicycle Accidents from an Attorney
Connecticut law recognizes that bicycles are at a disadvantage on the road. Ultimately, if someone were the operator of a motor vehicle, they have more responsibility than a cyclist who is more vulnerable. This balancing act can be difficult to manage in a lawsuit, so it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer to go over the dynamics of Manchester bicycle accidents.