Kansas City Bicycle Accidents – Who Is At Fault?

More and more Kansas City residents decide each day to start riding bicycles as a form of transportation, leisure, and/or exercise.   As more bicyclists head to the roads, the risk of serious injury or death resulting from a bicycle accident increases.  Kansas City does have some bicycle lanes dedicated only to bicyclists, however, many streets do not have bicycle lanes, and are narrow, have very little room for cars alone, and place bicyclists in a very vulnerable position.

Bicyclists and Motorists Must Follow the Same Rules of the Road

Bicyclists are treated like any other motor vehicle when they are traveling on roadways.  For example, a bicyclist must signal when he or she changes lanes, and turns right or left.  Bicyclists must also come to a complete stop at stop signs and stop at red lights, just like other motorists.  This can be frustrating for many motorists who get stuck being slow moving bicycles.  Many motorists then try to quickly get around the bicyclists, and often do so despite heavy traffic.  This conduct creates a serious risk for an accident to occur.  If the motorist ends up colliding with the bicyclist or another motorist, he or she would be at fault for any injuries the bicyclist or other motorists have suffered.

On the other hand, bicyclists may be at fault for an accident if the bicyclist is not following all traffic laws.  For example, if a bicyclist fails to stop at a stop sign or runs a red light, and this conduct results in a collision with another vehicle, the bicyclist may be responsible for his or her own injuries.  To determine if a bicyclist is truly at fault for an accident, it takes the help of a seasoned Kansas City bicycle accident attorney to investigate the facts of the accident.  Were there any witnesses?  Are there traffic cameras at the intersection where the accident occurred?  Was either the bicyclist or the motorist involved in the accident under the influence of drugs or alcohol?  These are questions you should ask if you were involved in a bicycle accident to help determine the true negligent party.

Do Bike Lanes Help?

Some bicyclists believe designated bicycle lanes are helpful to promote safe riding, while other bicyclists believe they are either dangerous, or have no effect at all on bicycle and road safety.  Kansas City does not have a sufficient number of designated bicycle lanes to really know if they are creating a safer environment for bicyclists.

Many people believe bicycle lanes enable motorists to safely pass the bicyclists without having to change lanes and drive directly behind the bicycle.  However, many people also believe bike lanes create a risk for accidents to occur when a motorist is trying to turn right at a street while a bicyclist is close by.  The motorist may not see the bicyclist closely behind and could turn directly into the bicyclist.  Thus, there seem to be pros and cons to bicycle lanes.  Perhaps they help to reduce accidents, or perhaps they don’t.

Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries resulting from a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation.  Determining fault in bicycle accident cases can be difficult, but with the help of a qualified Kansas City bicycle accident attorney, you are more likely to receive the compensation you deserve.  With 27 years of experience helping injured Kansas residents, Kansas Bicycle Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless has the skill and devotion necessary to advocate on your behalf and hold the negligent party responsible for causing your injuries and suffering.  Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA today to schedule a free consultation.  You can reach us by calling locally at (913) 681-5566.  You may also call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771, or you may contact us online and we will get back to you right away.