Liability in a Bike and Car Collision
When a car and bike collide, who is at fault and liable for damages?
When it comes to the uneasy relationship – and sometimes outright warring battle – between bicyclists and drivers, many people have strong opinions about who is more often at fault.
In Oregon, bicycles are legally considered to be “vehicles” for most purposes and are therefore subject to most of the same laws as cars (ORS 814.400). Therefore, in many cases the same laws apply for establishing liability – whichever “vehicle” operator was negligent and caused the accident will be held accountable for losses.
Both drivers and bike riders need to share the road and follow traffic rules. Motorists should take care to watch for bicyclists. Cyclists should ride on the right side of the road. Everyone should observe the rules of right of way to avoid a bike and car collision.
Obviously, the issue of who might be at fault in a bike and car collision is a complicated one. If you are involved in a car-bicycle accident, it’s important to get advice from a Portland bicycle accident attorney. Personal injury attorneys have specific expertise that can help unravel the complexities of the situation, and are best prepared to assist you in any litigation. One study showed that motorists are at fault up to 90% of the time. However, this study is not without controversy. Read the study here.
Regardless of who is at fault in a bike and car crash, remember: Be aware, be kind, and be smart.