Liability After an Indiana Bike Accident
The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) ranks Indiana as the 24th most bicycle-friendly state in the U.S. When bikers and motorists are on the road together, both parties should take extra steps to ensure each other’s safety. However, cars have inherently more control over their vehicles and must take extra precautions to avoid a collision.
In addition to traffic regulations, Indiana maintains laws that apply directly to bicyclists. Specifically, Title 9, Article 21, Chapter 11 of the state’s code explains the rights and duties of bicyclists in Indiana. Most importantly, all road users should understand that bicyclists have a right to share the road with motorists. In the same vein, bicyclists must abide by the statute as well. For instance, bicyclists may not ride on anything besides the permanent and regular seat attached to their bike.
Further, bikers may not use whistles or sirens while on their cycles. Additionally, cyclists must ensure that their bikes have a working brake that will allow the cycle to stop on dry and level pavement. While most lawmakers understand the importance of bike safety, the law does not require bikers to wear helmets. Although the law does not require cyclists or passengers to wear helmets, bikers should err on the side of caution and wear a helmet.
Liable parties in an Indiana bicycle accident may include cyclists, pedestrians, governmental entities that maintain the roadways, and manufacturers. In some cases, liability may be unclear, or there may be more than one person responsible for the accident. In these instances, the court will evaluate the case under the state’s comparative fault laws.
Indiana follows the modified comparative fault system. Under this system, a court will reduce a plaintiff’s damages commiserate with their level of fault. However, the law bars recovery if the fact-finder determines that the plaintiff was more than 50% responsible. Therefore, these cases often require an in-depth investigation to determine liability and apportion fault.
For instance, The New York Times recently reported a case involving an impaired truck driver who slammed into a group of bicyclists. The truck driver was under the influence of methamphetamine when he collided with a group of cyclists on an annual 130-mile tour. The accident took the lives of five cyclists ranging in age from 39 to 57. The highway where the incident occurred maintains a 75-mph speed limit and is generally considered a safe roadway for cyclists because of its wide shoulders. Nevertheless, the driver refused to provide blood samples to investigators and only agreed on their fifth attempt. The driver pled guilty to multiple counts of driving under the influence and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Have You Suffered Injuries in an Indiana Biking Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an Indiana bike accident, contact Padove Law for assistance. Attorney Padove has dedicated his practice to representing Indiana injury victims in their claims for damages. In addition, his office handles Indiana personal injury cases stemming from motor vehicle accidents, biking accidents, slip-and-falls, premises liability, medical malpractice and wrongful death. Attorney Padove consistently provides clients with respect, compassion, and excellent representation. Contact Burton A. Padove at 877-446-5294 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your Indiana injury case.