Q: Can I still file a bicycle accident claim if I was hit in the road and there was a bike lane available?

Bicyclists still may file a bicycle accident claim if hit while driving on an Arvada road, and there was a bike lane available. Of course, this depends on the circumstances, which is why it’s best first to consult legal counsel.

How Bicycle Laws Could Impact an Accident Claim

Just as motorists must adhere to traffic laws, so must bicyclists. Among the many rules of the road, one that may apply in this type of case is that whenever there is a bike lane available, the bicyclist must use it.

Of course, there are circumstances in which a bicyclist would need to go into the road. For instance, if planning to turn left, the bicyclist is allowed to signal and move into the left lane. But this should only be done when safe, so it would need to be determined if that was the case.

Let’s say the bicyclist made this maneuver safely. But the driver of a motor vehicle didn’t see the bike because he/she was texting at the time. It would be easier to place blame on the motorist.

There are also circumstances in which the bicyclist could be at fault. An example is when a motorist signals to turn right and the bicyclist attempts to pass or overtake the vehicle. This is prohibited.

An investigation would be necessary in order to learn who did what and if either party’s actions were against traffic laws. It’s important to have evidence that shows the other party’s fault. One way is through eyewitness testimony. Red-light cameras may capture the incident.

Assigning Fault When a Bicyclist Is Struck in the Road

Even if the bicyclist didn’t adhere to the rules of the road by using a bike lane, that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she can’t file a claim. If the motorist is also at fault, then damages still could be available. However, this depends on how much fault both sides are assigned.

In Colorado, claimants cannot file a claim against another party if that individual’s degree of fault reaches 50 percent. So if the bicyclist was 60 percent at fault, he or she could recover no damages.

But if the bicyclist is assigned 49 percent or less fault, then he or she can file a claim. However, the percentage of responsibility will impact the amount of damages recoverable. Let’s say the damages in the accident total $18,000, and the bicyclist was 40 percent at fault for not using a bike lane. Then the bicyclist could recover only $10,800.

An Attorney Can Help Sort Out Liability

Not using a bike lane could result in at least partial fault for the bicyclist. With the complexities involved in this type of case, bicyclists should contact a local attorney in the Arvada area as soon as possible. An investigation will be conducted and a determination will be made as to one’s right to pursue damages through an accident claim. Call D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 to set up a consultation.