Q: I know I had right of way in my bicycle accident. How can I prove it?

If you had the right of way in your bicycle accident, it’s going to take more than just your word to prove it. Your side of the story is much stronger when there is evidence to back it up.

Evidence That a Bicyclist Had the Right of Way: Rules of the Road

Bicyclists have to follow the same traffic laws as motorists and have the same right to the road. There are even special laws that apply to bicyclists who use the roads. Unfortunately, some motorists are unaware of this or simply ignore it.

Referring to the rules of the road could be one way to show someone else was at fault. One example is when approaching an uncontrolled intersection at the same time as a motor vehicle. Whoever is on the right has the right of way. So if you were the one on the right, the motorist on the left would have to yield.

Another traffic law is that when navigating in a roundabout, whoever is entering the circle must yield to the traffic that is already in it. There are also special rules that apply to motorists using a roundabout with a bicycle. They must follow the bicycle through it and not attempt to pass it by speeding up.

Let’s say a bicyclist comes to a stop at a stop sign somewhere in Aurora and then a motorist traveling in the same direction comes to the stop sign. The motorist starts to make a right turn in front of the bike just as the bicyclist is going straight, striking him and causing injury. This would be another example in which the right of way belonged to the bike.

Evidence That a Bicyclist Had the Right of Way: Witnesses

Another way to prove a bicyclist had the right of way is to obtain a statement from a witness. Both sides may argue they were in the right. But when a neutral third party can share observations, it can be very helpful. Of course, if more than one witness can provide testimony, this will make the case even stronger.

For example, a witness may have seen your bike arrive and stop at a stop sign before the motorist behind you, and then saw the motorist try to pull around you to make the right turn as you were going straight.

Evidence That a Bicyclist Had the Right of Way: Police Report

The police report may contain the officer’s opinion about what happened. If an officer determined the motorist failed to yield the right of way and gave the motorist a citation, this would help substantiate your claim. It will be important to get a copy of this report and submit it to the insurance company as evidence of the motorist’s liability for the accident.

Getting Help from an Attorney to Prove Someone Else Was At Fault

When there is a dispute concerning who had the right of way, especially when a bicyclist has been seriously injured, it’s important to seek legal advice. An attorney can help determine the strength of your claim and steps to take to protect your rights. Call D.J. Banovitz, an avid bicyclist himself, for legal help in Aurora: 303-300-5060.