Motorcyclists and vehicle drivers must maintain auto insurance to protect themselves and others in the event of an injurious accident. This insurance is especially important to make sure enough money is available to pay for the medical care of victims who get hurt in a collision due to no fault of their own. Bicyclist, however, are not required to have insurance.
This is why a bicycle-on-bicycle accident can be problematic from a legal perspective. When an insured motorist injures a bicyclist, the bicyclist can pursue compensation in court, and the bicyclist has a realistic expectation to receive damages provided that the bicyclist has effective legal representation. Pursuing damages from an uninsured, at-fault bicyclist, on the other hand, comes with the risk of the bicyclist not having enough money to pay the damages.
It's best to avoid bike-on-bike crashes completely
No one wants to get in any kind of injurious accident, but it's worse when the person who caused the accident doesn't carry insurance. As such, cyclists should do everything they possibly can to prevent and avoid bike-on-bike collisions. Furthermore, with the number of bicyclists increasing in Illinois by the year - and with a corresponding increase in bike-on-bike collisions - the issue of preventing these accidents is more important than ever.
Here are some tips to keep you and other bicyclists safe:
- Follow the rules of the road, even if you're not on the road. This includes following traffic rules on multi-use bicycle trails and sidewalks. Courts will hold you to the same standard of liability as if you were on a roadway following an accident that happens on the road.
- Always signal when you're about to turn. This will clue other bicyclists about your intentions and where you're headed.
- Don't follow other bicyclists too closely, don't stop suddenly and don't ride on the wrong side of the path.
- When turning and approaching an intersection always yield the right-of-way to other bicyclists - especially if they clearly have the right of way.
- Don't ride in pace lines. The benefit of drafting behind another bicyclist isn't worth the risk of getting into an accident.
- Ride predictably and with common sense at all times.
- Use your voice to signal your intentions.
- Use a headlight and taillight to make yourself more visible.
Were you hurt by a fellow bicyclist?
Just because bicycle-on-bicycle collisions pose certain litigation risks does not mean that an injured bicyclist will not have a viable claim. Be sure to understand the risks of moving forward with a personal injury claim before trying to pursue justice in court and formulate your legal strategy appropriately if you were hurt in such an accident.