In California bicycle accidents, a part of the compensation determination is investigating whether the victim was partially at fault for the incident. If they were, their injury compensation would be reduced by the percentage of their fault. For example, a biker who was 50% at fault for the accident cannot seek full compensation and can only recover 50% of the total damages they seek.
Hence, determining fault is essential before seeking damages for injuries to determine the best course of action for victims. But how do bikers know if they were at fault during the crash?
Action or lack thereof that exhibit comparative negligence
Not all cyclists may be aware of their actions or inactions that partially caused their accident. Some common circumstances that put partial fault upon bikers during bicycle collisions include the following:
- Failure to stay in the bicycle lane
- Failure to wear protective equipment, like helmets
- Failure to equip oneself with risk-reduction tools, like reflective clothing and night light
- Failure to equip bicycle with taillights or use them properly
- Failure to exercise reasonable care, such as not keeping a proper lookout for oncoming vehicles
Insurance companies and courts will investigate all circumstances surrounding the bicycle accident and if they find any of the mentioned negligent actions, they can reduce the claimant’s recoverable compensation.
Full or partial, compensation is still compensation
If you suffered injuries from a bicycle accident but are worried that it is no longer worth it to seek damages due to your comparative negligence, you must remember your rights. Any compensation can help you pay for costs related to your injury. Moreover, there is always an opportunity to fight for maximum compensation as long as you are adequately prepared and represented.