Bicycle and motor vehicle wrecks are often a one-sided event where the bicyclist is hurt while the driver of the motor vehicle merely experiences a small amount of damage to their car. Though the physical damage is often one-sided against the bicyclist, the driver of the car generally bears the brunt of the financial fault – no matter what actually transpired during the accident. Best case scenario? Avoid the situation in the first place. Here are a few suggestions on how to accomplish this goal:
The bicyclist's responsibility – Bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers are required by Kansas law to “share” the road. This means that both must comply with such things as stop signs, yield laws and traffic lights. In addition, bicyclists must also remain as close as possible to the right side of the road they are riding on unless passing another vehicle, making a left-hand turn or traveling on narrow or otherwise hazardous roadways.
It is also wise for bicyclists to utilize some common sense when traveling down the streets of Great Bend. While Kansas law does not require the use of helmets, it is simply a good idea to wear one. In addition, it pays to travel on less used highways and be proactive when a car approaches. The law may be clear on the rights of a bicyclist when riding on a public road, but that does not mean a motor vehicle driver will always understand or recognize this right.
The vehicle driver's responsibility – Not to put too fine a point on it but riding a bike is essentially a right while driving a motor vehicle is a privilege. A driver must be licensed and insured before they can legally enter a public road while bicyclist can do so at will and with no certification. It should also be obvious that a motor vehicle is far more massive – and therefore far more dangerous – than a bicycle.
In practice, it also means that a motor vehicle driver must be far more aware of their surroundings while operating a car or truck. A bicyclist running into a car is one thing – some damage to an inanimate object; a car striking a bicyclist offers the possibility of severe injury or death. In short, drivers should always give their complete attention when passing a bicycle and also always yield the road even if the bicycle is blocking traffic.
Police responsibility – If you are involved in a bicycle/motor vehicle accident, do not overlook the duties that law enforcement officers require for each party. In addition to documenting the accident – usually after the fact – to the best of their ability, the officers will also ensure that both parties exchange the proper information. Sometimes, they will also assess blame but not unless they witness the incident.
The issues surrounding a bicycle and motor vehicle wreck can get quite complicated as one party will have insurance and the other may not. Regardless of which side you find yourself on, you will most likely need legal representation.
We are Brad Pistotnik Law. ® We are Abogado El Toro. ®Hire the real Brad. ® Call in the Bull. ® We are the Bull Attorneys! ™ Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL. Our main office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206.