When you learn that your teenager has been hurt in a bicycle accident, your first instincts will likely be to ensure that he or she is doing OK and has all of the needed medical care. As the healing process begins — and especially if it's clear that this process will take a financial toll on your family — it's time to visit with a bicycle accident attorney to weigh whether you'll pursue legal action against the motorist who hit your teen. Your attorney will likely tell you that there are a series of potential issues that could complicate the case, so you'll want to cover these topics with your teen before you move forward legally.
People often think of being behind the wheel of a car when they imagine distracted driving causing an accident, but the reality is that a distracted bicyclist can be to blame for a collision. Talk honestly with your teen about what he or she was doing immediately before the accident — reminding the teen that there may be video evidence of the collision, so it's important to be truthful. For example, if the teen was texting or watching a smartphone video while bicycling, the case may be a difficult one to win.
Not Using A Bicycle Lane
Many cities have bicycle lanes that are designed to give cyclists a safe route to travel instead of sharing space with vehicles. You'll need to look into whether a bicycle lane was present at the scene of your teen's accident, and then confirm whether he or she was using it. Not being in the designated lane doesn't automatically mean that your teen was at fault for the accident, but the defendant's legal team may argue — and your own attorney may agree, to some point — that your teen's position was a contributing factor.
Use Of A Helmet
There are several states in which bicycle riders are required to wear helmets. If your teen suffered a head injury in the collision with the vehicle, it's possible that he or she wasn't wearing a helmet. You need to get your teen's word that he or she was indeed wearing this protective gear. Head injuries can still occur while wearing a helmet, so it's possible that this was the case in your teen's accident. A bicycle accident case may be more challenging to pursue if the teen was committing the dangerous infraction of failing to wear a helmet.
For more information, work with a lawyer from a firm like Buckley Law Office.