Call us: 651-291-7263
Menu Call Now

When is a Car Driver at Fault for Hitting a Bicyclist?


  • Most bicycle accidents occur due to a motorist’s negligence, leaving the driver at fault for hitting a bicyclist
  • Drivers can cause various bicycle accidents, including dooring and rear-end collisions.
  • Injured bicyclists need legal help to obtain maximum compensation.
  • An attorney can investigate an accident and deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

When is a Car Driver at Fault for Hitting a Bicyclist - Sand Law LLC

Bicyclists are among the most vulnerable road users. The consequences are almost always terrible when a car strikes a cyclist. In many bicycle accidents, the motorist does something wrong to cause the wreck. You’ll learn about some of these scenarios in this article.

Sand Law bicycle accident attorneys have years of experience conducting investigations to determine blame. We can get to the bottom of why the accident happened and then fight to help you obtain every bit of compensation you deserve. Please call 651-291-7263 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Traffic Laws and Regulations

Like every state, Minnesota has a set of bike traffic laws that govern the interactions between cars and bicycles. Car drivers must be aware of the specific rules that apply when sharing the road with riders, from proper passing distances to yielding at intersections because if not, the accident will leave the driver at fault for hitting a bicyclist. By understanding and following these regulations, car drivers contribute to a safer environment for everyone.

Right-of-Way Considerations

Understanding right-of-way rules is crucial in preventing accidents between cars and bicyclists. At intersections and crosswalks, car drivers must yield to bicyclists who have the right of way. Turning and overtaking situations require careful consideration, with car drivers giving bicyclists the space and time they need.

Responsibilities of Car Drivers

Car drivers must exercise reasonable care when sharing the road with bicyclists. Avoiding distracted driving can lead to devastating accidents. Maintaining safe following distances is equally essential, allowing motorists enough reaction time in case a bicyclist maneuvers unexpectedly. These practices are in place to protect those who share the road, but if the laws are ignored, it can leave the driver at fault for hitting a bicyclist.

Common Scenarios and Determining Fault

There are several different scenarios that can cause a bicycle accident. The following are just a few of the more common ones:

  • “Right hook” accidents: In a right hook scenario, a car turning right collides with a bicyclist proceeding straight. Car drivers must yield to bicyclists in such situations, so the motorist is typically at fault.
  • Dooring: Opening a car door without checking for approaching bicyclists can lead to a rider slamming into the door and flying off their bike. To prevent collisions, car drivers must ensure the coast is clear before opening doors.
  • Rear-end collisions: The driver is typically to blame if they hit a bicyclist from behind. Car drivers must maintain a safe following distance to avoid such collisions.
  • Left-turn accidents: When a car making a left turn collides with a bicyclist going straight, the car driver is typically at fault for failing to yield.

Why an Injured Bicyclist Needs an Attorney

You deserve maximum compensation if you’ve suffered an injury in a bicycle accident due to a motorist’s negligence. Hiring a bicycle accident attorney will be your only chance of getting it. Here are a few ways your lawyer will work to do precisely that.


  • Guidance through the legal process: The legal process can be overwhelming, especially for people who aren’t familiar with how it works. An experienced attorney serves as a guide, providing you with a clear understanding of the legal steps involved in seeking compensation.
  • Building a solid case: Constructing a compelling case is essential. An attorney deeply understands the nuances of personal injury law. They know how to build a robust case that establishes the liability of the car driver and demonstrates the extent of your damages.


Investigating the Accident to Determine Fault

A cornerstone of the attorney’s role is thoroughly investigating the accident. This process involves determining the details of the collision, gathering evidence, and establishing the car driver’s fault. Several key aspects define this investigation, including the following:

  • Gathering evidence: Your lawyer will comprehensively examine the accident scene. They’ll collect evidence such as witness statements, photographs, police reports, and video footage. This evidence is critical in establishing the sequence of events and the actions of the involved parties.
  • Analyzing traffic laws: Understanding and applying bike traffic laws is essential for determining fault. Your attorney will assess whether the car driver violated any laws or regulations, contributing to the collision.
  • Expert consultations: In some cases, your lawyer may consult with accident reconstruction specialists or other experts to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the collision. This expertise strengthens your case and provides additional layers of support.
  • Interviewing witnesses: Witness testimonies can provide valuable insights into the events leading to the collision. Your lawyer will speak with witnesses to gather firsthand accounts that can corroborate your version of events.


Dealing with Insurance Companies

Your bicycle accident lawyer will also handle communications with the at-fault car driver’s insurance company, so you don’t have to. They’ll act as a skilled intermediary between you and the insurer, protecting your rights and pursuing a just settlement for your bike accident. Some of the ways your attorney will deal with the insurer include:

  • Communicating on your behalf: Dealing with insurance companies requires a strategic and informed approach. Your lawyer will present your case persuasively and advocate for fair compensation.
  • Counteracting insurer tactics: Insurance companies may attempt to minimize payouts. Your attorney’s role is to counteract such attempts by presenting a comprehensive case and demonstrating the extent of your damages through hard evidence.
  • Ensuring a fair settlement: Your lawyer will work to obtain a settlement that covers your bike accident’s medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other relevant damages. This involves skillful negotiation and, if necessary, taking the case to court to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.


Contact a Sand Law Bicycle Accident Attorney

A Sand Law attorney will have the skill and experience needed to help you achieve a positive result in your case. Use our online form or call 651-291-7263 for a free case review.