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Attorney David Daggett Answers Questions About Bicycle Laws and Accidents

What are the Rules of the Road in Regards to Bicycling?

 Basically, it’s pretty simple. The rules of the road for bicyclists are exactly the same as a motorist. When you’re on the road with a bicycle, you’re subject to the exact same laws as a motorist. A few special laws are you need to ride as close to the right side of the road as you safely can. I usually recommend that that’s within 2 feet or so of the white line. Then also, at night or after dark, proper reflective gear, as required by law.

If a Bicyclist Causes and Accident, Who Pays for His or Her injuries?

If the motorist is at fault, it’s just like 2 cars hitting each other. The flip-side is if the bicyclist is at fault, remember, our laws are fault-based. You’re only entitled to damages for a negligence claim if the other party’s at fault. If unfortunately the bicyclist is at fault, then you have to look to the typical types of insurance claims you would file when there isn’t any liability: There’s your health insurance, there’s disability insurance, things like that.

One thing that most cyclists don’t really think about is medical payments coverage on your car, which is like having health insurance on your car, also covers you when you’re on a bicycle. The interesting thing about medical payments coverage is unlike liability coverage, medical payments coverage is not fault-based, it’s incident-based, so it doesn’t make any difference who’s at fault. If you’re riding your bicycle and you have an altercation with a motor vehicle, it has to be with a motor vehicle, your medical payments coverage will cover you, regardless who’s at fault.

How Much Should I Be Covered Under Medical Payments Coverage?

Medical payments coverage is optional coverage. We find that most people do have it in an increment of $1,000 or so, but we’ve seen medical payments coverage in much higher denominations. My recommendation for a bicyclist is they should always carry a higher level of medical payments coverage. The reason is it doesn’t take much of a wreck on a bicycle to incur some medical expenses.

What is Your Experience in Relation to Bicycling and Bike Safety?

It was interesting, my wife and I were just talking last night, trying to add up how many miles I’ve ridden on a bicycle over the years. We figure its right about 200,000 miles. One of the biggest surprises I’ve ever had and one of the most humbling things that’s happened is winning the Ironman Everyday Hero Award, which is interesting. I don’t know the way the technology works with these broadcasts, whether you can link to the video. The video is actually pretty cool. It aired worldwide on ESPN and Universal Sports. It’s kind of fun to say.

We handle cases for cyclists and for runners or anybody else competing in, or participating in, a fitness or athletic situation when somebody else is at fault. We can be reached at 1-800-815-5500. We’ve got a very friendly staff. We’re available, and can talk through these issues.

I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston