When left hook bicycle accidents occur, it is important to determine whether drivers or cyclists are at fault. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of involvement in a crash resulting in injury or death is significantly greater for cyclists than it is for motor vehicle drivers or passengers, despite bicycles only accounting for 1% of U.S. travel. Drivers often do not see or claim to have not seen bicyclists, which can result in them failing to take appropriate action to avoid potentially serious collisions.
What Are Left Hook Bicycle Accidents?
Left hook collisions occur when left-turning vehicles do not yield to oncoming cyclists in the opposite lanes of traffic. Consequently, the vehicles may run down bicyclists or the cyclists may crash into the turning vehicles. The most common car-bicycle accident scenario for road cyclists, left hook accidents often result in serious injuries or death for bicyclists.
Liability for Bike Accidents at Intersections
Fault in accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles generally lies with whoever disobeyed the traffic rules. When riding on the road, bicyclists must follow the same signals, signs, and traffic rules as motorists. For their part in sharing the road safely, drivers are required to yield the right of way to bicyclists, just as they would to pedestrians or other vehicles. Therefore, when making left turns, motorists must yield to oncoming bikes when they both have green lights, and they are only permitted to complete the turn when it is safe to do so.
Proving Fault in Left Hook Bicycle Accidents
When assessing fault in a crash, Nevada employs the doctrine of contributory negligence, making it essential for bicyclists to gather supporting evidence for left hook bicycle accident claims. Under the doctrine, liability for personal injury accidents is proportionately shared by those involved based on their percentage of fault for causing the accident. If they are able, bicyclists are advised to document the scene after an accident involving a car; taking pictures or video to help preserve the scene for investigators and, if necessary, the court. They should also immediately take notes about what happened to help remember specific details, including how the accident occurred and whether they noted any acts of carelessness on the part of the driver involved.