Cyclists like drivers, must obey the rules of the road. In that regard, there are a couple things to consider. First, were you stopped or were you coming to a stop? It makes a big difference because it is much harder to argue that a vehicle that is stationary is at fault. Second, was your vehicle positioned properly before the stop sign so as to not encroach the intersection or a stop line. Third, the fact that two cyclists were involved makes the dynamics more ambiguous because it makes me wonder what other factors are in play. (e.g, were there shrubs obscuring the view - municipality could be to blame for the hedges.) Fourth, if your husband's vehicle was fully stopped and it was the cyclist(s) who struck your vehicle as opposed to your vehicle hitting the cyclist(s) regardless of right of way, the cyclist could be liable to failing to keep a look out for oncoming traffic as the cyclist would have had the ultimate last opportunity to avoid the incident. I would first hire a traffic attorney to handle the ticket. You might be able to get the ticket dismissed, the points dismissed and/or the fine reduced or dismissed. All of those things could help prevent your insurance rates from going up and, while not necessarily usable in civil court, would give credibility to your arguments should a personal injury claim be made.
Bicyclists are treated like motor vehicles when it comes to the rules of the road. That means they are required to stop at stop signs and traffic lights and abide by all other requirements imposed on the drivers of cars. Unfortunately many police don't know this.
You husband can fight this ticket and there are many traffic ticket attorneys who will do so for a relatively small fee.
Because you are concerned about a law suit, you should report what happened to your insurance carrier if you haven't already done so. If the male cyclist who ran into the side of your vehicle was injured and presents a claim, let your insurance company handle it.
Merry Fountain is licensed to practice law in Indiana. She can be contacted at 1-888-242-HURT. This is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney/client relationship. It is legal education intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. If the question does not include important timeframes and facts the answer could change. Merry Fountain strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state.
If this results in a claim, it will be handled by your insurance company. I agree with the other comments that a bike rider needs to abide by the rules of the road, just like the driver of a car.
Your husband should consult a local traffic ticket attorney - usually inexpensive & well worth the fee. That attorney will know how to handle the ticket so it does not expose your husband to a finding that could be used against him in a possible future injury claim by the bicycle rider. Many traffic ticket attorneys do not charge a fee for an initial consultation - call one ASAP
This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.
In a civil suit, the jury is asked to compare the negligence of everyone involved. Each person is only responsible for that person's percentage of negligence. So, if you are 10% at fault, you pay 10% of everyone's damages. If you are 90% at fault, you pay 90% of their damages. An intersectional collision is usually a comparative negligence situation. So, although a bike rider is required to follow all the rules of the road, including travelling on the right side of the road or in the bike lane (there is no sidewalk in the intersection) you are required to yield to all traffic at a stop sign, including traffic going the wrong way.
So, report it to your insurance carrier and stop worrying about it. If you are sued, the carrier will appoint a lawyer to represent you, and a jury will decide the question if the case id not resolved first.
This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed. You may call me 772-562-4570; email me email@example.com, or visit my website http://www.millerlawoffices.us
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