Do Bicyclists Always Have the Right of Way?
Posted in Bicycle Accidents on July 6, 2022
In Missouri, right-of-way rules are some of the most important traffic laws on the books. The right of way helps control the flow of traffic and prevent accidents and injuries at high-risk areas like intersections and driveways.
Some cyclists assume that they always have the right of way when riding their bicycles. However, this is not the case. Cyclists must obey the same right-of-way rules as motor vehicles and may be involved in an accident if they disregard these laws.
Right-of-Way Rules for Cyclists in Missouri
In Missouri, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities while traveling on the road as motor vehicles. According to Section 307.191 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, cyclists have the right to operate on streets and highways at speeds lower than the posted speed limit.
While riding on the road, cyclists must follow the same rules as drivers. They must ride in the same direction as traffic, follow all rules for traffic lights and stop signs, and yield to other motor vehicles when it is their turn to proceed. Additionally, cyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians.
Failure to Yield the Right of Way Can Lead to Serious Accidents
Many bicycle accidents are caused by a failure to follow the right of way. For example, if a cyclist is traveling straight and a motorist is pulling out of a driveway, the motorist must yield the right of way to the cyclist. If a motorist pulls out of the driveway before the cyclist passes, the cyclist can collide with the vehicle and be seriously injured.
In some cases, the cyclist’s actions are responsible for a failure-to-yield collision. For example, if a cyclist runs a red light and a driver is traveling through the intersection, the driver could accidentally collide with the cyclist. In this situation, the cyclist would be responsible for the collision.
How Failure to Yield the Right of Way Can Impact an Accident Claim
If you are injured in a Missouri bicycle accident, you have the right to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, if you did not yield the right of way at the time of the accident, you could experience difficulties recovering compensation.
During the insurance process, the insurance company could deny your claim on the grounds that you failed to obey traffic laws and are therefore responsible for the collision. If you are filing a lawsuit, Missouri’s comparative negligence rules will reduce your potential settlement by the amount of fault that you share.
For example, if you ask for a $80,000 award and are found to be 50% at fault, you will only receive $40,000. You could recover compensation even if you were 99% at fault for the accident.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Missouri
If you are involved in a right-of-way accident while riding a bike in Missouri, you need an attorney on your side who can protect your right to compensation. Your lawyer can gather the evidence necessary to prove the other driver’s liability and protect you against allegations of shared fault.
As soon as possible after your accident, seek medical attention and report the accident to law enforcement. Then, contact a Kansas City bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.