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Can “Distraction” Affect the Outcome of a Bicycle Accident Case?

Bike Accident Lawyer Alexandria, VA

Can “Distraction” Affect the Outcome of a Bicycle Accident CaseAny good bike accident lawyer Alexandria, VA residents count on knows all too well that it has become increasingly difficult to go anywhere without checking one’s cell phone repeatedly. So much of American life is conducted online and via phone-centered communication that few adults are easily able to put their cell phones away for more than an hour or two at most. As a result, Americans are increasingly distracted by their cell phones in every context imaginable. They disturb our sleep, hijack our conversations at dinner, and make traveling potentially treacherous.

Although it is often convenient to have cell phone access when traveling as a passenger, cell phone access while driving, cycling or walking America’s streets is a risky reality at best. As a skilled bike accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA will inform you, distracted travelers who cause harm to others may be held both criminally and civilly liable for their behavior, depending on the particular circumstances of any individual case.

Distracted Behavior

It is no secret that distracted driving accidents plague America’s roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving behavior caused the deaths of 3,450 Americans in 2016 alone. Many factors can contribute to distracted driving. Anything from an animal darting into the road to a toddler crying may serve as a distraction to a motorist or cyclist. However, technical distraction is uniquely dangerous because this kind of activity engages all three major forms of distraction. Interacting with a cell phone, for example, causes travelers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel or handlebars and their mind off the task of navigating the road safely.

According to an experienced bike accident lawyer in Alexandria, VA, over the past decade, government at the federal, state and local level has cracked down significantly on distracted driving behavior. As a result, distracted drivers may be held liable for distracted behaviors including texting, having a cell phone conversation and surfing the Internet while driving. If a distracted driver causes harm to another driver, cyclist or a pedestrian, that motorist may face stiffer criminal and civil penalties than he or she would if an accident had resulted in harm but did not involve distraction.

Accidents Involving Distraction

Some jurisdictions even hold cyclists liable for distracted operation of their bicycles. Much like motorists, cyclists may face both criminal and civil consequences for both distracted behaviors and any harm caused to others as a result of those behaviors.

As a good bike accident lawyer Alexandria, VA may warn you, in a motor vehicle accident case involving a cyclist, distraction may ultimately influence the outcome of the lawsuit. If the driver was distracted, he or she may face greater penalties than usual. If the cyclist was distracted, he or she may be held comparatively negligent for the part that distraction played in the accident. For example, a distracted cyclist may be held 30 percent liable for his or her contribution to the harm caused, while a motorist may be held 70 percent liable for running a stop sign and hitting the distracted cyclist.

Each Case Is Unique

Every personal injury case is subject to nuances in circumstance and legal applications. As a result, it is generally a good idea to speak with an attorney if you have been injured in an accident or unintentionally contributed to harm caused by an accident. A bike accident lawyer Alexandria, VA residents count on can help you determine the best course of action under your specific circumstances.

Do not hesitate to call Cohen & Cohen, P.C. today to set up your free consultation.

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