Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bicycle accidents and contributory negligence

Is this "personal responsibility" ? Why is it that 48 other states do not have this law.

Alabama is one of only two states in the union that continues to allow defendants to escape any liability pursuant to the doctrine of contributory negligence. In essence what this doctrine states is that if you are the least bit negligent and if your negligence proximately causes the resulting injury, then you are barred from any recovery whatsoever. This can have a devastating effect on an injured party. Accordingly, as a cyclist (and for that matter, as a motorist as well) you should do everything you can to protect yourself from having this doctrine prevent (or lower) your recovery if you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence. Understand that this doctrine prevents your recovery even when the other party is indisputably negligent, and even if the other party’s negligence is 99% the reason for the injury and your negligence is but 1% the cause. What got me thinking about this is the following note sent by a cyclist in Huntsville. Here it is:

Give the rash of motorist v. cyclist incidents lately (or what seems to be a rash of incidents) it seems to me that cyclists need to be absolutely sure that they are following the letter of the law in regards to their safety equipment, specifically their rear reflectors. read more here