Baltimore Accident Attorney: Fault in Bicycle Accidents

Maryland law defines what a vehicle is and as a result what rules of the road apply when a vehicle is in operation on a public roadway.

As a common aspect of every day life, bicycles are considered vehicles. As a result, bicycle riders are required to comply by the same rules of the road as car and trucks.

Crashes involving bicyclists and automobiles occur for a variety of reasons. When these accidents happen, the cause is often negligence, either on the part of the driver of the automobile, the bicyclist, or both.

Establishing Fault

Similar to establishing fault in an accident between two cars, bicycle accidents analysis has to begin with what the rule of the road apply to the section where the accident occurred. Who has the right of way at the intersection? Or who has the right of way when merging onto a highway? For example, the easy one would be at a traffic signal where the lights determine who has the right of way. The party with a green light or arrow has the right of way. Hence, a bicyclist or vehicle owner who enters an intersection while facing a red light and causes and causes an accident with a party with a green light is most likely at fault.

If there are not traffic light and its just a series of stop signs, then the general rule of the first part to arrive that the intersection has the right of way applies. But if two cars arrive in close proximity to each other, then the one on teh right has the right-of-way. When operating on intersection between a major street and a minor street, drivers and bicyclists on the major street have precedence.


Bicyclists should practice coming to a complete stop at intersections for safety. All too often you see bicyclists engage in a rolling stop and in most instances nothing bad happens. However, it is dangerous and can result in an accident if the other traffic is not paying attention or has the right of way. Failing to come to a complete or yield may result in fault being assigned to the bicyclists for any accident that follows or alternatively having a claim of contributory negligence prevent recovery.