Approximately 1,300 cyclists are thought to be injured in accidents every day in the U.S. These accidents go largely unreported and only one in ten are likely brought to the attention of law enforcement.

In Nevada, bicycles are not considered vehicles under the law, which affects how liability in a bicycle accident is determined.

However, cyclists must still follow the same traffic laws as drivers, such as Nevada’s move-over-law, which has two exceptions for bicycles:

  • If a cyclist is traveling in the right lane, a driver must move into another lane.
  • When a vehicle passes a cyclist on a single-lane road, the driver must provide at least three feet of space between the vehicle and the bicycle.

First Party Bicycle Accident Liability

If a motorist hits a bicyclist, the motorist is presumably liable under the “negligence per se” rule.

In a typical negligence case, plaintiffs must prove the following five elements:

  • The defendant had a duty to ensure the safety of the victim.
  • The defendant breached that duty.
  • The accident would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s actions (cause-in-fact).
  • The defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s injuries (proximate cause).
  • The victim suffered damages because of the accident.

In negligence per se claims, plaintiffs only need to establish:

  • Violation of statute: Referring to the negligent driver’s violation of a traffic safety law.
  • Cause: A distinct connection exists between the violation of a statute and the damages suffered by the victim.
  • Damages: The victim must have sustained personal injury or property damages and is entitled to compensation for intangible and non-monetary losses.

If the claim goes t