Bike messengers may be found in numerous cities around the United States, and they are an everyday sight. When it comes to transferring crucial papers, flowers, or food, couriers are a necessary component of everyday life in areas where traffic congestion makes driving difficult or impossible.
The sheer quantity of bikes on the road, although making life simpler in many respects, can result in significantly more collisions involving bikes and people on foot, bikes and vehicles on the road, and bikes with other bikes on the road as well. This begs the question of who is ultimately liable in the event that a bike courier is involved in a collision with another vehicle.
Keep reading to learn who could be found at fault for this type of bike accident and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you require a free legal consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
If the Bike Messenger Was Working at the Time
It is possible that the bike courier was engaged in a delivery while on the job as an employee of an agency, whether en route to a destination or returning from one. In this case, the bike courier may be protected by his or her employer's workers' compensation coverage.
However, there are instances in which workers' compensation coverage is insufficient — or in which a bike courier may choose to launch a lawsuit against a driver or other third party who has harmed him or her while on the job. As a result, the bike courier may still choose to bring a lawsuit against the individual who injured him, and the workers' compensation insurance may be able to collect from the revenues of that litigation.
However, if the accident was caused by the bike messenger, it is not an issue of workers' compensation, but rather of liability insurance. A lawsuit against the courier agency may be appropriate if the courier is an employee (rather than an independent contractor) of the company, as that business is likely to have greater financial resources than the individual messenger.
If the Bike Messenger Was an Independent Contractor
If the courier is an independent contractor, the person who was hit may be able to file a lawsuit against the courier agency. Another option is that the courier's homeowner's, renter's, or other specialized insurance policy may provide coverage. This type of claim could potentially be filed by any number of people, including the driver of a car damaged by a bike messenger driving into their door, a pedestrian who was injured when a bike courier knocked him over, a shop owner whose window was broken when a bike messenger crashed into it, and another cyclist who was injured when a bike messenger collided with him or her.
If you have been involved in an accident with a bike messenger, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation and determine what your rights are.