What causes bicycle accidents?
The leading causes of bicycle accidents include reckless, careless or blindsided motorists (most common), swinging car doors, jaywalkers, and ground-level hazards including potholes, metal plates, defects in sidewalks, and random debris.
What are the rights and duties of a bicycle rider?
The rights and responsibilities of a bicycle rider are in many ways similar to those of a motorist. Bicycle riders must observe signs, signals and other traffic laws. Most states require lights and/or reflectors for bicyclists riding at night, and failure to observe traffic laws could be construed as partial fault by a court if it contributes to an accident, regardless of who is injured. And be forewarned that a cyclist riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be stopped and arrested for a DUI, and can lose his or her driver's license!
Depending on whether the laws of the state in which the accident took place are based on the doctrine of contributory negligence, observing local traffic laws can make a significant difference in the outcome of a personal injury claim.
Are bicyclists required to wear a helmet?
That depends on the state they are riding in. Many states require only minors to wear bicycle helmets while bicycling. In any case, regardless of the age of the rider, it is always advisable to wear one that is properly and fastened securely with a strap.
Can I file a claim if the actions of a motorist caused me to lose control?
It is not necessary for there to be contact between the bicycle and the motor vehicle for the motor vehicle operator to be liable. A motorist could be held liable, for instance, if his or her negligence required the cyclist to take evasive action to avoid being hit, and the cyclist then crashes as a result.
Does auto insurance cover me if I'm involved in an accident while riding my bicycle?
Many auto policies do contain such coverage. Many even extend coverage in the event you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian!
Should I hire an attorney if I'm injured in a bicycle accident?
An experienced bicycle injury attorney can maximize the compensation you may be entitled to by thoroughly investigating your case, whether it involves other motorists, defective roadways, or defective bicycles.
What damages can be recovered in a bicycle accident case?
In a bicycle accident resulting in serious injury or death, the following damages may be recoverable:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of future medical care
- Current and future potential wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- In cases of grossly negligent behavior, punitive damages may be awarded