The warm weather has arrived in many parts of the country and that means more bicyclists out on the road. In general, bicycle riding is up- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2000 to 2012, the number of Americans traveling to work by bicycle increased from 488,000 to about 786,000. With more bicyclists out on the road, comes the risk of more accidents; while passenger vehicle deaths decreased in 2012 from 2011, bicyclist fatalities increased from 682 to 726 and injuries increased from 48,000 to 49,000. More bicyclist fatalities occur during the summer months of July through September since the warmer weather brings out more riders.Read More
Although only one-third of bicycle accidents are between a cyclist and a car, they are the most likely to cause serious injury or death to the cyclist. Common causes of motor vehicle vs. bicycle accidents are driver distraction and inattention which cause the motorist not to see the bicyclist, then running over or running the cyclist off the road. The cyclist is incredibly vulnerable to physical injury due to being exposed. Head traumas are the most common form of injury and death in cyclists involved in a crash; wearing a helmet can help reduce traumatic brain injury. Victims of auto vs. bicycle collisions may be entitled to compensation for their injuries from the driver that caused the accident.
The other two-thirds of bicycle accidents not caused by the cyclist involve malfunctioning bike parts and road defects. Manufacturing flaws can be caused by poor design, improper assembly or faulty components and they include everything from broken chains to flawed brakes and weak tires or air tubes. If you suspect your accident was caused by a manufacturing flaw, carefully store any broken parts and do not have your bicycle repaired. If you have an accident caused by roadway defects such as potholes or cracking in the road, you may be able to hold the city or municipality responsible for the road’s maintenance liable for your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death. Be aware that you have six months from the date of incident to file a claim.
What steps should I take after a bicycle accident?
- Seek medical attention.
- If possible, gather contact information from witnesses and driver.
- Preserve evidence; store your bike and any broken parts. If possible take pictures.
- File a police report and report all injuries, even if they are minor.
- Contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney for a complete review of your legal rights. Sometimes an accident occurs and there does not seem to be a clear cause or perpetrator. A lawyer can help you define the cause of the accident and fight to get you any reasonable compensation for medical bills, injuries, lost wages, etc.
Commonly Asked Questions
Q. I was injured in a motor vehicle vs. bicycle accident and needed medical care for my broken wrist. At the scene, the driver admitted fault and gave me her insurance and contact information. Now the medical bills are coming and I am not sure through whose insurance they should be processed? How do I file an insurance claim with her insurance?
A. Initially, seek all necessary medical treatment, document all injuries and do not give any statements to the insurance agency. The medical bills can be filed under your insurance but you should hire a personal injury lawyer to help file the appropriate insurance claim.
Q. Six months ago I was the driver involved in a bicycle crash. I provided my insurance and contact information to the cyclist despite what looked like minor, surface injuries. I have not heard anything from the cyclist, an insurance company or the police. Should I be worried that I could still be prosecuted or sued?
A. Retain a criminal defense attorney and an accident lawyer immediately. You could still be charged or sued for leaving the scene of a crime depending on the amount of property damage or the severity of the injuries sustained.
Q. My son was riding his bike in our neighborhood when a driver who claimed not to see him, knocked him over and broke the bike frame in half. The police officer who arrived on the scene didn’t look at the bike or question any witnesses and stated that insurance would probably protect the driver since my son was riding in the street. His report of the incident reflects that opinion. Do we have a chance of recovering damages from this accident?
A. Contact a personal injury attorney with a good reputation and a low contingency fee; it is very likely that you can recover costs of the injury or bike damage from this driver’s insurance.
If you were the victim of a vehicle related bicycle accident, contact a Tario & Associates personal injury lawyer today!Read More