There’s a feeling you get when riding a bike, whether it’s your only way to get around or if you’re just biking for recreation. You’re using the force of your own body to travel in a clean, efficient way. The wind blows past you as you get a healthy bit of a exercise. Communities are making it easier than ever before to ride your bicycle.
But as with any means of transportation, accidents can happen. A motor vehicle could hit you while you’re on your bike. Because you’re more exposed to the elements, bicycle accidents can leave extensive injuries and expensive damage. A bicycle accident will also probably leave you having to deal with an insurance company that might fight your claim: It’s that classic saying, “adding insult to injury,” come to life.
The plus side is that our bike accident attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have years of experience with accidents involving all types of vehicles, including bicycles. We’ve successfully represented injured bicyclists in cases against negligent drivers and insurance companies.
We have helped accident victims recover compensation for injuries and property damage, and are committed to holding negligent motorists accountable for their actions.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, please fill out our free case review form today. We will review your claim at no cost to you.
How Can a Bicycle Accident Attorney Help?
Cases involving bicycle accidents can be as complex as traditional motor vehicle accident claims. Therefore, it is important to hire an attorney to assist you following a crash. Below, we’ll show you what a bike accident attorney can do for you, and you’ll see that it’s quite a few things.
To help recover compensation for your losses, your attorney may:
- Gather witness statements
- Review police and accident reports
- Re-create the scene of the accident
- Inspect and document any damage to the bike
- Investigate the driving history of the alleged at-fault party
- Contact experts to analyze medical records and create reenactments of the accident to determine fault and causation
Depending on the state in which the accident occurs, the bicyclist could be subject to no-fault insurance law. In that instance, personal injury protection, aka PIP, insurance would pay for initial coverage. If the injured cyclist also owns a car, their own insurance would be responsible for compensation. If not, the other party’s insurance would ostensibly pay. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Given the severity of injuries that can result from a collision with a motor vehicle, payment under PIP insurance may not fully cover the cost of your injuries and damage. For these individuals, an attorney can:
- Complete necessary PIP steps and exhaust collection
- Determine causation and fault
- File a lawsuit against a party negligent in causing your crash
If you’re in an at-fault state, an attorney will still be available to help you attempt to get the full amount of compensation you’re owed for your injuries. The bicycle accident attorney will hold the at-fault party’s insurance company accountable for paying you.
Having trouble with an insurance company and need an experienced, insistent advocate by your side? Contact us today for a free, no-risk case evaluation.
Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
Here are two major types of bicycle accident lawsuits.
Neither the cyclist nor the driver will want to take responsibility for the accident. Determining liability and causation will depend on the evidence your attorney has collected and their ability to present it favorably. Some common discrepancies in bicycle accident cases involve determining who had the right of way, failed to exercise reasonable care, and violated traffic laws.
Successful bike accident lawsuits will show that:
- The opposing party failed to act in a reasonable manner and breached the duty motorists owe one another
- This breach caused the accident
- An injury was sustained in and caused by the accident
Product Liability Claim
If a defect in the product contributed to the accident, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. In a negligence claim against a product manufacturer, your attorney will have to show:
- The defective bicycle or part was “unreasonably dangerous”
- The bicycle was being operated as the manufacturer intended
- The bicycle’s performance had not changed since its initial purchase
Successful “strict liability claims” will require proof that the defect originated in the manufacturing process and may require the testimony and analysis of experts.
What Causes Bike Accidents?
Although cars drastically outnumber bicycles, that doesn’t mean cyclists are free from accident risk. In 2015, the most recent year U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data is available, more than 1,000 bicyclists died, and bicycle-related injuries exceeded 467,000.
Another bicycle accident statistic: Children and adolescents between 5 and 19 years old have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries. This accounts for more than one-third of all bike-related injuries witnessed in American emergency rooms, according to government reports.
There are several causes behind these accidents, including:
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to see bicyclists approaching an intersection
- Running into or backing over cyclists
- Failing to use turn signals
- Failure to leave sufficient space
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Dooring, or opening a car door without checking the mirror(s) for cyclists
- Failure to look both ways when turning or crossing an intersection
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Driving under the influence (among bicyclist deaths, for example, 37% had alcohol involvement for either the motor vehicle or bicycle rider, according to the CDC).
Bicycle Accident Injuries and Compensation
Injured riders in PIP states should be aware that PIP insurance alone does not typically cover injuries such as:
- Contusions and concussions
- Skull fractures
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Broken necks
If a cyclist has sustained a serious injury and PIP benefits have been exhausted, a lawsuit may seek to recover:
- Past and Future Medical Costs: This covers costs related to the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the injury.
- Lost Wages: Potentially, if the injured can show their injury prohibited them from performing their job, compensation may be available.
- Compensation for Pain and Suffering: This covers physical and mental anguish caused by the accident.
Our bicycle attorneys in at-fault (non-PIP) states are also available to help injured bicyclists seek the recovery stemming from the injuries described above.
If you have been in a bicycle accident, you may have legal recourse. To see how our bicycle accident attorneys may be able to help you collect compensation, please fill out our case review form at no cost and no obligation to you.
Morgan & Morgan: For the Cyclists
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that aim to protect their cash reserves, and it is likely they will try to find a way to refute your claim. The defendant’s attorney will have experts working to limit liability and show you were at least partially to blame.
Morgan & Morgan also has access to top experts in their respective fields and will work with these individuals to collect, analyze, and present evidence in the light most favorable to you. With these resources, our attorneys have developed a history of building strong cases against negligent drivers and collecting the compensation to which our clients were entitled.
If you or a loved one was in a bicycle accident and need experienced, passionate advocates to help you get the compensation you deserve, and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions, contact us today for a free, no-risk case evaluation.