Car accidents are a serious concern for many of us, particularly when it comes to determining insurance and blame. However, bicycle accidents can be just as deadly, even if insurance is less clear. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, a personal injury attorney can be a significant help.
Understanding local road rules
Car drivers must follow basic rules, such as driving at the speed limit, obeying traffic signs, and never driving under the influence. They must responsibly share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians. They should watch their surroundings, and check for bicyclists before they merge or turn.
Bicyclists need to follow road safety rules, such as riding in the bike lane and using hand signals when changing lanes. When riding on public streets in the absence of a designated lane, cyclists must share the road safely with motorists. They must observe the same traffic laws that apply to other vehicles, such as obeying traffic signals and riding in the same direction as vehicular traffic. However, they are exempt from needing a driver’s license, insurance, or license plates.
How to determine fault
In a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, the motorist will be considered at fault if he fails to yield to a bicyclist while making a turn or doesn’t heed a stop sign. Some accidents can be caused by the cyclist’s negligence, such as riding the wrong way on a one-way street, failing to yield, not signaling properly, or rolling through a stop sign.
What to do after a bicycle accident
In the aftermath of a bicycle accident, what you do can make a big difference in how much you recover from your bicycle injury. It may also affect the outcome of any lawsuits resulting from the accident. After the accident, the motorist’s insurance company will spring into action. Here are a few steps you should take to better present your case:
- Report the accident to the police
- Ask for a copy of the accident report
- Get the driver’s contact and insurance information
- Obtain the contact information of witnesses
- Get any necessary emergency medical treatment
- Keep a record of your injuries and treatment
- Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and your bike damage
- File a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance company
- Consult an attorney to communicate with the insurer and obtain a fair settlement
How a personal injury attorney can help
If you’ve been involved in a serious bicycle accident, hiring an experienced lawyer is the best way to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. The damages are often worth much more than the victim realizes. A personal injury lawyer can determine all your costs, including medical expenses, lost wages, bike repairs, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.
You may file a tort claim if the unreasonable actions of the motorist were the direct cause of your injuries and you worry the insurance company is undermining the compensation. In such a case, working with an attorney can improve your chances of recovering the maximum settlement amount.
Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers understands state-specific bicycle laws, and can better present your unique case with the insurance company or court. They’ll help obtain necessary evidence for the case, such as medical records and witness statements.