Accidents can happen any time and when you’re the victim, there’s always a need to involve an accident lawyer. If you were involved in a bicycle accident, you’ll need to hire the services of a bicycle accident lawyer. This article will focus on how one can hire a bicycle accident lawyer, plus many other things you need to know.
Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in bicycle accidents in the United States, according to any bicycle accident lawyer. Many motorists hold the impression that bicycles have no place on public roads, which is simply wrong. Cyclists have the same legal right to use public roadways as automobiles. Too often, motor vehicles are unaware of or disobey these rules. Sadly, this prejudice often follows bikers into the personal injury judicial system.
You have every right to seek compensation from those responsible for your bicycle accident if you were hurt. To succeed, you’ll need the best bicycle accident lawyer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 467,000 people were injured in bicycle accidents in 2015, costing $10 billion in medical bills and lost productivity. In 2016, 840 people died in bicycle accidents in the United States.
Seventy-one percent of fatal bicycle accidents happened in metropolitan locations, where traffic is the most congested, with somewhat more incidents occurring during daytime hours. The majority of bicycle fatalities occur between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. during evening rush hour.
What Are The Major Causes Of Bicycle Accidents?
Why is it necessary for you to know the precise cause of a Bicycle accident? You must be able to prove that the motorist was negligent in causing the incident in order to hold him or her liable (usually by making a claim with his or her insurance company). Because being hit does not always imply that the driver is to blame (though it frequently does), you must be able to prove that the driver is to blame for your damages in order to file a successful claim.
So, how can you establish that the driver who hit you was at fault? The following are some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents:
All forms of vehicle collisions, including those involving bicycles, are caused by distracted driving. Drivers who are preoccupied with their phones rather than their surroundings are much more likely to cause dangerous collisions. Reading and responding to text messages, calling phone numbers, conversing on the phone, and using social media are all common kinds of distraction.
Speeding lengthens the time it takes for drivers to stop while reducing the amount of time they have to make decisions on the road. Although high-speed collisions are more likely to result in serious (or even fatal) injuries, even low-speed collisions (such as when a car speeds through a quiet area) can be exceedingly dangerous for cyclists.
Weaving Through Traffic
Cyclists sharing the road are less likely to be seen by drivers weaving through traffic. They’re also less likely to be able to escape crashes by making evasive moves. Weaving motorists frequently stray from traffic lanes and onto bike lanes and shoulders.
Running a Red Light
Intersection accidents are frequently caused by drivers disregarding red lights and stop signs. This is true in both city centers and other metropolitan regions, as well as in communities and suburban areas. While disregarding a traffic sign or signal is risky in and of itself, the dangers are amplified when drivers fail to look for cyclists who have the right of way.
People who choose to drink or get high before getting behind the wheel endanger themselves and everyone else on the road. Driving while inebriated reduces a driver’s capacity to make sound decisions and avoid accidents, and far too many crashes involving cyclists occur as a result of driving while inebriated.
Although the dangers of driving while exhausted are less well-known than those of driving while intoxicated, research have demonstrated that their severity is comparable. Drivers who are out early, out late, or trying to get home after a long day at work are much more likely to cause serious collisions due to tiredness.
How To Avoid The Risk Of Bicycle Accidents
Ensure You Are Driving The Right Bicycle Size
The first thing you can do to ensure your safety on the road is to make sure you’re riding the correct size bicycle. Riding a bicycle that is either too tiny or too big can impede your capacity to manage and handle the bike effectively. Bicycle sizes are usually determined by your height, so consult the manufacturer’s sizing guide if you’re in the market for a new bike. This chart will include a list of the many bike sizes available for various height specifications.
As a rule of thumb, you should be able to stand with your feet flat on the ground and leave about two inches between the bike seat and your groin. It’s also a good idea to talk to your salesperson before buying a bike to make sure you have the proper frame size for your height.
Always Check Your Brakes
Check, then double-check, that your brakes are in good working order before you get on the road. Check that your bicycle’s brake pads are rubbing against the disc rotor on the wheels. If you have any problems, it’s worth taking the time to fix them before going out.
Simply spin the wheels with your hand and press the brake to ensure the brakes are working properly. Before you hit the road, you should run this basic test on both your front and back wheels.
Headlights aren’t just for cars; adding them to a bicycle rider will help you see and be noticed. Consider fitting both daytime running lights and a headlight for night riding if you want to increase your safety on the road.
Wear a Helmet
Bicycle helmet legislation in the United States vary by state and by the cyclist’s age. Anyone under the age of sixteen is required to wear a bicycle helmet in Tennessee. It is not necessary to wear a helmet if you are over the age of sixteen. Wearing a helmet at any age, however, can help lower the risk of a catastrophic head injury by 50%. Furthermore, a helmet can help lower the risk of neck and facial injuries by 33%.
In summary, always wearing a helmet when riding your bicycle reduces your chances of suffering a life-altering injury if you are ever involved in a bicycle accident. If you are unfortunate enough to be in a bicycle accident, never use a helmet that has been damaged. Helmets, in fact, are engineered to break on contact in order to protect your head.
Don’t Ride With Head Phones
People prefer biking with headphones or earbuds because it allows them to relax, become motivated, or simply make the ride go by faster. Riding with headphones or earphones, on the other hand, can be hazardous.
When riding a bicycle, especially when there is other traffic, your senses must process a great deal in order to alert your brain to potential threats. Other cyclists, cars, car horns, people yelling, and even first-responder vehicle sirens must all be considered. Even if you’re on a calm road that isn’t frequently trafficked, you should keep an ear out for any vehicles approaching from behind that could endanger your safety.
Because you’re already vulnerable when riding a bicycle on the road, you should really consider if listening to music while riding is worth the danger to your safety.
Keep Your Two Hands On The Handlebars
Many individuals ride bicycles with only one hand or even no hands on the handlebars from time to time. Some people do this because they have something in one hand, such as a cup of coffee or a phone. Others who are more confident in their talents may think that riding in this manner is simply cool.
Riding without both hands on the handlebars, on the other hand, poses a substantial risk. There are many hazards on the road that you may not notice until you’re right in the middle of them, such as potholes or uneven pavement. Even with two hands on the handlebars, rough road surfaces can make it difficult to keep full control of your bicycle. Riding with both hands on the handlebars is always suggested, regardless of your circumstances, and can considerably lessen the danger of a personal injury mishap.
How To Win a Bicycle Accident Law Suit
You, the plaintiff, must prove by a majority of the evidence that the defendant (the person who caused your harm) was negligent in a bicycle accident lawsuit, just as you must in any other form of lawsuit. The four elements of negligence in the personal injury law system are duty, breach, harm, and causation.
You must show that the defendant owed you a duty (such as the responsibility to drive safely and with care for adjacent bicycles), that they breached that duty, that you were injured or your property was damaged, and that this harm was directly caused by the other driver’s violation of duty.
In some circumstances, proving that the defendant broke a traffic regulation (such as running a red light) and that this violation caused the plaintiff’s injuries is sufficient. Negligence per se is the legal term for this legal norm.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Bicycles
Cycling accidents are usually covered by car insurance. If the collision was caused by the negligence of the vehicle driver, the driver’s auto insurance will pay for your injuries.
You may be entitled for damages from your own auto insurance if you have personal injury protection policy. This is true even if you were riding a bicycle rather than driving a car when the accident occurred. Your own medical insurance will assist pay the costs of your injuries, but you may later seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s motor insurance through inter-insurance arbitration.
No-fault insurance is available in a small number of states, including New York. Insurance companies are required to cover medical expenditures in these states when someone is wounded in a car accident, regardless of who is at blame. If you have no-fault insurance in New York, you may be eligible to receive compensation up to the legal amount.
What Are The Key Qualities Of a Good Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
If you are looking for a good Bicycle accident lawyer, make sure any lawyer you choose has the following qualities:
Check Their Winning Record
Make sure you inquire about their background and, more significantly, their previous records. Although previous successful verdicts may not guarantee a favorable conclusion in your case, they do offer you with a more full view of the lawyer’s overall competence and experience.
Check Their Resources
Only a few lawyers and businesses have the financial means to fight and win complex personal injury claims. If you hire a lawyer with limited resources, he or she may feel compelled to settle a lawsuit too soon, which will cost you money.
Check Their Reputation
You can read their reviews on the internet. Do they have thorough videos, Facebook reviews, and on-site testimonials from current and previous clients who were pleased with the attorney’s or firm’s handling of their cases?