Bicycle Accident Lawyers Who Get Maximum Injury Compensation
Today, bicycles are more popular than ever. If you live in a big city like New York, you not only see people riding them for leisure and exercise, but you will also see them all over the roads for a variety of delivery services. Even though bicycles are all over the road, sadly, many motorists fail to pay attention to them or, in some cases, purposely try to hurt cyclists, as they simply do not believe in sharing the road.
What Are Bicycle Laws?
Because of the growing popularity of bicycles as well as the problem of increased accidents, more and more states are making specific laws pertaining to bicycles and cars. In general, though, the rider of a bicycle is considered to be a motorist, meaning the cyclist has the same rights to the road as a motorist would have, especially when there are no clearly defined bicycle lanes. This, however, is a two-way street, meaning cyclists must obey the rules of the road just as the driver of a car would, including stopping at red lights and stop signs even when there is no traffic on the road.
If a bicycle lane is present, cyclists are expected to stay in the lane unless something or someone is impeding the lane. When there are no lanes available, cyclists are expected to stay as far right as possible to allow other vehicles safe passage. When roads are more narrow, meaning not allowing for a bike and car to occupy the same space at the same time, bicycles have the same rights to the road as cars, but this is often an area where drivers can get aggressive out of frustration.
For safety reasons, many states now have bicycle helmet laws in place, but this will vary from state to state. However, even if your state has a helmet law and you are in an accident not wearing a helmet, it does not automatically disqualify you from being eligible to receive compensation, especially if the accident was not your fault.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Accidents with motorists are the leading cause of bicycling accident deaths, accounting for about 90 percent of these deaths (while only accounting for about 30 percent of overall cycling accidents). This is generally due to the fact the cyclist has very little protection when going up against a motor vehicle.
The most common causes of these accidents are:
- Bicycle cut off by vehicle
- Unexpected right-hand turn cuts off a cyclist
- Cyclists getting rear-ended by a vehicle
- Parked car door getting opened unexpectedly
- Cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic
- Running red lights and/or stop signs
- Cyclists make an unexpected move into traffic
Even though most cycling accidents do not involve a motor vehicle, they can still be dangerous.
Some of the most common causes of non-vehicle cycling accidents are:
- Cycling falls off the bike from poor road conditions
- Defective, poorly maintained, or damaged bicycle
- Animal attacks
- Collision with another cyclist or pedestrian
- Loss of balance or inebriation
- Debris/obstacle in the road, such as a rock, branch, or curb
How to Reduce Cycling Accidents
We can all help make our roads safer for cyclists by taking measures within our home and well as promoting better local safety measures. Some of these are:
- Local cycling safety courses
- Making materials available for driver and bicyclist responsibilities
- Educational programs for younger children and students on cycling safety
- Ensuring bicycle lanes are properly marked
- Paving bicycle lanes
- Connecting bike lanes throughout the city
- Ensuring safety gear is worn, including reflective material in evening hours
- If riding at night, ensuring proper lighting is used on bicycle
Who Is Responsible for Bicycle Accident Medical Bills?
The person responsible will depend on the circumstances of the bicycling accident.
- If the accident was caused by the driver of an automobile, the driver and his or her insurance company can be held liable.
- If the accident was due to poor road conditions, you may have a case against the city, state, or federal government agency responsible for the road.
- If the bike was in poor repair or poorly made, the manufacture or bicycle shop where the bike was purchased and/or repaired could be at fault.
- If the accident was a result of an animal attack, the owner of the animal could be held liable.
- If the accident was caused by a pedestrian or another cyclist, the right-of-way laws will determine who would be liable.
In some cases, both parties can be found liable to an extent. For instance, if the court finds that the motorist was 70 percent liable and you were 30 percent liable, you would get 70 percent of the normal settlement value.
Should I Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Have you recently been in a bicycling accident? If you were not at fault, you may be entitled to damages. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys specializing in bicycle accidents, please fill out our contact form (click here), or you can call us at 855-633-0888 to speak to one of our attorneys. Your initial consultation is free and you are under no obligation to use our services for speaking to one of our bicycle accident lawyers, so give us a call today.