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Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Our bicycle accident attorneys will take steps to ensure your rights are fully protected. We’ll seek to recover all your damages and maximize your settlement and recovery. Our attorneys have effectively represented bicyclists and obtained impressive settlements for our bicycle accident clients for years.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accident injuries are often serious due to the lack of protection to bicyclists and the size and force differences when a vehicle collides with a bicycle. Our attorneys will help ensure that our bicycle accident clients obtain suitable medical care and treatment and ensure that the negligent motorist is held accountable.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
After a bicycle accident, you may be confused, scared, and not know what to do. When a bicyclist gets hit by a car or truck, it is crucial to know what to do while still at the scene of the accident. What you do immediately after the bike accident can have a dramatic impact on how much you are able to recover for your injuries and property damage to your bike. It may also affect the outcome of your lawsuit. Here is what to do after a bicycle accident.
Call for Help
Waiting for the police to arrive at the scene of the accident is vital to your case even if you think you are not injured. A police officer can write a police report that will help your lawsuit. Sometimes the bicyclist may not even realize they are injured until several hours after the accident. Also, what seems like a minor injury can turn into something much more serious and even cause permanent damage or scaring. If you leave the accident, the at-fault driver may never be identified.
Never negotiate with the negligent driver. Instead, just wait for the police to handle it. Many drivers will initially apologize for the accident and accept blame but then later deny their negligence when faced with a lawsuit. The police will be able to document everything and gather statements needed for your case.
Collect Contact Information of Witnesses and Other Drivers
After an accident, it is important to gather the contact information from all other drivers involved in the accident as well as the contact information of any witnesses. Information such as his or her name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, vehicle license number, and insurance information is important to your case. Never assume the police will obtain this information, they might not. If you are injured and unable to obtain this information, ask a bystander to do it for you.
Give a Statement to Police
Be sure to give the police a clear statement as to what happened. Sometimes, the police will ask the driver what happened but not the bicyclist. Do everything you can to get your side of the story clearly stated in the police report. Report all your injuries and every detail even if it seems minor. Even minor injuries can sometimes become more serious.
Even if the police refuse to include your statement in the accident report, you can later have the report amended.
Write Down What Happened
As soon as you can, take a moment to write down exactly what happened and what injuries you inquired from the accident. If you are not able to write it down, make mental notes about the accident. Include things such as what happened, how it happened, where the accident occurred, when it occurred, the condition of the road, the traffic, and weather conditions.
For your injuries, be sure to seek medical attention right away. The fact that you sought medical attention serves as proof of your injuries. Medical records will serve as documentation of your injuries. Take photos of your injuries as soon as possible after the accident. These can also greatly help your case.
Take Pictures of Damages
Do not attempt to fix your bicycle after an accident. By leaving it in the same state as after the accident, it will serve as evidence for your case. It is also a good idea not to wash your clothing or bike. Don’t send your bike, help, clothing or any other equipment to anyone other than your attorney. Take photos of all damaged equipment.
How to Protect Yourself from a Bike Accident
If you are planning on riding a bike for fun or to commute, protect yourself from a bicycle accident with these five tips.
- Always follow the rules of the road. Even when you are not driving a car, a bicycle riding on the road is still responsible to follow the rules. Obey all traffic signals and yield the right-of-way when necessary.
- Watch for cars and pedestrians. Bicyclists pose a threat to pedestrians just like a car poses a threat to a biker. Always be courteous to cars and pedestrians while on a bike.
- Be visible. Wear brightly colored clothing and use lights or reflectors to be seen easily.
- Stay in designated bike areas when possible. If possible, chose a route with a bike lane to keep yourself safe.
- Teach your kids to be safe on a bike too.
Typical Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents are more common than most people realize. Here are the most typical causes of bicycle accidents according to the NHTSA National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors.
Struck by a Vehicle
Thirty percent of all bicycle accidents are caused by the rider being hit by a car. Drivers are to always be aware of what is around them and yield the right of way to all pedestrians and bicyclists. However, often times bicyclists are not seen by a driver. When riding a bike, yield to caution by wearing brightly colored clothing. It is also helpful for you to beware of vehicles and make eye contact before crossing a street.
Falling Off a Bike
Seventeen percent of all bicycle accident is from the rider falling off the bike. There are many reasons for this. For example, the rider may have been startled from an unforeseen object or person.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Thirteen percent of bike accidents are due to bad road conditions. If you can, avoid roadways that are in need of repair when riding your bike to avoid these types of accidents.
Bike Rider Error
Thirteen percent of bike accidents are from the rider making an error.
Hitting a Fixed Object
Seven percent of bicycle accidents are due to the rider colliding with a fixed object. For instance, an inexperienced bicyclist may accidentally run into a light pole. Or the rider may have been distracted and hit the pole.
Striking a Dog Running into the Street
When a dog runs into the street, they may potentially be hit by a bicyclist or a car. Four percent of all bicycle accident has been due to a dog running into the street.
Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents After Dark
Many choose to bike after dark to get in more time for exercise. This is especially true during the late Fall and Winter months when it gets dark early. Parke Gordon Law Firm would like to remind drivers to be extra cautious of bike riders. After dark, drivers have a limited line of vision. Sometimes the only form of light for drivers is the car’s headlights. Also, depth and peripheral vision are worsened because of poor or limited light. If you are going to ride a bicycle after dark, here are some things to remember to avoid bicycle accidents after dark.
- Stay on well-lit streets.
- Wear reflective gear.
- Add reflective gear to your bike.
- Take extra lights.
When a Bicycle Accident is Caused by Road Rage
A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported some 80 percent of drivers expressed feeling road rage behind the wheel within the past year. In addition, about 8 million U.S. drivers engaged in extreme road rages such as purposely hitting another vehicle or bicyclist. Road rage is an all too common occurrence and is extremely dangerous for a bicyclist. A bicyclist does not have 3,000 pounds of steel around them for protection. Here’s how to handle a driver with road rage when riding your bike.
If you are riding your bicycle around a driver who is yelling out the window towards you, remember to remain calm. Follow the rules of the road concerning riding a bicycle. When a bicyclist is riding their bike in the roadway, legally they are to follow the same rules of the road as a vehicle. If the bicyclist is riding their bike on the sidewalk, they are to follow the same rules as a pedestrian.
An expert from the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association says motorists want to see the cyclist do something wrong so they can complain about it. If you’re obeying all traffic laws, you are not at fault. If the situation is bad enough, consider reporting the aggressive driver to police. Make a note of the vehicle make, model, color, and plate number to report it to the police. Also make note of the physical characteristics of the driver, the time of day and where the incident occurred to tell the police. The more detail the better. It is also extremely helpful to talk to witnesses and ask for their phone number so the police can get a statement from them. Without a witness statement, it is likely the police will not get involved.
Leave the Situation
The best tactic in a road rage situation is to remove yourself. Get to somewhere safe where the driver is not able to hit you while riding a bike. You could move onto the sidewalk, slow down and let the car pass, turn on the next street, make a legal U-turn, etc.
Defend Yourself if Necessary
If the driver continues to act aggressively and you are unable to get to a safe place, you do have a right to defend yourself in most states to prevent being injured. Call 911 immediately and leave the call live even if you are unable to talk to the dispatcher. Pull over and put your bike between yourself and the driver. Never get violent against a person or their vehicle even if you feel threatened. Doing so legally makes you the aggressor. Engage only as much as you need to in order to create distance and get away.
What Can You Do if Hit by an Unknown Driver in a Bicycle Accident?
A bicyclist has the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle when driving on public roads. When a negligent driver crashes into a bicyclist, runs them off the road, or hits them by opening a door then leaves the scene, it is considered a hit and run crime. A hit and run accident can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges if the driver is found at fault. Under the law, the bicyclist can also file a lawsuit against the negligent driver to obtain compensation for damages and injuries. However, if the at-fault driver cannot be identified, the bicyclist can obtain some compensation by filing a claim against their own personal auto insurance with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or a medical insurance policy.
The best compensation will be obtainable only if the unknown driver is identified. If the driver is identified and found at fault, a personal injury lawyer would be able to fight to get you the most compensation possible.
Tips for a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident
Here are some tips for a bicyclist who is hit by someone who flees the scene to catch the responsible driver and protect your ability to file a lawsuit against them.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, the damages to your bike, weather conditions at the scene, skid marks, and your injuries.
- Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information (full name and phone number).
- Call the police. A responding officer will be able to create an accident report. By failing to obtain an accident report, you may lose your right to compensation from your own insurance company and the at-fault driver. Even if you think the at-fault driver will not be found, file a police report with local authorities.
- Receive medical care. Always go to the doctor after any motor vehicle accident. Doing so documents medical records that can later help your case. Tell the doctor you were involved in an accident and report any injuries even if minor. By receiving medical care, your medical records will protect your right to medical expense compensation.
- Notify your insurance providers. Many auto insurance policies cover bicyclists who travel on roadways. Let your insurance company know about the accident if you think you will need to file a claim to cover your losses. Learn as much as you can about the compensation you are owed through your own insurance policies (medical and auto). If the driver is not found, these may be the only compensation opportunities for you.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney Now
Contact the experienced bicycle accident lawyers of Parke Gordon Law Firm for a free consultation. We’re on your side and will fight for your rights. Call now at (971)373-4878.
You Pay Nothing Until We Win Your Case
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