Sharing the road with other vehicles can be tricky, and it’s inevitable that there are going to be accidents. Most commuters find that riding a bicycle can be an easy and stress-free way to get back and forth to work. In fact, larger cities are filled with more and more people using bicycles as their main mode of transportation. At Stevenson Klotz, we have helped many victims of bicycle accidents get the help that they need. You deserve an experienced Pensacola FL bicycle accident lawyer to represent you and strengthen your case. Don’t risk your settlement on personal injury lawyers that don’t regularly handle bicycle accident claims.
How do bicycle accidents happen?
Most accidents on the road can be prevented, so one or both parties can be liable. Generally, accidents occur because of the negligence of one party. There are instances where the cyclist or the car is at fault. However, cars are generally at fault more than cyclists. Since bicycles are so small, they can be easily overlooked on the road. Vehicles have a negative reputation for overlooking bicycles and motorcycles. There are many ways that negligence can cause a bicycle accident. Several instances we’ve encountered are:
- Cars failing to look while turning right: Bicycles can easily fit into the blind spot of other vehicles, and bikes travel in a lane on the right side of the road. Since traffic is generally coming from the left, most cars fail to look right when they turn right. Technically, when operating a vehicle, you are supposed to look in both directions before making your turn. So, the car is at fault when they turn right and run into a bicycle.
- Vehicles not yielding during a left turn: Similar to turning right, cars must give bicycles the right of way when they are traveling straight through an intersection. Unlike cars, bicycles can be difficult to see as they are traveling through an intersection. However, the flow of traffic has the right away, so cutting a bicycle off is negligent behavior.
- Drivers and passengers opening car doors: When you park your car on a busy street you always look before you open your door. There is traffic flowing down the road, and if you’re not careful a vehicle could take your car door off. This is a similar problem with cyclists. Passengers don’t look to their right because the car is parked next to the sidewalk. However, a bike lane sits between the car and the sidewalk. Opening a car door in front of a cyclist can cause injuries. Passengers and drivers are liable for any injuries where they open a car door in front of a traveling cyclist.
- Negligent driving behind the wheel: There are many reasons why a driver might be negligent behind the wheel. Anything that a driver does that takes their focus away from the road is negligent behavior. Also, any instance where the driver isn’t obeying traffic laws is also considered negligence. If a driver is speeding along and strikes a bicycle, they are negligent because they weren’t traveling at the right speed. An experienced attorney can help you file a lawsuit with the negligent party.
What kind of injuries can you have from bike accidents?
When riding a bike, you only have a limited amount of safety gear. If you fall off your bike, your safety gear is enough to protect you, but colliding with a vehicle is a totally different story. A bike colliding with a vehicle and the ground can cause serious injuries. Your helmet might even not protect you if a car hits you hard enough. Below are some of the injuries we’ve witnessed in our bike injury cases:
- Road Rash: When a cyclist comes into contact with asphalt, road rash will likely occur. Asphalt is an abrasive surface and most cyclists do not wear safety gear that covers their entire body. So, it is very common for the asphalt to rip through a cyclist’s clothes and their skin underneath.
- Broken bones and fractures: Another common injury that cyclists face are broken bones. Broken wrists, ankles, and collarbones are very common in bicycle accidents. Most cyclists will reach out with their hands or feet to try to break their fall to the ground. Reaching out rarely stops them from falling, and cyclists end up breaking bones instead.
- Head trauma: Some bicyclists choose to ride down the road without a helmet. In these circumstances, it is incredibly common for cyclists to sustain head trauma from the collision with the ground. Even cyclists that wear helmets can still suffer from head and brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries: One of the worst injuries on the road, along with head trauma, is a spinal cord injury. This injury could be as mild as a pulled muscle or as serious as paralysis. A bicycle accident could cause you not to walk for the rest of your life.
These are some of the many injuries that you face during a bicycle accident. As you can see some of the serious injuries will cost you money for the rest of your life. Hiring an experienced attorney can improve your chances of receiving a larger settlement. You need to get the compensation you deserve, so you can move on with your life.
What are my rights if I’ve been hit by a car?
You have the right to ride safely along the road without being hit by a car. So, when an accident occurs the liable party is responsible for covering your injuries. You can file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company or a lawsuit against the individual. Through either one of these claims, you can seek the full extent of your medical bills and any other damages. We can ask for compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of future wages, and any other losses. You can file these claims on your own, but we recommend hiring a professional car accident lawyer.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident, it’s time to call the experts. We only have 4 years to file your claim, so we need to get started immediately. Contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss your case.