The use of bicycles for transportation, recreation, and fitness is on the rise. With the increase in the number of bicyclists on the road, there has also been an increase in the number of traffic accidents involving bicyclists. Bicycle fatalities have risen from 1.5% of the total fatalities in traffic crashes in 2002 to 2.2% of the total fatalities in 2012. The most common and the most dangerous type of bicycle accident involves collisions or contact between a bicycle and a motor vehicle. The risk of serious injury to the bicyclist is dramatically higher in such accidents. Click here to read the NHTSA's Traffic Safety Facts related to bicyclists: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812018.pdf
Bicycle accidents often occur because the motorist doesn’t notice the bicyclist, or because most motorists do not think of bicycles as vehicles having the same rights as cars, buses, or trucks. Many of these accidents occur when cars make turns in front of bicycles or pull out of a driveway without carefully checking for oncoming bicycle traffic.
Fault in bicycle cases can be challenging to prove. The versions of how the accident occurred often vary between the injured bicyclist and the motorists, and there is often some degree of prejudice against the bicyclists by those investigating and/or witnessing the crash. In such circumstances, a skilled attorney will hire an experienced accident reconstruction expert to investigate the accident and a knowledgeable investigator to interview witnesses, determine whether there have been multiple such accidents at the same location, and determine other circumstances that bear on the motorist’s liability.
Bicyclists are vulnerable and have to be constantly alert. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that all bicyclists wear a properly fitted helmet each time they ride and increase their visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing during the day and at dawn and dusk, and use front and rear lights and retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment and clothing. But even the most conscientious rider cannot always avoid an accident. Our team has the knowledge, expertise, and experience to recover the maximum compensation permitted by law for the injured bicyclist. Call us for a free, no obligation consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident.
One additional tip to bicyclists: CARRY HIGH LIMIT UNINSURED/ UNDERINSURED insurance on your automobile. Check with your agent to make sure that the coverage you buy extends to you if you are struck by an uninsured or underinsured driver while on your bicycle. We strongly encourage you to buy sufficient insurance to allow you to have at least $300,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (more if you can afford it.) There are many uninsured and minimally insured drivers on the road. It is relatively cheap to protect yourself from a situation in which you have tens of thousands in medical bills and protracted wage loss due to a negligent driver, but no way to recoup those losses.