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If you have been injured while riding your bicycle in an accident caused by someone or something else, you may be entitled to compensation. As we’ll discuss, your compensation includes not only your emergency room visit and repairs to your bicycle but also any long-term costs associated with your injuries, ranging from medical expenses to lost earnings at work. Cyclists and drivers are obligated to obey the rules of the road and they operate at the same time. However, cyclists are almost always catastrophically injured when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. Contact us today for a free and conditional case evaluation.
We are with you Every Step of the Way
At We Win Injury Law, we have been fighting for justice on behalf of injured clients for over 20 years. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injured clients, including those injured as cyclists. We focus solely on personal injury cases and understand the law and the processes involved in bicycle accident cases. When you work with We Win Injury Law’s attorneys, you get the entire team focused on your case and have a much better chance to recover compensation for your injuries.
Drivers That Violate the Law and Rules of the Road are Liable for Accidents
Any time a driver gets onto the road with their motor vehicle, they are bound to follow the rules of the road. This includes the obligation to drive safely, attentively, and responsibly, all while being sober. When drivers violate the rules of the road, as we’ll discuss below in the section on common causes of bicycle accidents, they will be liable for the damages linked to any accidents that they cause.
These rules include traffic laws that all drivers must obey, as well as a duty to exercise ordinary care in regard to others’ safety on the roadway. What is more, because of the size and weight difference between a cyclist and a passenger in a vehicle, bicycle accidents often result in some of the most serious and sometimes fatal injuries on the roadways. When filing a claim to recover damages for injuries from a bicycle accident the claim (or lawsuit filed later) will come down to proving whether the driver that hit the cyclist failed in his legal obligation to operate their vehicle in a safe manner and whether his or her negligent actions caused or contributed to the accident.
Negligence is a legal concept that must be proven for you to collect compensation for your injuries from an accident. Negligence has four parts: duty, breach, causation, and damages. The unique facts and circumstances of your accident must be applied to the four parts of negligence, and each must be individually proven for you to collect compensation. Basically what negligence means is that a party had a duty or responsibility towards you, that duty was broken causing an accident, and the injuries you experienced from that accident had costs or damages. For example, if a driver is speeding, they are breaking the law and their duty to follow traffic laws. If their breaking the law led to an accident that injured you and caused damages, then that driver would have been negligent, and they will be responsible for any damages associated with the accident.
Contributory Negligence Can Allow You To Recover Even If You Are Partially at Fault
When a cyclist files a claim as the result of damages for injuries sustained from a crash with a motor vehicle, the cyclist will have to show that the driver was negligent, but also has to consider whether the cyclist contributed to the accident. When it comes time to collect compensation for your damages, the concept of negligence is applied not only to the driver that hit you, but also to your own actions in the accident.
Contributory negligence considers the actions of other parties involved in an accident, and how their actions might have influenced the accident. For example, if a driver was following the rules of the road, driving safely and attentively, and you ran a red light and ended up being hit, you might be legally responsible for some or all of the accident. Bicyclists are also required to follow the rules of the road, and when they break them, there could be negligence involved on both sides. The facts and evidence of your case will help to inform the court, and jury if there is one, as to whether or not you were negligent enough to be denied compensation for your injuries.
In some jurisdictions, if the cyclist contributed to the accident, they are barred from filing a claim. However, in Utah, so long as the cyclist can show that the at-fault party was at least 51% responsible for the accident, you can file a claim or subsequent lawsuit. This means that the other party in the accident was responsible for more than half of the responsibility for causing the accident. There is no textbook to refer to determine these amounts. Your attorney will consider the evidence and argue on your behalf, asserting that the driver, not you the injured cyclist, is responsible for the associated damages. The experience, professionalism, and skill of your attorney will influence whether you are entitled to damages, or have to cover all costs associated with your bicycle accident injuries out of your own pocket.
Normally this requires showing that the driver ran a stop sign, was speeding, or drifted into the bike lane. Additionally, any time a motor vehicle rear-ends a bicycle they are almost always at fault. Every case will come down to analyzing the facts and circumstances that surround the accident. This can be difficult without an attorney because oftentimes the victim is knocked unconscious from a collision with a motor vehicle. Additionally, the cyclist can be found at fault if the cyclist was riding on the wrong side of the road, running a stop sign, or abruptly stopping.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accident Injuries
The liability of the driver for your injuries will determine whether you and your family are left covering costs associated with your injuries, or if you receive a fair and complete settlement to do so. As discussed above, the negligence of the driver must be proven by applying the facts and circumstances of the accident to the four parts of negligence.
While no two accidents are alike, there are some types of accidents where the driver will be liable in almost all cases, entitling you to compensation for your damages. Common causes of bicycle accidents you can usually recover compensation for your damages include:
- Distracted driving – the United States Department of Transportation notes that distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that led to 3,142 deaths on the roads of the United States, and includes any activity that impairs you manually, visually, or mentally on the road, like texting while driving
- Drowsy or fatigued driving – when a driver makes the decision to get behind the wheel when they are drowsy, they have made an illegal choice to drive when they are incapable of driving safely, attentively, and responsibly, and they will be liable for any accidents their drowsy driving causes
- Drunk driving – literally all drunk driving accidents are preventable, and you will recover compensation for your damages if you are hit by a driver who was drunk or impaired by drugs
- Speeding or aggressive driving – speeding, not allowing sufficient space on the road for other cars, fast lane-changing, and other aggressive driving behaviors that cause bicycle or other accidents will lead to the driver being liable for the associated damages
- Vehicle or equipment malfunctions – if a vehicle malfunction like a defective brake caused the accident, the manufacturer of the defective product may be liable for your damages
Free Consultation with an Experienced Attorney
Determining whether you are entitled to compensation requires careful consideration of the actions of the driver that led to your bicycle accident. Being injured in a bicycle accident can lead to substantial injuries that will require a great deal of your time and effort to address. Collecting evidence and putting together an insurance claim to collect on your damages while trying to recover from your injuries is not ideal, which is where your bicycle accident injury lawyer from We Win Injury Law comes into play. We take over the claim process, handling it for you every step of the way so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
To discuss your bicycle accident injury case, schedule a consultation or call the experienced personal injury attorneys from We Win Injury Law at (877) 939-4646 to learn how we can help you make the most of your case and related damages.