Bicycle crashes don’t always involve other vehicles. Road hazards, like potholes, can also cause injuries. Whether it is an crash with a car or due to road conditions, a personal injury claim can potentially get you the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Common Bicycle Accident Scenarios
Bike crashes involving other vehicles most often occur in:
- Heavy traffic areas
- Areas where bike paths cross highly traveled roads.
The cyclist and driver may share fault or the crash may be primarily due to the actions of just one party. Either way, a personal injury claim may result.
When bike crashes occur as a “single operator” incident, the cyclist may be at fault or other factors like road hazards may play a big part. If conditions are a factor, a claim can be filed with the city, a property owner, or another party responsible for maintaining bike paths, roadways, or other tracks on which cyclist are legally permitted to ride.
An crash is scary and even more so if your injuries are severe. Keeping a level head and knowing what to do immediately after the crash can be a challenge, but acting quickly can help with a personal injury claim.
- Take note of the witnesses present and get names and contact information, if possible
- Take pictures of the scene, including damages, road hazards, and traffic conditions
- Write down your recollections of the incident, including what lead up to the crash as well as the circumstances of the crash itself
- If the crash involved another vehicle, get the driver’s name, contact information, and insurance details
- If the crash occurred on the premises of a business, municipality, or other property owner, collect details on the owner, their liability insurance, and contact information
- Consider contacting an attorney familiar with bike crash personal injury cases
Bicycle Helmet Laws
Some states have universal helmet laws for cyclists. Even when a state has no laws governing helmet use, individual cities, towns, or other municipalities may. Whether or not you follow local laws regarding helmet use can influence the outcome of a personal injury claim, especially if you suffer head or neck injuries.
In some cases, you may not be able to get compensation for a head or neck injury if you weren’t wearing a helmet, but you may still be able to demand damages for other injuries you suffered.
Studies consistently show that wearing a helmet can significantly decrease the seriousness of injuries in bike crashes. Attorneys and claims adjusters draw on statistical information and may cite studies about helmet use when arguing personal injury claims. That information alone can affect your ability to receive compensation for your injuries, even when no local laws require you wear a helmet.
How a Lawyer can Help with a Bicycle Crash Claim
An attorney familiar with bike claims in your area knows the legal statutes. They understand how the local system views helmet use. They can help you determine what damages to seek and whom you should name in your claim or lawsuit.
A lawyer can also help you collect the evidence necessary to support a personal injury claim, including witness statements, police reports, and other details. He or she can help you compose a winning demand letter for damages and can negotiation a settlement offer. If a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney can file a lawsuit and argue your case as well.