Bicyclists are far more likely to suffer serious, life-threatening injuries when they are involved in traffic accidents with cars or other vehicles. This is beacuse:
- Bicyclists have little to no protection from impacts with cars (other than potentially a helmet).
- This stands in contrast to drivers, who have air bags, seatbelts and other safety mechanisms that can protect them in the event of a traffic accident.
- The significant weight of cars and other motor vehicles when compared to bicycles means that, even at slow speeds, car versus bicycle collisions can cause serious damage to cyclists.
What can make matters worse are the facts that:
- Drivers are often on the lookout for other cars or larger vehicles and may forget to (or intentionally fail to) share the road with bicyclists.
- Bicyclists can be especially difficult for drivers to see at night if cyclists are not wearing the proper safety gear.
- Driver error, such as failing to obey traffic laws, can result in potentially fatal bicycle accidents. Other examples of driver negligence that can cause serious bicycle accidents include driver intoxication, driver fatigue and driver distraction.
Bicycle Accident Injuries and Lawsuits
In the event that another driver’s negligence played a role in causing a bicycle accident, accident victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, property damage, medical bills and mental anguish.
Specific bicycle accident injuries that can be the basis of civil lawsuits include (but are not limited to):
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Loss of limb
- Nerve or tendon damage
- Severe road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
What can Happen if the Cyclist Causes an Accident
Cyclists who cause accidents are, like anyone liable for an accident, responsible for the damages. It is important to note, however, that even when insured, it is unlikely that a cyclist’s car insurance will cover property or vehicle damage. Private insurance may be an option. Here’s the thing: the only way to know for certain who caused an accident is through a comprehensive investigation. Liability may be shared or the accident may have made it look as if one party was responsible when in fact it was something else entirely. This is one of the most compelling reasons to hire an attorney.
Can a Cyclist Sue a Driver?
Yes, absolutely. A cyclist who is injured by a driver can take legal action to seek compensation for any medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and personal pain and suffering she or he may have encountered as a result of the accident. The best way to learn if you have a case is through a free review at one of our St. Louis area offices.
Does Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?
Sometimes. Car insurance will often cover a cyclist who is injured by a driver but is unlikely to cover property damage done to a car if a cyclist is at fault. This is, of course, not the case with every policy. The only way to know if you are covered – both as a cyclist and a motorist – is by reviewing your policy.
How Much your Bicycle Accident Case could be Worth
It is difficult to say how much a case is worth before actually reviewing its details. If you have been injured while riding your bicycle, you are likely entitled to much more than insurance will willingly offer. The best way to learn what your case is worth is through a one-on-one consultation with a qualified and experienced bicycle accident lawyer.
Remember: insurance corporations are for-profit companies with boards and shareholders who demand growth. It is not profitable to pay large settlements. Insurance companies do not willingly give the type of settlements achieved through legal action. You are almost always better off with a lawyer on your side.
Is it Possible to Recover Damages if my Bicycle Accident was Caused by Unsafe Pavement or Road Conditions?
Yes. Municipalities have a responsibility to make sure streets, bike paths, and walkways are passable and safe for all who may have occasion to use them. When a defective or poorly maintained piece of city property increases risks for an accident, government entities can be held accountable for their negligence through a personal injury claim.
Consult Our Experienced Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Brown & Brown has represented clients in a variety of vehicle accident cases, including claims involving bicyclists. For a free review of your case, contact one of our convenient offices today. Call us at the 3s in St. Louis (314-333-3333 / 573-333-3333) for service in Missouri, or dial the 8s for help in Illinois: 618-888-8888.