Frequently Asked Questions
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What are safety precautions that cyclists can take to reduce their risk of being injured in a bike accident?
- Always wear a helmet.
- Always wear brightly colored or reflective clothing, especially if you are riding at night.
- Always use hand signals to let motorists know when you are turning or stopping.
- Always follow all traffic laws of the state you are in.
- Always use bike lanes when they are available.
What is the Dutch reach?
The Dutch reach was developed in the Netherlands as a way to reduce the amount of dooring bicycle accidents. When a person is opening the door to their vehicle, they use their far-reaching hand instead of the hand that is closest to the door. This movement forces the person to turn around and see what is coming from behind, including cyclists.
What is dooring in a bike accident?
Dooring accidents happen when a driver or passenger in a vehicle opens their door without checking to see if there is a cyclist approaching. This causes the cyclist to either swerve into traffic to avoid being hit by the door or the door actually hits the cyclists, causing him or her to fall.
Who are the possible liable parties in a bike accident?
- At-fault driver of cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, or any other vehicle.
- Owner of the vehicle if someone else was driving the vehicle (i.e. driver was drunk, but the owner still let the driver use the vehicle.)
- If the driver was working at the time of the accident, their employer could be liable.
- The municipality responsible for the road if it was road conditions that caused the accident.
- Repair shop, whether for the bike or the vehicle involved in the crash, if the shop was negligent in repairs and that is what caused or contributed to the crash.
Are there any special traffic laws that apply to cyclists?
- Cyclists should always ride single file, never two abreast.
- Only one rider per bike. Exceptions are when there is a baby seat attached.
- Give proper hand-signals when turning or stopping.
- Do not ride on sidewalks (unless allowed by local law).
- Do not ride at night unless the bike is equipped with proper reflectors and lights.
How can I prove a vehicle driver is liable for the bike accident?
The best piece of evidence a bike accident attorney can use in a claim is an official police report. The officer will include details of the accident in the report, as well as who was at fault. If the driver was cited, that will also be in the report. This is why even if you do not think you have been injured, you should still contact the police if you are in a bike accident.
What are the most common causes of reported bicycle accidents?
- Driver inattention. Thirty percent of all bike accidents are caused by a driver who was distracted.
- Failure to yield. Both vehicle drivers and cyclists are required to follow the traffic laws of the state they are traveling in. Many drivers fail to yield to cyclists as they would for another vehicle driver and as they are required to by law (i.e. at intersections).
- Road conditions. It is up to municipalities to maintain safe roads. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. More than 10 percent of bike accidents are caused by roads that were in bad repair.
- Riding at night. More than 50 percent of bike accidents happen after the sun has set. Cyclists need to wear reflective clothing and have lights on their bikes so drivers can see them.
What are the main causes for the national increase in fatal bicycle accidents?
- Cyclists riding in area that they are not familiar with. As cycling becomes more popular, many new to the activity may be riding in areas that they do not know very well.
- Municipalities do not have the correct infrastructure to protect cyclists.
- Drivers who are distracted and negligent to what is going on in the road around them.
How prevalent are bicycle accidents?
According to statistics from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA), while bicycle accidents are on the decline, the number of bike accident fatalities increases each year. There are approximately 45,000 reported bicycle accidents that claim the lives of about 800 victims each year and leaving thousands more seriously injured.
What kind of compensation can I be awarded in a facial disfigurement lawsuit?You may be entitled to past and future medical costs; past and future lost wages; future lost earning potential; past and future pain and suffering; past and future psychological damages; and disfigurement and scarring.