Bicycle accidents are often the result of distracted or inattentive automobile drivers. Even when cyclists take the necessary safety precautions, accidents can, and do, occur. To make matters worse, the investigation of these accidents is often complicated by the public’s and the law enforcement’s bias against cyclists.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can be caused by a variety of factors including:
- Negligent motorists. This occurs when a motorist fails to see or react to a cyclist in time. These types of accidents tend to happen after dark or on narrow roads. In some cases, the motorist is intoxicated or not paying attention.
- Ride out at midblock. This is a common occurrence with young cyclists. The rider may leave an alleyway, a driveway or a curb and enter the roadway without looking, slowing down or stopping. Oncoming motorists may not have enough time to react to the cyclist before they collide.
- Riding the wrong way. Cyclists, by law, should be riding with the flow of the traffic and in the right hand lane. Unfortunately, many cyclists are involved in accidents simply because they were riding towards oncoming traffic.
- Cyclist failing to yield or stop. When a cyclist fails to yield or stop at a “stop” sign, they may not give motorists enough time to react.
- Motorists turning in front of a cyclist.
- Motorists who fail to yield, run a stop sign or run a red light.
- Motorists who are impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Motorists who are driving distracted and texting and driving.
As you can see, inattentiveness and failure to adhere to the rules of the road are the leading causes of bicycle accidents. In many cases, the negligence falls on the motorist – not the cyclist.
What to Do If a Bicycle Accident Occurs
If you’re involved in a bicycle accident and have suffered injuries, seek immediate medical attention. Once you’ve secured your health and safety, you need to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer familiar with the defense of cyclists as soon as possible. Injuries that arise from this type of accident often result in significant and devastating financial losses.
If the accident was the result of another party’s negligence, you have the right to recover damages, including medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Monetary recover can never replace the losses caused by the accident, but it can ease the financial burden that you and your family are facing. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, we can help you determine whether or not you have a case and advise you of your rights. As always, at Barna, Guzy and Steffen, injury victims receive free initial consultations so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Call today and let your healing begin.