Little Rock Bicycle Accident Lawyer
A bicycle accident, although not as frequent as a car accident, can produce serious outcomes as a cyclist is no match for any motor vehicle. A bike crash occurs when a bike rider collides with another person, a nearby object or a motor vehicle. There are about 85 million Americans riding bicycles regularly or at least occasionally. Bike injuries tend to be under-reported, as many of them are not severe enough to be treated in emergency rooms.
Causes of accidents
There are many causes of bike accidents:
- bad road conditions (potholes, loose gravel, grassy roads, etc.),
- riding errors,
- ignoring the stop sign,
- drunken riding, and
- opening the car door in the path of the cyclist.
Causes of fatal accidents include:
- exiting the driveway into on-coming traffic,
- turning left in front of a passing vehicle,
- motorists overtaking a bicyclist,
- traveling on the wrong side of the road,
- losing control of the bike and swerving into the traffic, and
- various motorist errors causing to hit a cyclist.
- according to the latest figures,
- there were about 50,000 bike accidents,
- 630 or so were fatal,
- roughly about 2% of all motor vehicle deaths.
Most fatal accidents occur in urban areas, the majority of which are head-related injuries. The average age of all fatal accidents is about 40, whereas that of all injuries is only 30. Statistics also reveal that properly fitted helmets do reduce head injuries by about 70-80%. Unfortunately, alcohol does play a significant role in bike crashes: in about the third of the cases, either the driver or the biker had a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit.
Being hit by a motor vehicle even at low speed can send the biker to the emergency room with such injuries as cuts and bruises, scratches (that may cause dirt tattoo), bone fractures, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, broken pelvis, head trauma, and serious brain injury.
What shall I do in case of an accident?
When you go bike riding, always carry your cell phone, emergency contact and your personal details (just like when driving a car). When riding, be alert at all times, make yourself visible, and obey the traffic rules. If in an accident, call the police, exchange information with the other party, take pictures of the scene (the cell phone comes handy), obtain eyewitnesses and their data, seek medical attention at the stage and immediately after the accident, file an accident report, and if your injuries seem to be dangerous, call an injury lawyer.
What mistakes shall I avoid?
- Do not ride without a helmet,
- Do not wear an iPod and
- Do not show off while riding.
If you are in an accident, do not move your bike until the police had a chance to investigate, do not discuss the issue of fault, make or sign any statement until you had an opportunity to seek legal advice, and do not negotiate with the insurance adjuster on the scene.
How to prevent an accident?
There is a lot that can be done to prevent bicycle accidents:
- Get front and backlights to make yourself visible to motorists,
- Approach an intersection with caution even if you have the right of way,
- Do not ever ride on the sidewalk as you may hit pedestrians and vehicles pulling out of the driveway may hit you,
- Always wear a helmet and bright clothing,
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times,
- Ride with your hands and fingers ready to break in an emergency,
- Act assertively and claim your part of the roadway,
- Refrain from using earphones of musical gadgets that would distract you from safe driving, and
- Ride in the same direction as the traffic, not facing the motor vehicles.
An adult should always supervise sidewalk riding by young children, and as soon as the necessary skills are mastered, they should ride on the street, not on the sidewalk.
Some legal advice
A bicycle accident may involve a product, personal injury, and renting liabilities. Faulty or malfunctioning products, e.g., an improperly designed or manufactured break, may create a liability issue with the manufacturer. Personal injury liability is the result of negligence, and depending on which state you live and your fault level, you may or may not get compensation. In case of a rental bike, you may be able to hold the rental party liable if the bike has not been kept up properly. The best advice, however, is to contact our Little Rock bicycle accident injury lawyer for a free consultation in case you had a bicycle accident.