North Dakota Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Bicycles are a great transportation for short distances, for some exercise, or if you don’t have access to a car or public transportation. According to the CDC, “Bicycle trips account for only 1% of all trips in the United States. However, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash related injury and deaths than occupants in motor vehicles.”
Each year, there are roughly 500,000 bicycle related injuries and over 1,000 fatalities in the US. While bicycling is a great alternative to driving or taking public transportation, it does come with unique risks.
What Causes Bike Accidents?
Children between 5 and 14 years old are at the highest risk from non-fatal bicycle accident injuries. This accounts for more than one-third of accidents that occur every year in the United States.
Most bicycle accidents occur because of an error on the part of a motor vehicle, including things like failure to yield, distracted driving, failure to see cyclists approaching an intersection, backing over cyclists, running red lights or stop signs, failure to use turn signals, aggressive driving, or driving under the influence.
The CDC states that 37% of bicycle accidents involved alcohol consumption by either the driver of the motor vehicle or the cyclist. Alcohol use is also associated with more severe injuries and higher mortality rates. These accidents often involve negligence, as the motor vehicle driver is often unaware of the accident they are about to cause.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Bicycle Accident?
Liability determines who was at-fault for the accident and can affect the compensation that the parties involved may receive. For example, someone who’s at-fault may receive more compensation than the party that wasn’t at-fault.
However, in some cases, the liability may fall on someone other than the two parties involved in the accident. For example, a cyclist could file a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance company for a motor vehicle accident.
Likewise, the company responsible for maintaining roads may be at-fault if the accident occurred because of poor road conditions. In some conditions, hazardous road conditions may be due to government fault. Similarly, if the accident occurs in a commercial parking lot, the business may be at-fault for not maintaining their property.
A cyclist may be able to file against the manufacturer if the bicycle’s design led to an accident. In some cases, the negligent party may be the company that repaired the bike.
Determining Liability After a Bicycle Accident
Determining liability can be tricky, especially when there are many parties in question. The amount of damages you can recover from an accident is linked to liability. If you’re completely at-fault, you may not receive any compensation and may even have to pay the opposing party.
If you share fault with the other party, compensation may be split between the both of you. However, liability gets more complicated when there are more parties involved. An experienced attorney will be able to help you figure out just how much you should expect in compensation based on your involvement in the accident.
Decreasing Your Accident Risk
If you’re riding a bicycle frequently, you want to make sure that you’re taking all the safety precautions necessary to ride safely. If you get into an accident and you aren’t wearing a helmet, your injuries could be much worse. Depending on your state, they may also be able to use it against you in court.
When it comes to safety, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re wearing reflective material when riding at night. If people can’t see you, they could crash into you. Overall, just make sure that you’re following the necessary safety precautions when riding your bicycle.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Cyclists?
If the accident was the fault of the motor vehicle driver, their insurance typically covers the injuries of the cyclist. If you have personal injury protection coverage, you may also be eligible to receive damages from your own auto insurance. Medical insurance may be able to help you cover the damages of your injuries as well, but it depends on your coverage.
Bicycle Accident Injuries and Compensation
Bicycle accidents can result in injuries that are mild to severe. The compensation you are entitled to is related to the severity of your injuries. Because severe injuries have the potential to lead to scarring, disfigurement, or disability, you may also be entitled to receive compensation for loss of wages and loss of use.
The damages that you can recover are similar to those you would be able to recover if you were in a car accident. An attorney will be able to properly assess your injuries, medical bills, and loss wages to help you determine just how much compensation you deserve.
Contact an Experienced North Dakota Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today. Our attorneys here at Sand Law have a wealth of experience when it comes to dealing with bicycle accidents, and they are standing by to help you with your case. For more information, contact us online or at 701-609-1510.
Offices in Watford City, Williston, Bismarck, and Minot
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