Fargo Bicycle Accident Injury Attorneys
There are a lot of things you should do if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault. After getting medical attention, as well as making sure anyone else involved in the accident is taken care of, the most important thing will be to get in touch with a skilled bicycle accident attorney as fast as you can.
Sand Law has a team of them. We have a long track record of success helping people who have been injured in not only bicycle accidents, but car accidents, truck accidents and more. When you choose our firm, you can rest assured that we’ll work incredibly hard to help you obtain the fair compensation you deserve.
If you would like to schedule a free review of your case, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 701-609-1510 or use our online contact form.
How Common are Bicycle Accidents in Fargo, North Dakota?
Bicycle accidents involving a motor vehicle are relatively rare. In 2019, there were 81 bicycle/motor vehicle accidents reported across the state. Of these, two fatalities were reported.
Despite the relatively low number of these accidents, 81 is still too many. And the two deaths that occurred that year are tragic for their loved ones. Even though North Dakota has a low number of bicycle accident fatalities, our state also has a fairly small population. So, the rate is similar to that found in larger states. In general, however, the good news is that the state is typically a safe place to ride a bike.
Bicycle/vehicle accidents are entirely avoidable in the vast majority of instances. To lower the rate of bicycle accdents, motor vehicle drivers should always:
- Look before turning, especially when turning right at a red light.
- Check for bicyclists when at a stop sign or in a parking lot.
- Yield to bicyclists.
Common Causes of Fargo Bike Accidents
Bicyclists, of course, are among the most vulnerable users of the road. When they are involved in an accident, it’s typically because of the negligence of a motorist. Everyone – bikers and drivers – owes a duty of care to all others sharing the road. This “duty of care” simply means that everyone on that road has to operate their vehicle in the safest manner possible.
When someone violates that duty and hurts someone as a result, that’s known as negligence. Here are just a few examples of negligence that can result in a bicycle accident.
- Driving while distracted can have devastating consequences. People who text, talk with others, eat or just aimlessly look out the window while behind the wheel are a danger to everyone nearby.
- Motorists who drive while intoxicated are also a major threat, not only to bicyclists but other drivers.
- Other causes of bicycle accidents include speeding, reckless driving, merging without looking and more.
North Dakota Bicycle Helmet Laws
There are several state laws that refer to riding a bicycle in North Dakota, but wearing a helmet isn’t among them. Not only are adults not required to wear one, the law doesn’t even require children to have head protection when they’re on a bike.
But just because you don’t have to wear a helmet, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. A sturdy, properly fitted helmet could very well make the difference between life and death if you’re ever hit by a car.
Another thing to consider is that an insurance company might make it much harder for a bicyclist to obtain compensation if they’re in an accident and they don’t have proper headgear. If an accident case gets to trial, the jury might not be as willing to give an accident victim the money they deserve.
After all, if the bicyclist didn’t bother to wear a helmet, why should they receive all the money they’re demanding? We’re not saying this is right or fair. It’s just how some jury members think.
Rights of Bicyclists and Motorist Responsibilities
In Fargo, North Dakota, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. They’re entitled to use the road and should be given the appropriate right of way. Motorists must maintain a safe distance when passing bicyclists and should always check for them before opening car doors or making turns. Understanding and respecting each other’s rights can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.
Essential Safety Tips for Bicyclists
Bicycling, while an eco-friendly and healthy mode of transportation, requires vigilance and precaution. Bicyclists should always wear reflective clothing, especially during low-light conditions.
Using hand signals to indicate turns and checking blind spots before changing lanes can prevent misunderstandings with motorists. Regular maintenance checks, ensuring brakes and lights function properly, and avoiding distractions like headphones can also enhance safety on the road.
Common Injuries Caused as a Result of Bicycle Accidents
This leads into the one of the most common injuries people involved in a bicycle accident experience – traumatic brain injury. This will oftentimes result in long-term debilitation, with victims unable to perform even the most basic everyday tasks. Other common bicycle accident injuries include the following:
- Neck injuries. Any sort of neck injury can lead to severe pain that lasts for an extended period of time. A victim’s neck can violently snap back and forth, leading to whiplash. This injury can result in stiffness, muscle spasms and terrible discomfort for a year or even longer.
- Spinal cord injuries. Sometimes, a bicycle accident is so serious that the rider suffers spinal cord damage. This, of course, can lead to permanent paralysis and a substantial loss of quality of life.
- Broken bones. A broken leg or arm will more than likely heal eventually, but this kind of injury might require surgery. A victim will probably not be able to work for several weeks or months as a result.
Damages You Can Recover in a Personal Injury Claim
When you can’t work for a long time, you’re eventually going to run out of sick days and vacation days. Eventually, you’re going to lose money – a lot of it. You’ll also, of course, face a mountain of medical bills. Lost wages and medical expenses are known as damages, or financial losses.
Lost wages and medical bills are examples of economic damages. They’re tangible, and can be easily calculated. But there are also non-economic damages. Someone with a severe brain injury, for example, may also suffer from profound mental anguish because they can no longer function normally. Victims may be able to obtain compensation for these and several other non-economic damages as well, such as loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and many others.
Navigating the Long-Term Aftermath of a Bicycle Accident
The immediate aftermath of a bicycle accident can be overwhelming, but the long-term impacts can be equally challenging. Victims might require ongoing physical therapy, counseling to cope with trauma, or even vocational training if they can’t return to their previous jobs.
Some might need to make modifications to their homes or vehicles to accommodate new physical limitations. Recognizing these potential challenges and seeking appropriate support, both legally and medically, is crucial for a holistic recovery.
Why Hire an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney in Fargo, ND
If you’re going to have a realistic chance to obtain the compensation needed to pay for your damages, you’re simply going to have to have an experienced attorney by your side. Sand Law attorneys have that experience, and we’re more than willing to help. Schedule a consultation by contacting us online or calling 701-609-1510.