Bicycles and motorized vehicles have equal road rights although most people think motorists have more rights than bicyclists. The findings of a recent survey conducted by the NHTSA showed that one in every ten bicyclists fear for their lives while on the road.
People ride bicycles for different reasons, but we all know that biking can be fun, healthy besides being a great mode of transport. Unfortunately, the effects of a bicycle accident are felt more by bicyclists than motorists. You should consult a Bakersfield bicycle accident attorney if you’re a victim of a bicycle accident.
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Bicycle Accident Statistics
Common crashes are falls and car-related crashes, and protection is the game’s name in both situations. The following are some facts that can help bicyclists mitigate the risk of crash accidents.
- Most accidents occur between 6 and 9 PM.
- Bicycle accidents occur frequently in urban dwellings.
- Bicycle fatalities are 6 times higher in males than females.
Causes of Bicycle Accident
The majority of bicycle accidents are fatal and are caused by motor vehicles. Cyclists are more susceptible to fatalities than motorists because bikes have no overhead protection like cars and that’s why most bicycle accidents are fatal. The common causes of bicycle accidents involving motorists can include:
- Denying a cyclist the right of way;
- Dangerous overtaking;
- Open car doors;
- Riding against on-coming traffic.
Other causes of bicycle accidents besides motor vehicles include:
- Riding a faulty bicycle;
- Bad weather
- Bad road network;
- An animal attack;
- Colliding with another bicycle or a pedestrian
- Objects in the road.
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Liability in Bicycle Accidents
Liability in bicycle accidents is tied to the cause of the accident like in all other personal injury cases and once the cause is known, it’s easy to derive liability. Liability in bicycle accidents vary by the facts of the case, as follows:
- Scenario 1
Cause: A motorist.
Liability: The motorist or their auto insurance is liable
- Scenario 2
Cause: An uninsured or underinsured car.
Liability: The cyclist should file a claim with the insurance carrier for uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits
- Scenario 3
Cause: A bicycle or a pedestrian
Liability: The other cyclist or the pedestrian should compensate the plaintiff.
- Scenario 4
Cause: A design flaw or mechanical issues
Liability: The product–bicycle, manufacturer.
- Scenario 5
Cause: Bad roads and road obstructions.
Liability: a cyclist can file a claim against the local government agencies responsible for maintaining public roadways
- Scenario 6
Cause: An animal
Liability: The animal owner
Also, read Wrongful Death Vs. Medical Malpractice
Avoiding Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents are either a crash with another vehicle or the falling of the cyclist. The following tips can help cyclists avoid accidents:
Additionally, it’s always important to plan your route. If you travel on roadways with motor vehicles, choose routes that are less trafficked, have bike lanes, or have slower speed limits.
Improve Riding Skills
Improving your riding skills promotes your road safety. Practice in low-traffic areas until you’re confident to avoid accidents. You should ride your bicycle along designated lanes– bike lanes, and learn how to navigate in traffic and how to communicate with other road users.
Safety Cycling Gear
Safety riding equipment, such as helmets, gloves, bright clothes minimize the severity of injuries in the event of an accident besides making cyclists more visible.
Preparing yourself for cycling can help reduce the risks of accidents on the part of a bicyclist, and it involves:
- Riding a bicycle of the right size;
- Riding road-worthy bicycles;
- Wearing safety cycling gear;
- Strap your items on your back to avoid distractions.
- Ensure your clothes do not stand in the way of your cycling.
How can a Bicycle Accident Attorney Help?
Bicycle accident attorneys can help victims of bicycle accidents get justice for their loss–injuries and damaged bicycles. Most attorneys will evaluate your case and provide legal counsel for free–without asking for upfront payment. Your lawyer can also be a great asset if the defendant opts for an out-of-court settlement; the lawyer will be your negotiator in this case. Additionally, the plaintiff can concentrate on recovery as the attorney handles the legal issues on the injured person’s behalf. So, what are the qualities of a competent bicycle accident attorney? The qualities of a competent bicycle accident attorney include:
- They should have role models characteristics, such as:
- Being proactive and innovators of new ideas.
- Being dependable and available.
- Being honest and confident.
- They should be capable of multi-tasking
- They should be positive and motivational to encourage clients.
- Keen to details and good listeners
- Updating the client constantly.
Bicycle accident personal injury cases can be complicated and require to be handled by an expert. Otherwise, you could lose the case. A Bakersfield bicycle accident attorney can help victims of bicycle accidents recover damages for their loss.
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