Why You Need An Attorney After A Bicycle Accident
A substantial number of bicycle accidents occur on Virginia roads every year, leaving with unpaid medical bills, damaged property and lost income. Bicycle accidents can be very difficult to settle, since there are few mechanisms for determining fault and damages, unlike crashes involving two or more motor vehicles. Because of this, insurance companies are often wary to pay a high settlement.
When you get hurt in a bicycle accident, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney who is ready to fight for what you are owed. That is what we deliver at the Pack Law Group. Schedule a consultation now by calling us at 540-586-7225.
Why Is Determining Liability So Difficult?
Part of any personal injury case is determining liability. As we look into your accident, we will look for the initial cause or trigger of the crash. Common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Inadequate buffer: Many drivers do not know how much space they are supposed to leave between themselves and cyclists. Consequently, they leave far too little space for bicyclists to remain safe. The space between a cyclist and driver should exceed the space between two drivers since driving too close to a cyclist can cause dangerous wind drafts. Whether a driver is too close to a bicyclist on their side or while driving behind a bicyclist, they can cause a crash.
- Speeding: Speeding is a major factor in many crashes involving motor vehicles. Drivers traveling too fast for conditions are often unable to stop in a timely manner and avoid a collision.
- Distracted driving: Distracted drivers are often unable to detect changes in their surroundings. This is particularly dangerous for bicyclists since bicyclists are often far less visible than motor vehicles. By the time a distracted driver looks up and notices that they are veering into a bicycle lane, it may be too late.
- Unsafe lane changes: Drivers who switch lanes without thoroughly checking their blind spot put bicyclists in danger. A quick glance is often not enough to notice a bicyclist. This leads to side-impact crashes that can knock bicyclists off their bikes into other obstacles or traffic.
- Failure to yield at a left turn: This is extremely common in bicycle accidents. A driver wants to turn left in front of a bicyclist coming from the opposite direction. They fail to identify the bicyclist’s speed and turn, causing a collision.
- Door opening: When parked, drivers must check the lane before opening their door. Many don’t. When this happens, a bicyclist may run into the door and the force of the impact throws them from their bike.
If you can demonstrate that the other party caused the accident, you may be able to recover your losses from them.
How Likely Is A Bicycle Accident?
The government and several watchdog groups do lots of research on bicycle accidents. With bicycling being a less expensive, more environmentally friendly, and healthier way to get around, there are lots of reasons to encourage it. The research looks at the risks facing bicyclists in an effort to decrease those risks and help more people start cycling.
Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 850 bicyclists died in motor vehicle accidents in 2018. This reflects an increase of more than 6% from 2017. Other research highlights driver behaviors, cyclist behaviors and infrastructure issues that cause accidents. Poor separation of vehicle lanes and bicycle lanes is a major infrastructure issue.
Speeding is one of the most dangerous behaviors tied to bicycling accidents. The likelihood of a cyclist dying in a crash is 8% when the car is traveling at 31 miles per hour; this jumps to a 50% chance at 47 miles per hour.
Let Us Handle Your Bicycle Accident Claim
A bicycle accident can change your life forever. If a negligent driver or infrastructure issues caused your crash, you should not be left to bear the financial burden alone. We are here to help you fight for what you deserve. If you are ready to set up a consultation and discuss your options, contact the Pack Law Group online or call us at 540-586-7225.