Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Bedford, VA
Being a bicyclist means always being aware. You are expected to watch out for changes in road conditions, bicycle lane markings, the behavior of drivers, road signage, and pedestrians. That is a lot to pay attention to, particularly when you are surrounded by drivers who may not be as thoughtful. A substantial amount of bicycle accidents occur on Virginia roads every year, and too often, bicyclists are left with unpaid medical bills, damaged property, and lost income.
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 Pack Law Group. Schedule a consultation now by calling us at 540-586-7225.
Why You Need an Attorney After a Bicycle Accident
After you are injured in a bike accident, you may wonder if you really need an attorney. Many victims worry about the expense of a lawyer and wonder if they can be their own advocate throughout the settlement process.
This decision goes against your best interests. 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.
Additionally, there is still a lot of misinformation surrounding cyclists and road laws. Many people are quick to point the finger at cyclists, rather than acknowledging that drivers are often careless in their driving habits.
However, the costs associated with a bicycle accident can be prohibitively high. You are far more likely than drivers to sustain serious injuries that require ongoing care. You may also have substantial damage to your bike and have to spend time away from work.
Without a personal injury attorney, your chances of recovering all the compensation you deserve are low. An experienced personal injury attorney can investigate your accident, determine the extent of your losses and injuries, and help you determine how much compensation you may be entitled to.
Part of any personal injury case is determining liability. If you can demonstrate that the other party caused the accident, you may be able to recover your losses from them. 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 closely 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 be thrown from their bike.
Injuries and Damages
Bicycle accidents are linked to a wide range of injuries. Commonly reported injuries include:
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Trauma to the eye
- Dislocated joints
- Muscle strains
- Facial injuries
- Soft tissues injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Infection caused by road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries
The extent and severity of your injuries are a determining factor in the compensation you may be able to recover. Generally, the more an injury impacts your ability to work and engage in daily life, the higher your settlement will be. Your attorney will discuss this in greater detail with you. Many bicycle accident settlements take the following types of damages into consideration:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Lost future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Bicycle Accident Statistics
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. 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 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 your crash was caused by a negligent driver or infrastructure issues, 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 Pack Law Group online or call us at 540-586-7225.