What Causes Bicycle Accidents?About 20 percent of bicycle accidents are caused by a motor vehicle collision, according to the Boulder Cycling Club. Here are some of the ways in which cars contribute to bicycle accidents in Denver:
- Clipping. Clipping refers to when a car and bicycle are traveling the same direction and the car sideswipes or rear ends the cyclist.
- Dooring. This happens when the driver of a parked car opens the door into the path of the cyclist, causing them to crash into the door.
- Making a left turn. When a driver makes a left turn in front of a cyclist traveling in the opposite direction, they can cause serious accidents.
- Pulling out from the side street. This refers to when drivers pull out from a side street without checking for oncoming cyclists.
- Making a right turn. Similar to pulling out from a side street, making a right turn without looking for oncoming cyclists can cause disastrous wrecks.
Common Bicycle Accident InjuriesSince 2010, an average of 970 Colorado bicyclists have been injured each year, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDoT). Due to the exposed nature of bicycles, these crashes have the potential to cause catastrophic damage. Bicycle accidents can leave their victims with the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal injury
- Crushed limbs
- Internal organ damage
- Permanent facial scarring
- Severe whiplash
- Fractured bones
- Move to safety. If you’re able to move, get out of the road and away from traffic.
- Call 911. Your first priority should always be to ensure your physical safety. If you have a phone on you, call 911, or ask a witness or bystander to do so.
- Gather evidence. If you’re able to move around, take pictures of the wreck, including pictures of your bicycle, the driver’s vehicle and any other relevant surroundings. They will be invaluable pieces of evidence if you decide to pursue a claim.
- Go to the hospital. Even if you think you’re fine, you should seek medical attention. That’s because when you’re in an accident, you often experience an increase of adrenaline which numbs the pain, potentially shrouding the extent of serious injuries.
- Contact a bicycle accident attorney. If you suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident, there’s a good chance you’ll be facing medical debt, lost wages and other financial burdens. An experienced attorney may be able to help you recoup your losses.
Who Is Liable for My Bicycle Accident?Determining liability is complex, which is one of the reasons that many accident victims seek help from an experienced injury attorney. Although most bicycle accidents are caused by either the cyclist or other drivers, some are the result of a different party’s negligence. For example, the at-fault party could be the government entity that failed to maintain safe roads, the manufacturer that sold a defective bike or even the other driver’s employer. It could be the owner of the dog that chased and attacked you, the construction company that left debris in the bike lane or the city bus driver that swung too wide on a turn. The reality is that there are numerous parties who may be responsible for your accident, and in complex cases, determining who was ultimately at fault can be difficult. If you decide to partner with an experienced bike accident lawyer, they will conduct an investigation and help you pinpoint the liable party.
Bicycle Accidents in Denver: FAQsDepending on the circumstances, bicycle accidents can leave victims with a lot of questions. The best way to protect yourself is to speak with a bicycle accident lawyer. In the meantime, check out the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
How long do I have to file a bike accident claim?In Colorado, cyclists injured in a motor vehicle crash have three years from the date of their injury to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. However, if their bike accident did not involve a motor vehicle, they only have two years to file.
Do bicyclists have a right to the road?Legally speaking, bicycles are vehicles and have a right to be on the road and are subject to the same laws as cars, meaning they must yield to pedestrians, ride with the flow of traffic, use hand signals and use lights and reflectors beginning at dusk. However, local ordinances may have specific rules for cyclists, so it’s important to research laws in each city you plan to visit.
What do I have to prove to recover compensation?To recover compensation, a bicycle accident victim must have suffered significant injuries and be able to prove that someone else was at fault for the accident.
How much does it cost to hire a bicycle accident lawyer?Bicycle accident lawyers are more broadly considered personal injury lawyers, and most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis. That means that they don’t collect any money from you until you collect compensation. Afterwards, they collect their fees from your settlement. If you lose your case, you don’t owe them anything.
Helping Denver Bicycle Accident Victims Find Justice: The Hermele Law FirmAt The Hermele Law Firm, we believe that accident victims shouldn’t be left to fend for themselves. They should be able to collect compensation from the party that injured them and protect their financial future. When you partner with us, you can count on a compassionate, effective and communicative legal team that is just as invested in your future as you are. Ready to get started with a top Denver bicycle accident attorney? Contact us online or give us a call at (720) 740-0889 to schedule your free consultation.
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