As any bicycle accident attorney knows, thousands and thousands of innocent people are killed every year in the United States because an automobile driver wasn’t paying attention to others around them. There is a misconception among many car drivers that bicycles shouldn’t have the same right to use the roadway as vehicle drivers. However, legally, bicyclists have equal rights to the road. Sadly, many car drivers may not realize this, or if they do, they choose to not abide by these rules. Because of this, people get hurt while riding a bike on a regular basis, and the car driver is often the person at-fault.
If you or someone you love was injured while riding a bike on a shared road, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries, property damages, and other losses. It is highly encouraged that you speak with a bicycle accident attorney, like a bicycle accident attorney in Minneapolis, MN, immediately for guidance.
What are the current bicycle accident statistics?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that almost 900 bicyclists were killed because of being hit by a car driver back in 2018. This is a 6% increase from the year prior, and the deaths of bicyclists account for 2% of all fatalities related to motor-vehicle incidents. A large portion of these fatal accidents occurred around urban areas where heavy traffic is prevalent. Most bicyclist deaths happen around rush hour, between 6pm-9pm. Bicyclists are increasingly vulnerable to getting hit as the sun is going down and general visibility is impaired.
Car accidents that involve people on bicycles account for 90% of rider deaths, as a car is faster, larger, and carries more weight than a bicyclist. Here are some of the most common reasons why bicycle accidents unfold:
- The car driver cuts off the rider when they are entering the road
- The car driver takes a right turn and cuts off a bicyclist who was going straight in the lane
- The car driver rear-ends the bicyclist while trying to maneuver around them, or had not seen a stop ahead and didn’t have enough time to halt
- The car driver had parked and then opened their car door without looking out for bicyclists
- The car driver ran a stoplight or stop sign
Other causes for bicycle accident injuries include the rider falling off because of a poorly maintained road, the bicycle being defective or inadequately repaired, or an animal was in the road or had attacked the rider. If you were injured in a bike accident where the other party was at least partially responsible, you need to speak with an attorney for help seeking compensation.
What types of damages may I be entitled to receive in compensation?
If you sue the car driver (or other party) who was the cause of the bike accident, then you could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, bike repairs, loss of earnings, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and more. Thanks to The Law Office of Johnston Martineau, PLLP for their insight into some of the statistics surround bicycle accidents.