How Bicycle Crash Victims May Recover Compensation for Damages
Minnesota is a great place to ride a bicycle as it has some of the nation’s best urban trails in the Twin Cities, along with 4,000 miles of paved trails.
However, cyclists always need to watch out for cars because a collision with a car can result in devastating injuries. Drivers do not always check for bicyclists or give riders as much space as they need. That is why drivers are often at fault for crashes involving bicyclists.
If you get into a collision with a car while riding your bicycle, do you know how to seek compensation for your damages?
Below, we discuss filing claims for injuries suffered in a bicycle vs. car crash. If you have legal questions after suffering an injury in a bicycle collision, we are ready to assist you, and there are no upfront fees for our services.
Why Bicycle vs. Car Crashes Often Occur
While there are exceptions, drivers are usually at fault for collisions with bicyclists. For example, drivers often fail to stay in their lanes, which could cause them to crash into bicyclists. This type of incident can happen whether riders are traveling in dedicated bicycle lanes or not. Drivers often fail to leave enough space between their vehicles and bicycles. This can lead to bicyclists getting clipped by cars that pass by them.
Drivers also cause bicycle crashes by carelessly opening their doors into the path of oncoming bicyclists. These are known as dooring crashes. A driver opens his or her car door and a bicyclist crashes into it, often because the rider did not have enough time to slow down, stop or veer away.
Sometimes drivers fail to yield to oncoming bicyclists when they are making a right turn on a red light or green light. Drivers who do not come to a complete stop at a stop sign may also crash into a bicyclist who is crossing the street at the same time.
Many bicycle crashes are caused by speeding or distracted driving. Drivers may not be able to avoid a collision because they were speeding or because they were distracted and did not see the rider.
Filing a Claim After a Bicycle Crash
Bicycle riders may not realize they can use the personal injury protection coverage (PIP) in their own car insurance policy to pay for damages suffered in a bicycle crash. You can use your PIP coverage to pay for medical bills, lost wages and replacement services. If you have multiple vehicles with PIP coverage you may also be able to stack those benefits if your damages exceed the limits of your primary PIP policy.
What About Holding the Driver Liable?
Although your bills and wage loss may be covered under PIP coverage, sometimes it may be possible to file a claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance. If the auto driver is more than 50 percent at fault for the crash, the injured biker may be able to make a bodily injury claim for pain, suffering, unpaid bills and wage and permanent injury.
One of the benefits of working with an experienced attorney is that he or she can sort through these issues for you. While you focus on your recovery, your Minneapolis vehicle accident attorney can evaluate your claim and determine how to pursue full compensation for your damages. These claims can be complex, and the insurance company is working against your interests. You need an experienced advocate with a proven track record fighting for your interests.
What if You Are Partially at Fault?
Bicyclists could be partially liable for a bicycle crash if they were negligent in some way and failed to be safe riders. For example, if a bicyclist veers out of a bicycle lane and into a lane of traffic but hits a driver who was speeding. In that situation, fault may be shared between the two parties.
Bicyclists are required to obey the same traffic laws as drivers unless those traffic laws cannot be reasonably applied to bicyclists. Even though drivers need to keep an eye out for bicyclists, if you ride into a crosswalk when you do not have the right of way, you may be found at least partially at fault if a crash happens.
If you share fault for a crash, you can still file a claim for compensation, but the value of your liability insurance claim may be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Contact TSR Injury Law to Discuss a Claim for Compensation
Since 1998, we have been helping crash victims secure compensation for damages. We have obtained $300 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.
We can guide you through each step of the legal process at no upfront cost to you. You do not need to spend your time dealing with the insurance company or investigating the crash. We can deal with the legal process so you can stay focused on your medical recovery.
Do you have legal questions? Call TSR today: (612) TSR-TIME.