Bicycle Accident Lawyer | Did you have a “bicycle hit by car” accident?
Unfortunately, most bicycle riders who are knocked off their bike by a car suffer injuries that require extensive medical treatment. They’re then force to miss work, which that can inflict harsh mental anguish as well as the stress of facing unexpected financial loss that now includes the new medical expenses from the injury.
One of the most common things we hear, especially from cyclists that are victims of hit and run accidents, is “I got hit by a car on my bike. Can I sue?”
They’re asking this, not because they’re vengeful, but instead it’s a way to handle the sudden financial burdens that come with being injured. These sudden expenses and loss of income can absolutely devastate an individual and their family. Compensation that meets their needs is a fair thing to seek.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident while riding a bicycle, you are entitled to money damages from anyone liable for your injuries.
Our Idaho-based bicycle accident lawyers will advocate on your behalf for negligent drivers and their insurance companies to be held responsible for the results of their actions. This includes:
- Proving that the responsible driver is at fault for the accident.
- Collecting evidence of the extent of your losses.
- Fighting for your rights in and out of court.
Call our team today to learn about your options and get started on your case.
Bicycle Accidents in Idaho FAQ
After any accident, including a “bicycle hit by car” accident, even if you don’t think that you might have been seriously injured, it is usually a good idea to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may have experienced injuries that you are not immediately aware of, receiving treatment and having a record of having done so immediately after your accident, is an important part of a smooth recovery process and can help you in building your case when dealing with insurance or the other party by proving that your injuries stemmed from the accident and not some other source.
If there was another individual involved in the accident, exchange contact information with the other driver/cyclist, but do not discuss the details of the accident or who might be at fault. Anything said there might be used against you when you make your claim.
Reach out to a professional Bicycle Accident Attorney as soon as possible. They can help you in dealing with your insurance company, who will try and find a way to minimize what they have to pay out for your injury if you speak with them directly. An experienced attorney will be better able to navigate the tactics that insurance companies often use and help to build and protect your case for your claim.
For adult riders, a bicycle is not legally required but is nonetheless strongly recommended.
It is legally required for people who are under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle in the State of Idaho. This also applies to people under the age of 18 who may be in a passenger seat (where applicable) or a bike trailer.
You will be happy you had yours on if you experience a “bicycle hit by car” accident, it has saved hundreds of people in Idaho from brain injuries every year!
They do! Though a bicyclist should always use bike lanes when available, when that is not an option, bicyclists are given the choice of having their own lane or sharing one with another cyclist. A few other related details
- A bicyclist should be given at least 3 feet of clearance when passing.
- Bicyclists should use signals when changing lanes – Hand signals are often used.
- Bicyclists share rights and responsibilities with drivers.
- Bicyclists should stay as close to the right side of the road as they safely can.
Bicyclists have the same rights to the road as drivers.
The ‘Idaho Stop’ is a law in Idaho where a bicyclist, when coming to a stop sign, must slow down. However, if there is no traffic, they do NOT have to come to a complete stop and can continue through the stop sign. If there is other traffic, they must yield as usual.
In the case of red lights, they must still come to a brief stop. However, if there is no traffic, they can then continue through the red light as if it was a stop sign.
Whether it’s a stop sign or a red light, it’s still usually a good idea to come to a stop so that you can properly survey the road. Unseen hazards can be especially dangerous to bicyclists, who have very little protection in the case of an accident. Just because you didn’t see a car coming from a side road doesn’t mean it isn’t there, and accidents for cyclists are likely to come with severe injuries.
This is a bit of a tricky question, but in the most basic sense, as long as your bicycle is one without a motor, usually the answer is no. There are a few things to keep in mind, though.
- DUIs apply to Motor Vehicles, which are vehicles that are not driven entirely by human power (like bicycles)
- Though you may not get a DUI, you may still be liable for a charge of public intoxication if cycling on public streets or highways.
- Standard safety equipment is still required. You may be stopped for other infractions, such as missing a white headlight or red rear reflector.
While it is not technically a DUI, there are still many risks to cycling while intoxicated. Beyond even the risk of a public intoxication charge, your risk of having an accident while riding intoxicated is significantly increased. Unlike with a car, your bicycle offers very little protection against potential injuries. Even a relatively minor accident, like hitting a stone you didn’t see in the road, could lead to severe injuries.
Though there may be more, as laws are subject to change over time, some of the laws that apply primarily or specifically to cyclists include:
- It is illegal for a bicyclist to grab hold of a motor vehicle for propulsion.
- It is illegal for a bicyclist to ride while wearing headphones or while wearing earphones in both ears.
- Bicyclists must remain in the bike lane if one is available.
- Bicyclists must alert pedestrians of their presence if passing them, such as through a bell or by calling out to them.
There may be other laws that pertain to cyclists not mentioned here. If you are concerned about the potential legality of different scenarios involving cycling, you can find out more by independent research or by asking a local Attorney with expertise in bicycle-related laws.
All things considered; Idaho is pretty light on the requirements for bicycle equipment. Aside from the obvious frame, seat, and wheels that belong to bicycles in general, you’ll need a couple of basics, including the following:
- Working brakes
- A white headlight for riding in the evening or at night
- A rear red reflector
- Handlebars lower than the rider’s shoulders
Though wearing a helmet and reflective clothing is generally a good idea as well, especially if you should be riding in the evening or in conditions where visibility is lower. Padded clothing can also be useful in the case of minor accidents to reduce the effects of road rash or similar abrasive injuries
Though there are a variety of other ways that accidents occur, one of the major locations for “bicycle hit by car” accidents is intersections. It’s not surprising with how many hazards there are for cyclists at your average intersection.
- Left-hand turns, where a cyclist’s visibility from cars is especially low. Many cyclists are hit by drivers that never even saw them. This is one of the most common “bicycle hit by car” accidents.
- Right-hand turns, where a car that is also turning may cut off a cyclist or hit a cyclist that had passed them while accelerating out of the turn.
- Simple rear-end collisions, where an inattentive driver fails to notice a bicyclist and hits them from behind, either while stopped or attempting to accelerate after a stop.
- Poor road conditions or debris leading to unsafe evasive riding during a turn.
As safe as your riding skills may be, many accidents stem from a lack of visibility. Taking steps to maximize your visibility, like wearing bright and reflective clothing, can help to minimize your risk of being in an accident with a vehicle while cycling.
The State of Idaho determines fault through a system of liability referred to as Comparative Negligence. At the simplest level, this means that both parties’ fault for the accident gets compared to determine the damages that can be paid for an accident.
If you were considered to be less than 50% at fault, you could still receive compensation, but the amount of the compensation you receive will be reduced by your perceived level of fault. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault and your compensation would ordinarily have been $10,000, you would be able to receive up to $8,000.
As there are many factors that come into determining fault for an accident, it is usually a good idea to reach out to an experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney shortly after your accident so that they can help to cover the legal procedures while you focus on your recovery.
Seek Medical Help Following A Bicycle Collision
Car drivers are becoming more aggressive toward bicycles on our roads. Documented cases of “bicycle hit by car” accidents show drivers admitting they purposely crowded a bicyclist off the shoulder.
These collisions can have devastating consequences for bike riders. Many bike riders have only the minimal protection given by a helmet and any impact that can cause severe injuries.
It is understandable to be confused and frightened after an accident.
A knowledgeable Nampa bike accident attorney can help you understand your rights as an injured bike rider such as the right to share the road, to hold other drivers responsible after an accident, and even to demand compensation after an accident.
Types of Personal Injury Cases Involving Bicycles
Even if your case involved a hit-and-run or uninsured driver, there are often options available to find the money you need for the financial and non-economic harm you have suffered.
Skaug Law personal injury attorneys represent bicycle accident victims who have been injured in:
- Road shoulder accidents
- Car driver inattention
- DUI driver
- Uninsured and underinsured motorists
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Intersection accidents
- Parking lot accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Wrongful death
Common Injuries in a Bike Accident
There are many types of injuries that result from a bicycle accident including those traumatizing “bicycle hit by car” accidents:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Loss of Limb
- Organ damage
- Head trauma
- Scarring and disfigurement
It is beneficial to seek help from medical professionals following an accident to get a full diagnosis of any injuries and to receive treatment.
Our Nampa bicycle injury attorneys can use medical reports, history, documentation, and scans to prove your injuries in court to help you recover compensation.
The Duties of Drivers and Bicyclists
The Idaho Legislature has passed a series of laws that outline the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists. According to Idaho Statute §49-714, bike riders have all the rights and duties that apply to the driver of any other vehicle.
All drivers assume a duty to protect others whenever they operate their vehicles. Therefore, all drivers must operate their cars in a way that does not place a bike rider at an unreasonable risk of harm.
In addition, all bike riders share a responsibility to operate their bikes with all due care.
Any bike rider injured in an incident that involves driver negligence has the right to demand compensation.
An experienced Idaho bicycle accident lawyer can help injured bike riders seek compensation for their injuries.
Recoverable Damages in Idaho Bicycle Accident Cases
The party responsible for your injuries may be required to provide compensation for all medical costs associated with the incident.
Victims of “bicycle hit by car” accidents or any other type of accident where the fault is not the riders are eligible to recover a wide range of damages such as:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Cost of rehabilitation, surgical procedures, and supportive devices
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
The insurance company will try to blame you. Unfortunately, insurance defense lawyers will do everything they can to blame the bicyclist for the accident.
They use a variety of tactics to avoid paying a claim. It is very important to receive guidance from a trusted and experienced personal injury attorney before talking with a claims adjuster.
A Nampa bicycle accident lawyer can fight in court to help you recover compensation to make up for any loss of quality of life.