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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 833 people die every year in bicycle accidents. Bicyclist deaths make up about 2.2% of all traffic fatalities. In 2021, 41,615 bicycle riders were injured in accidents. Over ten years, 597,000 people suffered a traumatic brain injury and were treated in hospital emergency rooms. 

As these statistics show, bicycle accident victims may suffer severe injuries. They deserve to be fairly compensated when someone else’s negligence harms them. If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, the experienced team at Siniard Law, LLC can fight for the fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with one of our skilled bicycle accident injury lawyers.

How Bicycle Accident Lawyers Help After a Crash

If you were injured in a bike accident, you may have suffered severe injuries. Your main property is seeking medical attention and completing your recovery. At the same time, you must take certain steps to protect your legal rights, but you might not be in the physical condition right now to be worried about that. An experienced bicycle accident attorney from our law firm can handle the bicycle injury claims process, giving you the space and time to heal.

Personal injury lawyers help after a bike accident by:

  • Investigating the accident to determine who is at fault 
  • Explaining whether you have a valid claim for compensation 
  • Developing a legal strategy based on the particular details of your case
  • Gathering sufficient evidence to support your claim
  • Accounting for the full extent of your monetary damages and pain and suffering
  • Handling communication with insurance adjusters and other parties
  • Negotiating for maximum compensation for your claim

At Siniard Law, LLC, we have decades of experience representing personal injury victims and handling complex bicycle injury claims. Call us today for a free legal consultation to learn more about how our law firm can help during this difficult time. 

Common Injuries Stemming from Bike Accidents

Bicycle accidents often result in catastrophic injuries, especially when they involve a motor vehicle. Bicyclists have little protection against these heavy steel machines. Common types of injuries bicycle riders suffer in accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Damage to vital organs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Road rash
  • Fractures of arms, legs, or other bones
  • Soft tissue injuries 

If you are a bicycle rider who suffered a serious injury of this nature, contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney today. You have a limited time to seek financial compensation for your losses, so don’t delay.

Traffic Laws for Bicyclists 

Bicyclists in Alabama are required to follow the same Rules of the Road as motorists. This means bicyclists must drive on the right side of the road, signal before turning, and not follow too closely. Additional rules that apply to bicycle riders include:

  • Bicyclists must ride as near to the right side of the roadway as is practicable.
  • Bicyclists must exercise due care when passing a vehicle.
  • There should not be more than two bicyclists riding abreast on a roadway unless they are riding on paths set aside exclusively for bicycles.
  • Bicyclists must not transport more people on their bikes than the bike has been designed to hold. 
  • Bicyclists must not attach themselves to another vehicle while riding a bike.
  • When a usable path has been provided adjacent to a roadway for bicyclists to use, they must use the path and not the roadway.
  • Bicyclists must not ride their bikes on a sidewalk.
  • Bicyclists must not transport packages or other items that prevent them from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
  • All bicycles must be equipped with a white light lamp on the front for nighttime riding, which oncoming drivers must be able to see from at least 500 feet away.
  • All bicycles must have a solid red rear reflector visible from 100 to 600 feet behind the bike. 
  • All bicycles must be equipped with a brake capable of making a skid on dry, clean pavement.
  • Bicyclists aged 15 and younger must wear an approved helmet at all times while operating a bicycle or riding as a passenger under the state’s mandatory helmet laws.  

Bicyclists must follow these rules to avoid accidents. Additionally, Alabama’s contributory negligence law prevents accident victims from being able to recover any compensation in a civil lawsuit if the defendant can prove that the victim contributed to the accident to any degree. 

Common Causes of Traffic Accidents Involving Cyclists

Negligent drivers are responsible for many bicycle accidents every year. Common causes of bike accidents involving vehicles include:

  • Aggressive drivers
  • Speeding
  • Following too closely
  • Driving in bike lanes
  • Opening a door into the pathway of a nearby cyclist
  • Defective maintenance of the vehicle
  • Not obeying traffic signals
  • Failing to check blind spots before moving into an adjacent traffic lane

Other road users can cause bicycle crashes, too, such as other cyclists not obeying bicycle laws. A defective bicycle or part can also cause a bike accident. 

Bike riders are also more susceptible to dangers in the roadway, such as:

  • Cracked pavement or potholes
  • Improper design of roadways
  • Narrow bridge abutments
  • Poor drainage
  • Negligent maintenance of bike paths

If you were seriously injured in a bike crash, contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer for assistance. An experienced personal injury attorney from our legal team can investigate your bike accident to determine the responsible party and seek compensation from them. 

Compensation Available in Bicycle Accident Claims 

Personal injury claims allow accident victims to seek financial compensation from the liable party. Injured cyclists can recover compensation for their economic damages, such as:

  • Medical costs, including emergency medical services, ambulance rides, hospital stays, and diagnostic tests
  • Ongoing medical care 
  • Anticipated costs for future medical treatment
  • Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
  • Bicycle repair 

Additionally, bicycle accident victims can seek compensation for their non-economic damages, such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress. 

In cases involving fatal injuries, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim to seek punitive damages from the at-fault party. 

An experienced bicycle accident attorney can review auto insurance coverage and other possible paths to recovery to maximize compensation. 

Safety Tips to Avoid Bike Accidents 

While you cannot control the actions of a careless driver, there are steps you can take to improve your safety, including:

  • Ride in bicycle lanes when they are available.
  • Always wear a bicycle helmet to decrease the likelihood of a head injury in case of an accident. 
  • Equip your bike with the necessary safety equipment.
  • Wear bright clothing so motorists see you. Not all motorists pay attention to cyclists, but bright clothing can increase your visibility. 
  • Obey all traffic signs and follow basic traffic laws.
  • Ride as close to the right side of the road as possible. 
  • Carefully observe vehicles around you, including parked cars.
  • Ride carefully at intersections and while passing driveways. Other motorists may not be paying attention. 
  • Use hand signals to indicate turns.
  • Avoid distractions.

Following these simple tips can help decrease the number of fatal bicycle crashes and serious injuries. 

What Should I Do If I’m in a Bike Accident?

Follow these steps to protect your health and legal claim if you are involved in a bike accident:

  • Report the accident to authorities. 
  • Seek medical attention immediately. 
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your bike and the vehicle, your injuries, nearby traffic lights, and anything else that may be relevant to the accident.
  • Ask for the driver’s name, insurance provider, and contact information.
  • Ask for the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

Who Is Responsible for My Bicycle Accident?

The answer to this question depends on the specific circumstances surrounding your accident. Various parties can be responsible for bicycle accidents, including negligent motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, other road users, manufacturers of defective bicycles, or government agencies responsible for maintaining the roadway. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and explain who the at-fault party is. 

What Is the Deadline to File Personal Injury Lawsuits in Alabama? 

The deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit in Alabama is two years from the accident date. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this timeframe and have not settled your case, you can lose your right to seek monetary compensation through the courts. Protect your rights by reaching out to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer today.

Reach Out to the Legal Team at Siniard Law, LLC for Help with Your Bicycle Accident Claim

If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, it is vital to protect your rights. Our Huntsville bicycle accident lawyers can help identify the driver accountable for your injuries, prepare your insurance claims, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation.