Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can occur due to a variety of factors. Understanding these common causes can help us better evaluate your case and determine the best course of action to secure your compensation. Here are some of the most common causes we hear at our law firm:

  • Distracted driving: This is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road. Whether it’s texting, eating, or using a GPS, any activity that takes a driver’s attention off the road can lead to a collision.
  • Failure to yield: Many bicycle accidents occur when drivers fail to yield the right of way to cyclists at intersections or when turning.
  • Dooring: This happens when a car door is opened into a cyclist’s path, causing the cyclist to collide with the door.
  • Poorly maintained roads: Potholes, debris, and other road hazards can cause a cyclist to lose control and crash.

Regardless of the reason, your attorney can help you gather the evidence necessary to prove negligence and ensure that your rights are protected.

Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can be severe or even life-threatening. The disparity in size and protection between a bicycle and a motor vehicle often means that it’s the cyclist who suffers the most in the event of a collision.

Injuries can vary from minor to major, depending on the specifics of the accident. Here are some of the most common injuries in bicycle accidents:

Dealing with the aftermath of these injuries can be a daunting process, involving medical treatment, recovery, and potentially, legal action. But if you didn’t act negligently, you may be entitled to compensation to recover from your economic damages.

Indiana Bicycle Laws and Cyclist Rights

Before presenting a personal injury claim, it’s important to determine which is your level of responsibility, and who is at fault. In Indiana, cyclists are granted the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, as clearly outlined in the Indiana Code 9-21-11.

This law states that cyclists are not only legally entitled to share the road, but they are also expected to adhere to the same traffic laws that govern motor vehicles. For cyclists, these responsibilities include:

  • Obey all traffic signals and signs.
  • Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
  • Ride on the right side of the road, in the same direction as traffic.
  • Use lights and reflectors when cycling at night.
  • Wear a helmet (recommended, though not required by state law).

On the other hand, drivers’ responsibilities regarding cyclists include:

  • Respect cyclists’ right to share the road.
  • Leave a safe distance when passing cyclists.
  • Look for cyclists before opening car doors.
  • Yield to cyclists at intersections.
  • Avoid using mobile devices while driving.

If you’re a cyclist who has been injured due to a driver’s negligence, remember that the law is on your side. You may have a valid personal injury claim, and our team is here to help you navigate this complex process.

If a bicyclist was struck by a vehicle and the driver was uninsured or even underinsured, then UM/UIM coverage can come into play to help pay for some of the bicyclist’s costs.

This is how UM/UIM coverage can potentially be used in a bicycle accident scenario:

  1. Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage: If the at-fault driver responsible for the bicycle accident doesn’t have auto insurance, the bicyclist’s UM coverage can step in to provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. UM coverage essentially acts as a substitute for the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
  2. Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage: If the at-fault driver has insurance but their policy limits are insufficient to cover the bicyclist’s damages fully, the bicyclist’s UIM coverage can bridge the gap between the at-fault driver’s insurance limits and the actual cost of the serious injuries and losses.

This type of coverage can also be used in pedestrian accidents in Indiana if needed.

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident in Indianapolis

In the unfortunate event of a bicycle accident, it’s crucial to stay composed and take the right steps to protect your health and legal rights, including:

  1. Seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries may not be apparent right away, and a medical professional’s evaluation can provide crucial documentation for your claim.
  2. Document the accident scene. Use your phone to take photos or videos of the location, your bicycle, any visible injuries, and the vehicle involved. This evidence can be invaluable when it comes to proving your case.
  3. Gather witness information if there were any witnesses to the accident. Their statements can provide an unbiased account of the incident and can substantiate your claim.
  4. Ensure an official report is filed at the police department, as this can serve as a key piece of evidence in your claim.
  5. Preserve evidence. Keep any damaged clothing or equipment and avoid repairing your bicycle immediately after the accident. These items can serve as evidence of the crash and your resulting injuries.
  6. Consult a lawyer. An attorney can provide invaluable assistance, helping you understand your rights, gather necessary evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Remember, every step you take following a bicycle accident can significantly impact your potential personal injury claim. Acting wisely and promptly can help ensure you’re adequately compensated for your injuries and losses.

How Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help

we understand the traumatic impact a bicycle accident can have. Our legal team is committed to working diligently to build a compelling case for you. We can help determine liability, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and even represent you in court if necessary.

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in Indianapolis, don’t shoulder the legal and financial burden alone. Let our attorneys help you get the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, we put your interests first, fighting for your rights and offering compassionate, comprehensive legal support. Contact us today for a free consultation.