Millions of people rely on their bicycles every day as a means of transportation. Adults and teens may bike to get to work or school, to run errands, to get exercise, or simply to go from place to place. Because bicyclists are extremely vulnerable, injuries sustained in a bike accident can be quite serious, or even catastrophic, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and severe physical injury. When a bike and its rider are hit by a car, the injuries can even be fatal.
And while some riders wear helmets and protective gear as recommended, and follow the rules of the road just like any other driver on the highways, many do not. Unfortunately, the greatest number of bicycle accidents occur when cyclists are struck by motor vehicles. And when these accidents occur between a car or truck and a cyclist, tragedy can follow. When such accidents happen, an experienced Michigan bicycle accident lawyer becomes a necessity to ensure your rights are protected. Some common injury scenarios include both accidental and negligence-related events:
- Falls from a bike
- Dogs attacking riders
- Interactions with cars – being cut off, side-swiped, or even hit-and-run
- Falls or spills resulting from poor road conditions
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Thousands of bicyclists are killed or injured in accidents with motor vehicles every year. While a bicycle accident is a horrific occurrence, there is every opportunity to navigate the circuitous insurance road and receive compensation. An experienced Michigan bicycle accident attorney can do the negotiating for you, and get coverage for your accident and injuries.
With a veteran bicycle accident attorney by your side, you can receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses: Your private health insurance is usually your first line of defense if you are hurt while riding your bicycle. If you are hit by a motor vehicle, however, there may be other ways to get your medical expenses covered. Anytime you are injured in an auto accident, even if you aren’t in the car, you’re entitled to benefits under your own no-fault insurance. These no-fault benefits can even be used to fill the gaps in your medical insurance coverage.What if you are committed to bike commuting and don’t own a car? Even if you don’t carry no-fault auto insurance, you can still be covered – the driver’s insurance can be held responsible for all of your medical expenses.
- Bike replacement: There’s a good chance that, after a collision with a motor vehicle, your bike will need to be replaced. While no-fault insurance covers your body, homeowners insurance applies to your bike. This can be problematic if your bicycle costs more than your policy will pay for any one particular item. If you see your bike as an investment, talk to your insurance agent about adding a special rider to cover the cost of the replacement.
If your own insurance policy falls short, you will have to sue the at-fault driver to recover the cost of your bicycle. This could be a small claims case or it could be part of a larger “Third Party” lawsuit. Any difficulties you encounter with being reimbursed for your bike or acquiring a replacement can be handled by your bicycle accident attorney on your behalf.
- Other damages: No-fault insurance policies allow for 85 percent of your lost wages for up to three years and some attendant care expenses. Depending on the nature of your accident, you may also be entitled to additional damages like pain and suffering from the at-fault driver. These non-economic damages are designed to compensate you for the harm you felt from the accident.Do not hesitate to consult with a Michigan bicycle accident lawyer to discuss all angles of your case and claim. For cyclists, this could include compensation for the time you were ordered off your bicycle. It could also include the cost of having to rent a vehicle to get around while you are unable to bike.
Bicyclists face special challenges when they are involved in accidents with motor vehicles. Your injuries are more likely to be severe and your insurance coverage can be far more complicated. It’s important to have a legal team experienced in representing the victims of bicycle accidents. The Michigan bicycle accident lawyers at Christensen Law have been handling cases like these for over 30 years. We can help you get the recovery you need to get back up and rolling along.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1,000 bicyclists die and over 130,000 are injured in crashes that occur on roads in the United States every year. The CDC also reports that:
- People ages 15 to 24 and people over age 45 have the highest bicycle death rates.
- Men are more likely to be injured in a bicycle accident or involved in a fatal bike crash.
- Urban intersections and non-intersections are the locations that see the greatest number of bicycle accident deaths.
- Nonfatal bicycle accident injuries are highest among children, teens, and young adults ages 5 to 24. These accidents account for nearly 60 percent of all emergency room visits for bicycle-related injuries.
Get Bicycle Accident Results
The right bicycle accident attorney will help you navigate the challenges you may encounter after a bicycle accident, and achieve the case results you deserve for injuries you have suffered as a result. The trial attorneys at Christensen Law are highly experienced, and have served hundreds of bicycle accident victims. Give us a call to see if you have a case; the consultation is at no cost to you.
Safety Advice from our Little Litigators
Atticus has some tips for bike safety.