Bicycle Accident Lawyer: Why Bike Accident Victims May Need Legal Help

Every year in the US, thousands of bicycle riders fall victim to bicycle accidents that result in serious injuries or deaths. A CDC report informs that there were as many as 467,000 reported bike accident injuries in the year 2015 alone. The accidents occur due to a variety of reasons: poorly maintained roads; defective or poorly repaired bikes; collision with another cyclist, a pedestrian or—as it happens all too frequently—with a larger vehicle, such as a four-wheeler. The accidents can also result from the negligence of the biker himself or due to weather hazards, etc.

However, if the accident is caused by the fault/negligence of another party (a motorist, pedestrian, another cyclist, repair mechanic, bicycle manufacturer), the affected person is altogether within his rights to claim compensation for the damages received. It is advisable that the victim seeks legal help and consults a personal injury attorney or a specialized bicycle accident lawyer at the earliest. This way, he will get to know his options well and can proceed further on the basis of that knowledge.

Liability in a Bicycle Accident

So, who can be held liable in a bike accident injury? Depending on the cause of the accident, liability will fall on the party or entity that was ‘at fault’ for the accident.

• If another motorist caused the accident, a claim can be filed against the driver or his insurance company.
• If the cause of the accident was a faulty or defective bike or an improperly repaired one, the cyclist can file compensation claims against the manufacturer of the bike or against the repair mechanic or the repair shop.
• If a poorly designed and/or maintained road has caused the accident, the government agencies responsible for the maintenance of the said road can be held liable.
• If another cyclist or a pedestrian caused the accident by violating the accident victim’s right of way, a claim may be filed against the person responsible for the mishap.
• Although rare, bike accidents are also caused at times by a dog jumping at a cyclist. In such cases, if the animal is a pet, the injured cyclist can file a claim against the pet’s owner.

How Legal Counsel Can Help

Personal injury cases, including bike accidents, are not always straightforward cases where you can file a claim confidently enough with the knowledge that you’ll receive a proper settlement.

For example, the lawyers will often run into tricky cases, such as when it is difficult to prove beyond doubt that the accident took place because of a violation in the “duty of care” on the part of the person/party assumed to be ‘at fault’. This can occur due to a number of reasons, including inconsistencies in police report, lack of eye-witnesses, and more.

Again, there are times when the accident occurred due to the fault of both parties involved. For example, in a bike and car accident, both the cyclist and the motorist may have been at fault. In such cases, rules of ‘comparative negligence’ will come into play. In other words, an attorney will have to determine to what degree his client was responsible for the accident. For example, if a bicycle accident lawyer representing an injured cyclist determines that his client was 20% responsible for the accident, he will prepare and present the case before the court in a manner so that his client can receive 80% of the damages.

Calculating the damages, determining a fair compensation amount, initiating negotiations with the other party for out-of-court settlements—these are some of the other common tasks routinely performed by a personal injury lawyer on behalf of his clients.

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