Most of the time, biking is a great way to commute to work, run errands, and exercise. The growing trend toward cycling has meant that Louisville is becoming a more bike-friendly city and there are safety measures in place to enable cyclists to share the road with drivers.
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents still happen. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver responsible for your crash. A personal injury lawyer can handle the claim for you to ensure you receive a payout for the full cost of your medical bills and other damages.
Injuries After a Bicycle Crash
Even if you take safety precautions like wearing a helmet, using lights on your bike after dark, and staying alert of the traffic around you, it’s possible to suffer catastrophic injuries from a bike accident. Common types of injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skull fractures
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Louisville, KY
Contrary from what you may expect, most bicycle accidents in Louisville occur outside rush hour. The majority of the time, they are due to motor vehicle drivers failing to notice a cyclist. There are several ways this can cause bike accidents.
A major cause of bicycle crashes is what’s called dooring: a driver opens a car door without first checking for approaching bicyclists.
You have the same right of way as other vehicles on the road. This means that a driver who turned left into you while you were heading straight or who cut you off is at fault.
Running a Stop Sign
Someone ignoring a stop sign or red light puts everyone else’s safety at risk. This is particularly dangerous for a cyclist, who is completely unprotected in the case of impact with the vehicle.
Drivers may pull out without looking first if they don’t hear any traffic — but this means they may miss a cyclist who is riding almost silently compared to the cars on the road.
Driving Too Close
Someone who was driving too close to you and either made physical contact or forced you into a narrow lane could also be found responsible for your accident.
The Rights of Bike Riders in Kentucky
Kentucky laws state that bicyclists have the same rights as drivers of a motor vehicle. In addition, there are laws in Kentucky that apply just to cyclists.
For instance, not only can you ride on the road with other vehicle drivers, bicyclists may ride up to two abreast in a single lane and are allowed to use the shoulder of the highway. If there is an available bike lane, though, you must use this.
You are also entitled to sufficient space on the road. Vehicle drivers are required to give bicyclists at least three feet of space when behind or passing the cyclist.
Proving Negligence After a Louisville Bicycle Accident
Before you can pursue compensation, you need to prove negligence. A bicycle accident attorney can help you provide the necessary evidence to show that the driver who injured you was at fault. In many cases, the accident will have been due to one of the following reasons.
Distracted driving. The driver may have been distracted by a phone, GPS system, or talking to someone else in the car.
Aggressive driving. It’s not uncommon for drivers of other vehicles to be unaware of the rights cyclists have or even be annoyed that you’re riding on the road.
Driving under the influence. It’s even more dangerous to be a cyclist when someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Anyone operating a motor vehicle in Kentucky must have an alcohol concentration of less than 0.08 percent.
Lack of experience. Finally, someone who lacks much experience driving a car could make a mistake or be unsure how to act around bicyclists.
What Type of Compensation Can You Expect?
After a bike accident, you’re entitled to the same type of compensation as in any other personal injury case. This is paid by the insurance company of the at-fault party and can include:
- The cost of your medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitative care
- Property damage
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
What Should Cyclists Do After an Accident?
It’s important that cyclists receive medical attention immediately after an accident. Your injuries may be more severe than you realize, or you could have injuries that do not show symptoms until later but that a physician will be able to diagnose now.
You should also file a police report. This will provide you with a paper trail to show that your injuries were caused by the accident. Plus, the police will be able to interviews witnesses who can provide testimony about what happened.
Lastly, you need to contact a bicycle accident lawyer. An injury attorney will be able to gather evidence, explain you the Kentucky laws that are relevant to your case, and communicate with the insurance provider on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement. Make sure you look for accident attorneys who have experience with bike accidents in Louisville.
Louisville Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury as a cyclist in Louisville, you need the support of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. Proving negligence is the biggest hurdle to cross when seeking compensation. A bicycle accident attorney will know what evidence to present to ensure your claim is successful.
Look no further than the Fleck Firm for a Louisville bicycle accident lawyer who will be committed to seeing the best results from your case. Our attorneys have handled numerous bicycle accident cases in Louisville, KY. They know how to present proof to insurance companies to ensure that the person who was responsible for your accident is held accountable and that you receive adequate compensation to cover expenses related to your injuries, property damage, lost earnings, and more.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation by providing us with your first and last name, your email address, and a brief description of your Louisville bicycle accident.