Although it is a healthy and laudable pastime, riding a bike on the open road can be dangerous, especially when motorists refuse to take basic steps to ensure the safety of bicyclists. If an irresponsible motorist strikes a bicyclist, they should be held financially accountable for their negligence.
To that end, if you or someone you love was injured in a bicycle accident, working with a Lakewood bicycle accident lawyer may be beneficial. Continue reading to learn more about bike accidents and how an adept personal injury attorney could help you file a claim.
Examples of Driver Negligence
When a negligent driver collides with a law-abiding bicyclist, the driver should be held legally liable for their actions. Driver negligence can come in a plethora of forms, and during civil proceedings, the injured party—along with their Lakewood bicycle accident attorney—must prove the driver was negligent.
Bicycle accidents are often caused by the following actions of negligent drivers:
- The driver of the motor vehicle drifted into the bike lane
- The driver failed to honor the right-of-way of the bicyclist
- The driver failed to check their blind spots for bicyclists
- The driver followed the bicyclist too closely
- The driver operated their vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs
Distracted drivers also pose a threat to bicyclists across the country. Tampering with the radio, sending or reading texts, or attempting to perform any task other than driving can cause a serious bike accident.
The Importance of Buffer Zones and Bike Lanes
The purpose of bicycle buffer zones is to protect bicyclists from motorists and reduce the likelihood of crashes. These buffers or “bike lanes” are more common in urban and suburban areas, and they ensure bicyclists remain a safe distance from street traffic.
The zones also prevent parked cars from opening their doors and injuring bicyclists. Drivers should make sure they avoid veering into the bike lane at all costs, and bicyclists should never operate their bicycle outside of this lane if one is available. If a bicyclist does not adhere to safety laws and take common-sense precautions, they may not be able to hold the other party liable if they are struck by a vehicle.
Helmet Laws and Accident Injuries
To protect the well-being of bikers, most states have implemented some sort of helmet laws. Unfortunately, even with a helmet and other forms of safety gear, bicyclists are far more likely than drivers of passenger vehicles to be injured in a crash.
This is because bikers are relatively unprotected, and when they collide with a multi-ton vehicle, the outcome can be devastating. Bicyclists are likely to sustain various injuries during an accident with a motor vehicle, including:
- Broken bones, fractures, and sprains
- Internal organ damage and bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Road rash
Many of these injuries require long-term medical care. Furthermore, if a person injures their brain or spinal cord, they may need specialized care for the rest of their life. Get in contact with a Lakewood bicycle accident lawyer for help with filing a compensation claim.
How a Lakewood Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Bicycle accidents can be painful and traumatic in more than one way, but you will need to take action if you want to recover damages. A skilled attorney could help you better understand the law and your chances of winning your case. Contact a Lakewood bicycle accident lawyer today if you are ready to get started.