Bike Accident Lawyer St. Louis
Cyclists account for nearly 2% of all traffic fatalities, with 938 people killed in bike accidents in 2020 alone. When a car or truck strikes a bike, the cyclist’s injury is usually severe, resulting in brain damage, spinal cord injuries, or broken bones.
Bike riding provides numerous benefits to both cyclists and society. However, a significant drawback to cycling is the danger of negligent drivers.
Since cyclists have the same rights as drivers of motor vehicles, cyclists can use the middle part of the traffic lane unless other laws prevent them.
Adherence to road rules may help cyclists avoid accidents with motor vehicles. The “side-of-the-road” rule requires cyclists to use bike lanes on public roads. However, bike accidents may still happen for numerous reasons, including:
- Bumping an opening door of a parked vehicle
- Getting side-swiped by a passing vehicle
- Bumped by a vehicle making a right turn
A person opening a car door will nearly always be at fault since the law requires a cyclist to pass close to parked cars, and doors cannot be opened unless it is safe.
Bike Lanes and Side-of-Road Rules
Cyclists should use the right side of the road if they cannot keep up with motor vehicle traffic. Cyclists are required to use bike lanes if these are provided. A cyclist should only leave the bike lane or the side of the road:
- If the cyclist can keep up with the traffic
- If the space for the bike lane is restricted
- When making left turns
- To avoid obstructions
Space Provided To Passing Vehicles
Motor vehicles are required to provide a three-foot space while they are passing. However, it takes work to be accurate in recreating an incident. This situation is further made difficult regarding trucks, buses, and SUVs. Motor vehicles should avoid passing cyclists using the road unless it is already safe. Motorists should slow down and wait for an excellent opportunity to pass, and cyclists are not required to allow the motorist to pass except on the far right lane.
The width of the bicycle and traffic lane should be measured if the vehicle that hit the cyclist is larger than a standard vehicle. The cyclist can have an advantage in the claim if the extra width of the car makes passing safely problematic.
Right-of-Way Right Turn
A car turning right is among the most common accidents involving cyclists. Cars may slow down while making a right turn into the path of a cyclist or turn right without seeing the cyclist. The motorist is at fault in these instances since the vehicle can only turn when it is already safe to do so. The side-of-the-road rule allows cyclists to continue driving through intersections without stopping for right-turning motorists.
Bicyclist Hit By Car in St. Louis
So what should you do if you get hit by a car while riding your bike in St. Louis? Take the following steps, and work with an experienced St. Louis bike accident lawyer to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
- Call 911 To Get Police & EMS At The Scene Immediately
If you can, you should call 911 to get emergency medical treatment and to get the police to the scene of the accident right away. Otherwise, a witness should call 911. Bike accidents with cars almost always result in significant injuries, so you may need to get treatment from EMS, and the police should come to the scene to document the crash site.
- Get Contact Information From Witnesses
If possible, get contact information from witnesses. If you are injured and can’t do this, ask someone to do it. Drivers will often try to make crashes with bikes seem like the cyclist’s fault, so you must have multiple people who can back up your version of events, particularly if you want to pursue damages.
- Take Photos Of The Scene, If Possible
Taking photos of your bike, your injuries, the car that hit you, its license plate, and other things can help you document the crash and build a stronger case. Again, if you’re seriously injured, you can ask a witness to do this. The police should also do this, but having your own documentation is helpful, too.
- Tell Your Version Of Events & Get A Copy Of The Incident Report
The police will interview you to learn what happened. Ensure you are clear about what happened and the laws the driver violated when you were hit.
You should get information from the police after the incident, like a case number. Contact the police to get a copy of the incident report and ensure it’s accurate. If there are mistakes or the report is inaccurate, you can contact the police to correct these problems – particularly if you have evidence that contradicts the claims of the police.
- Speak With an Experienced Bike Accident Lawyer
You should always speak with a bike accident lawyer if you plan to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company – or pursue further damages for personal injury. A lawyer will help you build the best case and avoid common mistakes throughout the legal process.
Proving Liability and Damages in Bicycle Accidents
Many people driving cars and trucks don’t look for bicycles or believe they don’t belong in traffic. In Missouri, however, bicyclists have the right to travel on the side of the road as long as they abide by traffic laws.
When handling a cyclist injury claim, we interview witnesses, gather evidence, and work with seasoned investigators to identify who was at fault. We also analyze the bike and car damage and examine the accident scene. We then prepare a strong case that proves the driver’s fault in causing the bicycle accident.
Frequent causes of bicycle accidents include:
- The driver was driving drunk
- The driver wasn’t looking when they pulled into traffic from a parking lot or driveway and crashed into the cyclist
- The driver was looking in the wrong direction when making a turn and hit the bike rider in the intersection
- The driver failed to yield at an intersection or traffic light
We regularly retain the services of some of the top medical professionals in the St. Louis area. These experts offer testimony regarding the extent of our client’s injuries, past and future medical treatment costs, and any permanent disabilities resulting from the bike accident.
Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!