Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Conway
Arkansas is known to be a bicycle-friendly state. The state adds approximately two new miles of bike trails each week. State law even allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and traffic lights as stop signs. The state seeks to encourage bicyclists and enacts numerous laws in their favor.
Arkansas law gives cyclists a wide variety of legal rights. In fact, the law explicitly says that cyclists “shall have all the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” They can use any roadway except for a highway. When they are crossing the road at a crosswalk, they have the same right-of-way as a pedestrian.
However, some drivers may not view bicyclists as their equals on the roads, or they may be just plain careless. Scores of Arkansas cyclists are injured in accidents with motorists each year. Arkansas has a cyclist fatality rate that is right in line with the national average. For each cyclist fatality, there are numerous injured bikers who will be forced to bear the costs of a long-term injury. When a motorist is to blame for the accident, they can be made to pay for the bicyclist’s injuries.
Common Mistakes That Drivers Make
Mistakes that drivers make that lead to bicycle accidents include:
- Opening their car door when they are parked next to a bike lane, and the bicycle is passing by
- Striking a bicyclist when they are making a right or left-hand turn
- Rear-ending a bicyclist because they are not paying attention
- Hitting a bicyclist because they do not give enough room when they are trying to pass
- Failing to give a bicyclist the right-of-way at a stop sign
Why Bicycle Accidents Are Increasing
In general, bicycle accident injuries and fatalities are increasing both in Arkansas and throughout the country for the following reasons:
- More people are out on their bicycles for both fitness and commuting.
- Drivers are more distracted because they are looking at their smartphones behind the wheel.
- Motorists have adopted more reckless driving habits since the start of the pandemic.
- Cars are bigger, meaning that there is more chance of injury if the bicyclist is struck.
Who May Be Legally Responsible for Your Bicycle Accident
There are numerous possible defendants in bicycle injury lawsuits. They include:
- The driver of the car that struck the bicyclist
- The local government if the accident resulted from potholes or poor road conditions
- The bike manufacturer, if the bike itself was defective
- A company, if their driver was the one who struck and injured the bicyclist
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Most bicyclists will suffer some form of injury when they are involved in an accident. Like pedestrians, bicyclists have little to protect them from the impact of an accident. They may be struck directly by the car and thrown through the windshield or to the pavement. Their bodies will bear the brunt of the accident. All they often have to protect themselves is a helmet, and that only reduces the possibility of a traumatic brain injury.
Common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
The costs associated with a bicycle accident injury can be considerable. The medical costs alone can be steep. Even if you have insurance, you may be dealing with deductibles and copayments. As health insurance costs have increased, some have opted for more bare-bones plans that leave them shouldering more of the costs.
Medical costs are just one part of your accident damages. If you have been seriously injured, you may miss considerable time from work even if you can eventually work again. In addition, a bicycle accident injury will disrupt your life, causing you physical pain and mental anguish.
Tactics That Insurance Companies Use to Harm You
If you can prove that the accident was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for your injuries. First, you must go through the legal process. You can file an insurance claim against the driver’s auto insurance policy or a lawsuit against the driver.
Either way, you will have to deal with the insurance company at some point. Tactics that they may use to try to avoid paying you for their policyholder’s negligence include:
- Trying to blame you for the accident, in whole or in part
- Wearing you down by dragging out your claim
- Making you low offers to try to get you to accept less
- Pressuring you to give a statement that contradicts your claim
The insurance company is the representative of the driver that injured you, defending them as is their legal duty. Accordingly, they are not your friend. Anything that they give you comes out of their account, so they will try to give you as little as possible. The insurance company is not in control. You sit down across the table from them in a negotiation, and you have the right to say no. If you cannot reach a deal, the jury will decide the matter.
Call a Conway Bicycle Accident Attorney
The attorneys at Denton & Zachary will take up your cause and fight for you to receive financial compensation for your bicycle accident injuries. To discuss your case, call us at 501-273-1695 or message us online through our form. We offer free consultations, and you only pay us if you win.
Bicycle Accident Case FAQs
What happens if the insurance company tries to blame me?
Your lawyer can present your side of the story and give evidence that shows that you did nothing wrong.
How much is my bicycle accident case worth?
It all depends on your own specific damages. Each case is worth a different amount, depending on the scope and extent of your injuries.
Do I need a bicycle accident attorney?
You are always better off when you have an attorney present your case rather than trying to handle the matter on your own.