Did you know that motorists and cyclists have the same rights when on the road in Colorado? Along with those rights, they share the same responsibilities. Legally they share the roads, and unfortunately, that can lead to some issues. Cyclists often end up in serious crashes that lead to injury or even death.
If you or a loved one find yourself at the wrong end of a bicycle accident, a Boulder bicycle accident attorney at our firm can help. Depending on the situation, compensation for medical and potentially emotional damages is a possibility.
Causes of Boulder Bike Accidents
Bicycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but typically, the motorist is at fault. Unfortunately, this does not stop the cyclist from enduring most of the pain and injuries in almost all cases.
Common causes of bike accidents include:
- Failure to yield
- Careless driving
- Speeding while driving
- Distracted driving
- Running stop signs
While these are common causes of accidents, bicycle accidents don’t always involve motor vehicles. A poorly designed bike can cause a cyclist to crash into a building or a curb. If that’s the case, the manufacturer could owe you financial compensation. Your attorney will examine the evidence and determine if you have a case against the manufacturer.
A cyclist can also collide with a pedestrian. If the pedestrian walked in front of the cyclist and caused the collision, he or she could be at fault. Again, your attorney might submit a case against the pedestrian.
In addition, some cyclists get in accidents because the road was in bad shape. This could be a government agency’s fault. If that’s the case, your attorney might choose to sue the government agency on your behalf. Suing the government is never something you want to do without a lawyer on your side.
Common Injuries Associated with Bicycle Accidents
In addition to the fact that bicycle accidents can occur for a range of reasons, there are also numerous results of a collision. In the best-case scenario, you will walk away with minor bruises and cuts that do not even require stitches. In the worst-case scenario, there is no walking away from the bicycle accident and a person never goes home to their loved ones.
The following are some of the more common injuries that tend to occur during bike accidents:
- Head injuries
- Dental fractures
- Eye trauma due to airborne insects, dirt, and other objects
- Fractured bones
- Facial contusions, fractures, and soft tissue injuries
- Muscular strains
- Dislocated joints
- Road rash
Of those, head injuries can be particularly concerning and common. The American Academy of Family Physicians founds that 22 to 47 percent of injured cyclists experience head injuries. Additionally, head injuries account for about 60 percent of fatalities in cycling accidents. While sometimes a helmet is enough to prevent injury or death, it is not always enough.
Although rarer than the above injuries, bicyclists in accidents can also sustain the following injuries to the following areas of the body:
- Pelvic region
- Abdominal area
- Penetrating injuries
Reimbursement for Bicycle Damage
Personal injuries are not the only consequences of a bicycle accident; there are also damages to the bike itself. Most bicycles will cost at least several hundred dollars and those who bike regularly can easily spend $2,000 on a bike. You must account for damaged bicycle costs. In some situations, it is more adorable to total the bike and replace it with something new. A good lawyer will get you compensation for your bicycle damage in addition to injuries.
Do You Have a Case?
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, you likely want to know if you have a case. That depends on a variety of factors.
First, your lawyer will determine the circumstances of the case. Did the motorist do something to cause the accident? Was the bike poorly designed? Were the roads in disrepair? Your attorney will look at all the circumstances before moving forward.
Then, your attorney will look at the extent of your injuries and the medical bills you have. Hospital stays and surgical procedures will also be considered. Things like physical therapy, medications, and other long-term medical treatments are also a factor.
Your attorney will also need to look at all the available evidence. An assumed distracted driver is not enough of a case. Your attorney needs to be able to prove it. If he or she can, you likely have a case.
Bicycle Accidents and Children – What You Need to Know
If you are an adult, you have a certain duty of care when you’re on the roads. That is true for cyclists and motorists alike. However, motorists are expected to exhibit a higher-than-normal duty of care when dealing with children. Children are essentially held to a lower standard, so if a motorist has hit your child, it might be easier to prove the motorist was at fault. This is especially true if the child is under the age of 4. Children 3 and younger cannot be negligent, so it’s easier to prove the case, indicating that the child was not at fault.
Choosing a Boulder Bicycle Accident Attorney
When selecting a Boulder accident attorney, consider their level of experience and qualifications.
Ensure the lawyer has the required certifications to practice law in Colorado and they have experience in both general accident cases and cases involving bicycles. Since bicycle accidents are very different from those involving cars or other situations, experience in another sub-category of law does not translate into bike collisions. As such, hiring a lawyer with no bicycle accident experience is a mistake.
Determining if your bicycle accident is a legal case is not easy to do. So, why do it yourself? Talk to a Boulder bicycle accident attorney and let the lawyer determine if you should move forward. The Fang Law Firm has experience in handling these types of cases and is happy to help you. Contact us for a consultation, and we will let you know if you should move forward with your case. Then, we will produce a plan to represent you as we fight for the best possible outcome.