Riding a bicycle is a healthy, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective way to get around Fayetteville. While cyclists have just as much right to use the roads as cars and other types of vehicles, sometimes motorists refuse to share the road or aren’t as skilled when they encounter cyclists. When motorists are inexperienced or act negligently, they can collide with cyclists and cause severe injuries. If you were involved in an accident, there are people you can turn to for help. A Fayetteville bicycle accident lawyer from McMath Woods P.A. can review your claim and fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
After suffering from a bicycle accident, you may be facing significant medical bills as you go through your recovery. You shouldn’t have to worry about affording the care you need and putting food on the table. Our lawyers are here so you can have peace of mind. When we fight for you, we’re going to seek fair compensation that will help you recover financially, physically, and emotionally.
When we first start working on your case, we’ll need to know the details of your accident. When we know what happened, we can work on determining liability and how their negligence harmed you. Let’s take a look at how bicycle accidents happen and why they’re so dangerous.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2018 had 857 cyclist fatalities in the United States. They state many of these accidents can be prevented if both parties follow the rules of the road.
But this doesn’t always happen. When motorists are driving near cyclists, they may not have enough experience to gauge the distance between them. If a motorist gets too close, they can collide and cause an accident. Aggressive drivers can also cause bicycle wrecks as well. Some drivers may become agitated if a cyclist is slowing down traffic and they may try to pass them without taking the time to make sure they have enough room to do so.
Intersections are a high-risk area for bicycle accidents. When a cyclist is at an intersection, they have the right of way. If motorists don’t know this rule or ignore this rule, they could make a turn or go through an intersection at the same time as a cyclist.
Motorists may also not look for cyclists before they turn or change lanes. They’re expecting to see other motorists so they look for cars and trucks. Cyclists are much smaller objects and can be difficult to spot. A motorist may not see a cyclist until it’s too late.
Motorists also need to be aware of cyclists when their car is parked and they’re exiting their vehicle. If a cyclist is riding by and a person swings their car door open, they can hit the cyclist in an incident called dooring. These accidents can knock a cyclist off their bike and to the ground or they could also cause the cyclist to fall in traffic.
Cyclists Often Sustain Severe Injuries
When a driver collides with a cyclist, the cyclist is likely to sustain injuries because they don’t have the protection the body of a car provides. Often, the cyclist will get hurt from the initial impact and when they hit the ground. Even if the accident occurs at slow speeds, a cyclist can still incur many injuries. Here are some of the common bicycle accident injuries:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Broken Bones or Fractures
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Lacerations, Cuts, Bruises
If the injuries are severe, like a TBI or a fractured spinal cord, the cyclist may have life-long health problems. Even if the accident doesn’t result in life-changing injuries, their injuries will still likely need a lot of care and time before they’re back to their normal routine again.
When our lawyers investigate your case, we’ll carefully assess your medical records to get the full extent of your injuries. This will include the specific type of injuries you’ve incurred, if you had to go to the hospital or stay there, what your treatment plan will entail, and how your recovery will affect your life. Your recovery could prevent you from working and you may not be able to get back on your bike for a significant amount of time.
Our Fayetteville bicycle accident lawyer compiles all the evidence we need to show how the other party acted negligently, how their negligence caused your injuries, and how your injuries have caused you pain and suffering.
Arkansas Bicycle Laws
While motorist negligence is often the cause of terrible bicycle accidents and injuries, there are a few things cyclists can do to break the law and put them in harm’s way. It’s important to know the state’s bike laws before hopping on and riding around town. If you were in an accident, you can look to laws for bicyclists to ensure you were following the rules and the motorist was the one who broke the law.
Here are some of the most important laws for bicyclists in Arkansas that you should know:
- Bicycles are not considered vehicles, but bicyclists still have all the rights and duties of a motorist when they’re on the road.
- Cyclists must ride on the right side of the road.
- A bike rider must use hand signals to show where they intend to go, unless it is unsafe for them to remove their hands from the handlebars.
- You can ride on sidewalks, but in Fayetteville, you cannot ride on the sidewalk if it abuts to a building.
- At crosswalks, a cyclist must dismount and walk their bike in order to cross.
- Bikes must be equipped with a white front light and a rear red light or reflector.
- As a state, Arkansas doesn’t require brakes, but the city of Fayetteville does.
- The city of Fayetteville requires your bike to have a bell.
- Children under 14 must wear a helmet, but anyone over that age is not required to.
When it comes to sharing the road with motorists, that’s where bike accidents happen. When a driver wants to pass a cyclist, they must do so safely and where they can allow three feet of space while still maintaining a safe speed. If a motorist gets too close to a bicyclist while they’re passing them, they could easily cause a deadly accident.
Contact Trusted Representation Today
Negligent motorists should be held responsible for their actions when they hurt someone. You deserve to get justice and fair compensation for injuries—the burden of paying for care shouldn’t fall solely on your shoulders when the accident wasn’t your fault in the first place. Our bicycle accident attorneys in Fayetteville are ready to represent you and your best interests.
To get started on your case, give our office a call today. We’re ready to schedule a free case evaluation and find the best way for you to proceed.