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What Are Your Legal Rights After a Bicycle Accident?

If you are involved in a bicycle accident, knowing your legal rights empowers you to take appropriate action. Continue reading to learn about the causes and types of bicycle accidents, what to do right after an accident, the legal rights of cyclists, the statute of limitations, and steps to take to protect your rights after a bicycle accident.


Causes and Types of Bicycle Accidents

Common causes of bicycle accidents include: 


Car Collisions

Bicycle accidents involving cars frequently occur at intersections, during lane changes, or while navigating through traffic.


Road Hazards

Uneven road surfaces, potholes, debris, and poorly maintained infrastructure can lead to loss of control, falls, or collisions.


Distracted Driving

When drivers are not fully focused on the road, they are less likely to notice cyclists, increasing the risk of accidents.


Dooring

Dooring accidents occur when a cyclist collides with a car door that has been opened into their path. This type of accident is common in urban areas where cyclists share the road with parked cars.


Different types of bicycle accidents:


Hit-and-Run Incidents

Hit-and-run accidents involve a driver leaving the scene without stopping, leaving cyclists without recourse if the responsible party is not identified.


Dooring Accidents

The sudden nature of these incidents can lead to severe injuries, including fractures, head injuries, and contusions.


Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions involve a vehicle striking a cyclist from behind because a driver fails to maintain a safe following distance.


Intersection Accidents

Accidents at intersections can occur when a driver fails to yield the right of way to a cyclist, leading to collisions.


Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents happen when a vehicle and a cyclist are traveling parallel to each other, and the car makes contact with the cyclist. This can occur during lane changes or when a driver fails to give sufficient space to a cyclist.


 Bicycle Accident


Immediate Actions to Take

First, move out of the road to a safe location and call emergency services if needed. Even if you don't think you're seriously injured, it is best to seek medical attention because some injuries may not be immediately apparent but could worsen over time.

Always document the accident by taking pictures, exchanging information with involved parties, and obtaining contact details from witnesses.


Legal Rights of Cyclists

Cyclists have the right to use the road just like any other vehicle operator. LIke drivers, they must follow traffic laws and exercise caution to ensure their safety and the safety of others. 

Negligence on the part of a driver, cyclist, or another party can contribute to a bicycle accident. Establishing negligence is essential for determining liability and pursuing compensation.


Gathering Evidence

Evidence that will support your case include the following:

 

  • photographs of the accident scene 

  • medical records

  • eyewitness statements

  • police reports 


Liability and Compensation

In bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles, liability may lie with the driver, the cyclist, or both parties. Factors such as negligence, traffic violations, and road conditions can impact liability. 

Insurance coverage may provide compensation for injured cyclists. Injured cyclists may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage. 


Legal Process and Representation

The legal process for pursuing a claim includes filing a claim with the insurance company, negotiating a settlement, or filing a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached. If you encounter challenges with the claims process or if the insurance company denies your claim, seeking legal representation may be necessary to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation. 

Consulting with a personal injury lawyer who has handled bicycle accident cases can provide valuable guidance and advocacy for you throughout the claims process.


Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations sets a time limit for filing a legal claim, and failing to file within this time frame could result in forfeiting your right to pursue compensation. In Idaho, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents, is typically two years from the date of the accident. 

To preserve your right to pursue legal action, document the accident, seek medical attention promptly, and consult with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Pursuing fair compensation requires a thorough understanding of your rights and the legal process. By being proactive and informed about your legal rights, you can navigate the aftermath of a bicycle accident more effectively and be equipped to advocate for the compensation you deserve.

If you have questions about your legal rights after a bicycle accident or need assistance with the claims process, don't hesitate to reach out to an attorney at East Idaho Law. We are here to help you understand your options and pursue the compensation you deserve.


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