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Riding a bicycle can be a great form of exercise or transportation, however, it does not come without certain risks. As a bicyclist, you are much more vulnerable than a motorist riding in a car. If you are hit by a negligent driver on your bicycle, it can cause severe injuries, and can even lead to death. If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a bicycle in St. Louis, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Miller & Hine. We know that a bicycle accident involving another vehicle can cause you to suffer life-changing injuries, and we are here to help.
Determining liability can be challenging, but you shouldn’t be left with the burden of paying for injuries caused by someone else’s carelessness. Contact a skilled personal injury lawyer from Miller & Hine today to discuss your options and see how we can help you receive the best possible compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (314) 413-2053 or contact us for a free consultation.
What are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in St. Louis?
According to a 2020 Crash Report by TrailNet, 63% of bicycle accidents in St. Louis occur at intersections, and 77% of bicycle accidents occur during daylight hours. In 2020 alone there were 62 reported bicycle-involved crashes, resulting in 51 injuries, and fortunately no deaths. In general, bicycling accidents are completely avoidable and usually caused by negligence.
Some of the most common negligent acts that contribute to bicycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield to the right-of-way of bicyclists
- Improper or illegal turns
- Failure to leave enough room when passing a bicycle
- Following too closely
- Riding in a vehicle’s blind spot
- Failure to properly check for bicycles before changing lanes or turning
Other factors such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle defects can also contribute to bicycle accidents.
Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents in St. Louis
Wearing a helmet is one of the best ways to protect yourself as a bicyclist. Although wearing a helmet is not required for adults in St. Louis or the surrounding counties, it is still advised.
However, even when wearing a helmet, you may still suffer from catastrophic injuries when in an accident with a motor vehicle. Injuries may include:
- TBI (traumatic brain injury)
- Spinal cord injury
- Back and neck injury
- Internal organ bleeding or damage
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Road rash
- Trauma to the face (eye injuries, broken nose, dental injuries)
Along with wearing a helmet, you may also want to wear bright or high-visibility clothing and place lights on your person or bike to increase your visibility and reduce the chances of being in an accident.
What to do After a Bicycle Accident
If you are in a collision with a motor vehicle while riding your bike it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. The faster you receive treatment, the lower your chances of experiencing complications or lasting issues. Even if you appear fine, it is important to get checked out, as some injuries may be internal or take time to develop and show symptoms. Catching any and all injuries is vital to your health and safety. Seeing a doctor will also create an official record of your injuries for evidence to support you in a claim for negligent damages.
If you are able to, after the accident you may also want to get the contact information of any witnesses and take note of any nearby businesses that may have gotten security footage of the accident. This will be helpful later on when you are trying to prove your claim. The more time that goes by the harder it becomes to identify or find witnesses, and security camera footage is deleted frequently.
What Types of Compensation is Available for Bicycle Accident Victims?
After an accident you may be severely injured and unable to work temporarily or permanently as well as have several medical bills from injury treatment. This is where the attorneys at Miller & Hine can help you to seek compensation to cover the losses you face after an accident.
As a bicycle accident victim, you may be eligible for two types of damages.
Economic damages refer to losses with a clear financial value. These losses include:
- Medical expenses, including future medical bills and treatments due to the accident
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced or lost earning capacity if you are permanently disabled or impaired
Non-economic damages refer to losses with an unclear financial value. These losses are intended to compensate you for psychological, emotional, or physical damages that cannot be easily measured numerically. These losses include:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
In some rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for acts of blatant negligence, such as drunk driving. Punitive damages are only awarded in extreme cases where it can be proved that the defendant acted intentionally or with complete disregard for your safety.
Why Hire Miller & Hine Personal Injury Attorneys
After your bicycle accident, you will have to deal with insurance companies in order to receive compensation. This can be difficult because it is the insurance adjuster’s job to minimize costs for the company, so they may make obtaining compensation difficult. They might try to blame you for the crash, claim that the liability of the accident is unclear, or try to pressure you into accepting an offer much lower than you deserve.
Working with one of our talented personal injury lawyers at Miller & Hine is your best chance at obtaining fair compensation. We will use our experience to advocate for you while you focus on recovering physically and emotionally. We will:
- Handle your claim. Our attorneys will file all the necessary paperwork, meet all deadlines, and provide advice when you are faced with difficult decisions.
- Gather evidence. We will collect all necessary police reports, medical records, video footage and photographs, witness statements, and other information to strengthen your claim.
- Negotiate for the best possible terms. We will engage in negotiations with the insurance company and other parties on your behalf and fight for the best possible settlement deal for you.
- Escalate your case to trial if necessary. Our team of highly skilled and experienced attorneys are not afraid to take your claim to trial if the insurance company refuses to offer an appropriate settlement. We want our clients to get the best results possible.
Contact a St. Louis Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a bicycle accident in St. Louis you may be eligible for compensation to cover the expenses of your injury and suffering. Contact a St. Louis Miller & Hine lawyer today to set up a free consultation. Call us at (314) 413-2053 or contact us online.