Bicycle riding has grown in popularity in Kentucky with more people riding for recreation and transportation. But not all motorists respect the rights of bicyclists to ride on the road. Some motorists don’t remain alert for cyclists or violate bicyclists’ rights to the road and cause preventable accidents.
If you have been struck by a car while riding a bicycle in Kentucky, you may have a right to seek compensation from the motorist who injured you. You may be due compensation for your medical bills and loss of income if your injuries prevent you from working. If you believe that a motorist caused your bicycle accident, let a bicycle injury attorney at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer review the accident and discuss your legal options.
Dealing with an uncooperative insurance company after a serious bike accident can be an exercise in frustration. The quickest way to learn about your legal options is to have a no-obligation consultation with a bike injury attorney at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer. Call us today at (877) 809-5352 to schedule a free consultation.
Our attorneys provide the Kentucky Courage to stand up for your rights after a serious injury.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Kentucky traffic laws give bicyclists in the Bluegrass State all the rights and responsibilities granted to drivers of any vehicle. Motorists are supposed to respect the rights of cyclists to be on the road.
Bicyclists are required to obey all traffic signs and signals and ride on the right side with the flow of traffic. Bicyclists are required by law to use hand signals or signal lamps to communicate turns to other motorists.
Many bicycle accidents happen because motorists are not expecting to see bicycles. Bicycles are smaller and more narrow than other vehicles on the road. Drivers often fail to see bicycles when scanning the roads and intersections for traffic. An inattentive driver may hit a bicycle when approaching from behind or turning in front of a bicycle and cause a collision.
Bicyclists are required to ride as close as practical to the right edge of the road. Motorists often cause bicycle accidents by trying to pass slower-moving bicycles when there is not adequate space. A car may sideswipe a bicyclist or force the rider off the road. A recently passed Kentucky law requires drivers to keep their vehicles at least three feet away from bicyclists when attempting to pass. Kentucky law allows motorists to cross a double yellow line in order to pass a bicycle if there is enough visibility to do so safely.
A motorist may pass a bicyclist, then slow to turn right and cut off the bicyclist who is approaching from behind, causing a crash.
Loose gravel, potholes or broken pavement may cause a bicycle accident. A cyclist may swerve to avoid a pothole and be struck by a motorist who is not paying adequate attention.
A person in a parked car may open the door without looking for approaching vehicles and strike a bicyclist who is passing the vehicle. Referred to as a door accident, these accidents occur more often in urban areas where cars are parallel parked along the road. Bicyclists may suffer serious injuries if struck by a car door.
Common Bicycle Injuries After an Accident
Most serious injuries and fatal injuries suffered by bicyclists occur in collisions with motor vehicles.
Bicyclists are more vulnerable to injuries in car collisions than motorists because bicycles do not have enclosed passenger compartments or other safety features.
Superficial soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal injuries are the most common types of injuries. A bicyclist who is thrown off a bicycle may suffer scrapes, cuts and facial contusions from impact with the pavement.
Broken bones including broken arms, broken elbows, broken wrists and broken collar bones are common injuries in bicycle accidents.
Bicyclists have little protection, especially if the rider is not wearing a bicycle helmet. A cyclist who collides with a motor vehicle may hit his head on the pavement or against the car and sustain facial injuries or a traumatic brain injury.
Cyclists who are not wearing helmets are more likely to suffer serious head injuries and neurological damage in crashes. Head injuries cause the most long-term disabilities for cyclists.
If you have sustained a serious injury in a Kentucky bicycle accident, you need a dedicated bicycle injury lawyer who will determine the present and future costs of your injury and seek full compensation to help you cover those costs and adapt your life as needed.
Bicycle Crash Statistics & How to Decrease Your Risk of an Accident
The League of American Cyclists ranks Kentucky among the least friendly states for bicyclists based on a lack of policies and programs to support safe cycling and provide infrastructure.
Bicyclist accidents have increased, according to the most recent traffic statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Nationwide, more than 850 bicyclists died in traffic accidents in 2018, a 6.3 percent increase compared to the previous year. Thousands of bicyclists were hospitalized for treatment of injuries.
What to Do If You Are in a Bicycle Accident
The two most important steps are to report the bicycle accident and seek medical treatment. You should call 911 to report the crash and wait for a law enforcement officer to respond. You should request an ambulance if you or anyone else needs urgent medical care.
If you are able, you should get the name, driver registration and insurance information of the motorist involved the accident. If the driver refuses to cooperate, wait for the police officer to arrive and gather the information.
After a bicycle accident involving a car, it is important to go to the doctor and receive medical care as soon as possible.
You should seek medical attention even if you do not require emergency treatment. A trained medical provider may recognize symptoms of a concussion or other internal injuries that are not apparent to you.
The doctor’s report will document the extent of your injuries and how they occurred. The medical report will be important evidence if you need to file an injury claim later.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Cyclists
Bicyclists are treated as pedestrians under Kentucky’s No Fault insurance laws for the purposes of receiving compensation for medical care, medications and loss of wages after an accident.
The no fault insurance of the motorist involved in the bicycle accident provides up to $10,000 in coverage to the injured bicyclist, regardless of who was at fault.
If the injured bicyclist’s medical bills and losses exceed the limits of the no fault policy, the bicyclist may have a right to sue the at-fault motorist and the insurance company and demand full compensation for pain and suffering and other losses.
Our bicycle accident lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer have the Kentucky Courage to stand up strong when insurers refuse to do what is right. We are ready to hold the insurance company accountable for the full costs of your bicycle accident injuries.
Bicycle Accidents and Children
Bicycle accidents are a leading cause of head injuries to children ages 5 to 14 in Kentucky. Many injuries could be avoided if the child was wearing a helmet.
The Kentucky Medical Association has urged that lawmakers pass a law requiring that children ages 17 and younger wear bicycle helmets when riding.
If your child was injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may have a right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party on your child’s behalf.
Our child injury attorneys can evaluate the contributing factors to the bicycle accident and explain your legal options during a free consultation.
Who can be held liable in a bicycle accident?
Determining who is legally liable for a cyclist’s injuries in a bicycle accident is one of the primary reasons to seek the help of a qualified bicycle accident lawyer. The driver of a car that hit the bicycle may be liable or there may be multiple parties partly at fault.
A knowledgeable bike crash lawyer will investigate to determine who is at fault and identify the insurance policies available to provide compensation to the injured cyclist. The insurance company defending the motorist is likely to try to blame the cyclist to avoid liability.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, it takes Kentucky Courage to fight for fair compensation when an insurance company seeks to dismiss or discount your claim. You don’t have to fight by yourself. The bicycle accident attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer are here to stand up for you. We want to help you pursue the maximum financial recovery available by Kentucky law, just as we have helped many Kentuckians who were struggling to overcome serious injuries.
Call us at (877) 809-5352 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation to speak with one of our experienced bike injury attorneys and to learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing monetary compensation.