Gillette Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Riding a bicycle should not feel like taking your life into your hands. It should get you out into nature and let you feel the wind against your face. But all too often, drivers ruin the experience by not obeying basic traffic laws designed to keep you and fellow bicyclists safe, or by not paying attention to the road.
If you or a loved one has been struck by a vehicle while riding your bicycle in Campbell County, you may deserve compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver. Call the Gillette car accident attorneys at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., today at (307) 224-7602 and let us investigate for you.
Whether you fall off your bike trying to avoid a road hazard or collide with a vehicle or another cyclist, bicycle accidents can be extremely dangerous. They often result in serious injury or even death. Bicycle accidents range in severity from strains, scrapes, and bruising to major injuries such as lacerations (cuts,) road rash, head injuries, and fractures.
If you are hurt in a bike accident, you should not attempt to move or ride your bicycle. Get to the side of the road where it’s safe and call 911 for assistance right away. Although an injury may not seem to be serious, symptoms can become more painful and apparent over time. Common bicycle injuries include:
Head and Brain Injuries: If you experience any type of head injury, it’s essential to seek medical attention right away. You could have a concussion and not even realize it at the time. Head injuries may include contusions (bruising), external bleeding, cranial hemorrhage, and skull fractures. In fact, head injuries are the leading cause of long-term disabilities when it comes to bicycle accidents. You may be suffering from a traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which can require extensive medical treatment and physical therapy.
Internal Injuries: One reason you want to see a doctor right away after a bicycle accident is because internal injuries such as bleeding are not always obvious. This could include organ damage such as a ruptured spleen, bowel contusions, or pancreatic trauma. Dizziness, confusion, shortness of breath, and fatigue can all be indicators of internal bleeding.
Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries: Injuries to the neck and spinal cord are very serious and they can even cause paralysis. With this type of injury, the victim should try not to move until they are immobilized by a trained first responder.
Broken Bones: This is a common bike accident injury. Swelling or pain when moving could be an indication of a fracture. A severe break involving your arms, legs, or other body part can result in long-lasting pain and disability in addition to the need for extensive physical therapy.
Bleeding: Use basic first aid and apply direct pressure to the wound in case of bleeding and seek medical assistance right away.
Loss of Limb: It is possible that injuries sustained in a bicycle injury could result in the loss of a limb, such as an arm, leg, foot, or hand. The medical treatment and rehabilitation in these cases is costly and time-consuming.
In general, cyclists in Wyoming have to follow the same traffic laws as drivers of other vehicles, but there are some specific rules for people on bicycles. Rules can change in different counties and cities, so you should check with your local police department or city hall for more information. In general, bicycle laws in Wyoming include:
- Bicycles on a roadway must remain as close to the right side of the road as possible.
- Bicycles are allowed on sidewalks under state law, but local laws can prohibit this, and you must yield to pedestrians.
- Bicycles are defined as vehicles, and they cannot be operated under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Bicycles must yield to pedestrians when appropriate, such as at crosswalks or when approaching a driveway.
In addition to laws for bicyclists, there are also Wyoming regulations that drivers must follow to keep cyclists safe. These include:
- Drivers must maintain a distance of at least 3 feet when passing a bicycle going in the same direction.
- Drivers must check for cyclists and pedestrians before opening a door when parked along a roadway, and cannot leave doors open for extended periods of time.
- Drivers have to recognize bicycles as vehicles and share the road with them.
Bicycle accidents can be caused by a road hazard such as a pothole, loose gravel, or a slippery conditions, and they can also happen when the rider swerves to avoid a pedestrian or another cyclist. In many cases, these accidents are caused by the carelessness of a motor vehicle driver. Drivers are frequently negligent when it comes to noticing cyclists or giving you the operating space you deserve. Here are some of the most common types of bicycle accidents that result from careless drivers:
Failure to yield: When an automobile driver fails to give another vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist enough room when the other person has the right of way. This can include running a red light, failure to give way for flashing red or yellow lights, or neglecting to provide the other party with room to operate when two roads merge.
The Right Hook: This occurs when a motorist completely ignores a bicyclist who is traveling in the same direction and cuts you off by crossing directly into your path.
The Left Cross: This happens when a driver collides with a bicyclist who is traveling in the other direction at an intersection. As the bicyclist is clearly in the driver’s field of vision, it is the driver’s responsibility to notice the bicyclist and avoid them.
Accidents from behind: Many accidents occur when the motor vehicle is traveling in the same direction as the bicyclist. The bicyclist has a responsibility to stay on the righthand side of the road, but these accidents are often caused by the driver’s failure to even see the bicycle.
Since Wyoming is a modified comparative fault state, anything you do to contribute to an accident can decrease the amount of money you get awarded in a lawsuit. That is why it is important to practice safe habits whenever you are riding a bike.
Safe bicycle practices include:
- Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, even when not required by law. Wearing a helmet can greatly reduce your chances of suffering brain damage in an accident.
- Check the pressure in your tires, check your brakes, and make sure the chain is not loose or otherwise faulty.
- Obey traffic laws in general, especially laws for cyclists.
- Make sure you are visible when riding your bike in the evening, early morning, or at night. Add reflectors to your bike and consider wearing a light so you’re un-missable.
- Maintain control of your bike at all times by keeping both hands on the handlebars and feet on the pedals. If you need to react to an emergency or sudden danger, you don’t want to be scrambling to grab the handlebars.
Still, even if you weren’t being the "safest bicyclist ever," that doesn’t mean drivers get to hit you. If you were less than 50% at fault for the accident, there’s a good chance of getting the money you deserve, but you have to file the claim and ask for it.
Bicyclists frequently suffer serious injuries in accidents resulting from another person’s negligence. Under Wyoming law, you have every right to seek appropriate compensation to cover your medical expenses and other damages that incur, including physical therapy costs and loss of income. Unfortunately, insurance companies can be very stingy when it comes to giving you the money you deserve.
You need someone who has your best interests at heart. We know how to determine the total cost of treatment and other expenses because we have extensive experience handling these types of cases. We’ll get you the best possible settlement, and if that means confronting the insurance companies in court, we aren’t afraid to do it.
If you were struck by a motorist while on your bicycle, we can investigate your accident and figure out if you deserve big compensation for your injuries and the damage to your bike. We are available 24/7 to our clients, so you’ll have our support throughout your case. Call a Gillette bike accident lawyer at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. at (307) 224-7602 today to get started with a free case strategy session.
- Gillette Mountain Biking Tips
- Wyoming's Bicycle/Pedestrian Program - WYDOT
- Bicycle Safety - CDC
- Bicycle Safety - MedlinePlus
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