Cycling is a wonderful way to get around St. Louis and other urban areas in Missouri. Unfortunately, riding in these cities can be dangerous, and to make things worse, the litigation that typically follows can be incredibly complicated. Cycling accidents are an unusual area of personal injury law.
The Challenges of Bike Accident Litigation in Missouri
A typical accident scenario involves a vehicle cutting in front of a cyclist, either by making a right turn without checking in the bike lane or by dangerously crossing the intersection. In both situations, these elements may affect your case:
- Speeding, drunk driving, and other criminal actions. When motorists break the law, there is a higher risk of collisions. And when a bike is involved, the aftermath can be fatal. However, cyclists must also carefully follow the rules of the road; they’re entitled to the same rights as motorists, but they have the same responsibilities as well. For example, they must come to a full stop at red lights and stay under the speed limit at all times. If a cyclist fails to yield and is struck, he or she may be blamed entirely for the accident.
- Negligence. Broken laws point to negligence, but other factors may surface in your case. These could include distracted driving, dooring law violations, or a hit and run.
- Tunnel vision and bias. When responding to an accident, police may approach the driver of the vehicle first, especially if the cyclist is going to the hospital. The rest of the case may then unfold with the police trying to corroborate the driver’s claim against yours.
- This opens the door for innumerable biases, as police often develop tunnel vision and focus on the details they initially accept as correct. This can manifest as indicating the event was the cyclist’s fault, failing to collect or ignoring witness details, and overlooking important evidence.
The only way to ensure you’re represented fairly is to speak with a Kansas City personal injury attorney experienced in Missouri’s bike laws. A qualified expert can help you demonstrate the extent of your injuries, defend your rights as a cyclist, and fight for fair and complete compensation.
How to Respond Following a Bike Accident
Bike accidents often lead to life-altering consequences, and sadly, it’s easy to overlook important evidence or fail to demonstrate another party’s negligence. If you’re involved in or witness an accident, follow these steps:
- Call the police. All collisions must be reported, and the responding officer will submit a report that will affect any resulting disputes. Record the officer’s name and badge number; this will help your insurance company and the attorney.
- Speak with the motorist and anyone else involved in the accident. If a car struck you, record the license plate number and get the driver’s insurance information. Collect witness information as well, and encourage witnesses to stay and speak to the police.
- Go to the hospital. After collecting this information and after the police and driver leave, seriously consider a trip to the doctor. A regular checkup following a collision will help identify problems that may not be noticeable until days after the incident.
- Have your bike repaired after documenting the accident; the liable party should pay for this assessment and the subsequent repairs, and it can help a judge quantify the total damages that should be awarded.
- Make sure an experienced legal team in Missouri represents you.
Many cyclists injured in our state are entitled to a settlement that covers the extent of all property damage, medical bills, ongoing expenses (like physical therapy), and emotional pain and suffering. A lawyer can help you go over a potential case, including witness testimony and police records to build a solid claim and fight for your rights.
Contact the committed team at Dickerson Oxton, LLC to schedule a free consultation today.