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Bicycles are a fantastic mode of transportation here in the great state of Minnesota. Thanks to increasing regulations on emissions, many of us are turning to alternative modes of transportation, like biking, and paving the way to a greener tomorrow. Unfortunately, drivers are not always as careful as they should be when sharing the road with bikers. In addition, studies show that automobile drivers routinely fail to see bicyclists because they are visually not expecting them on the roadways.
The number of bicycle accidents has risen recently; according to data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration, cyclist injuries have increased by 16% since 2008. The Minnesota Department of Safety also noted that 10% of all traffic fatalities were bicyclists. Even if you’re a vigilant biker who follows the rules of the road, you can only do so much to protect yourself. If you’re a bicyclist, you can be at the mercy of other drivers on the road, which can lead to tragic consequences.
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident and another vehicle was involved, your injuries will probably be extensive. Thus, the police usually won’t come to see you for a statement until you’re already in the hospital. You may be woozy, lightheaded, and unable to think clearly because of the medications you’re on. By the time a police officer comes to see you, he or she has likely spoken with the driver of the vehicle. Unfortunately, police officers are like most of us in that they’re privy to what psychologists call “confirmation bias.” Our experience over the years is that there appears to be a bias against bicyclists in accident investigations. While bicyclists have basically the same rights on the roadway as automobiles, many folks do not believe this to be true.
When an accident occurs, instead of conducting a thorough investigation into your version of events, an investigator may assume the bicyclist is at fault. Another thing that makes these investigations so complex is the fact that cyclists are expected to exercise reasonable care and follow the same rules of the road that drivers do. There are some cases, though, where riding against traffic is unavoidable.
Consider the following scenario: Bob was riding his bike in town with the intent of going to the grocery store across the street. He crossed at a crosswalk, forcing him to ride against traffic for a short time to reach his destination. A driver making a right on red failed to look both directions and turned into Bob, knocking him off his bike and injuring him. While the police may find Bob at fault for riding against traffic, the driver may be at fault for being unaware of his or her surroundings and failing to keep a proper lookout.
Bicycle cases can be complicated. Some law offices do not take on bicycle cases because they can become so convoluted. But at Knutson & Casey, we understand bicycle rights (we have bike riders at our office!) and we believe you should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. We’re committed to protecting your best interests, so contact us for a free case evaluation. We’ll review your circumstances objectively and can let you know if you may be able to pursue compensation.
In an accident, bicyclists are at a much greater risk of injury than motor vehicles, so it is important to understand how these accidents are caused. Keep in mind that a bicycle accident can happen to even the most careful bicyclist. The majority of these accidents result from the negligence of the vehicle operator. Following are some common driving behaviors that cause bike accidents:
If you have been injured in a Mankato bike accident, Knutson & Casey may be able to help with your case. We can assist you in evaluating your claim and fighting for justice on your behalf. Our injured clients have often experienced similar situations and are living proof that despite a severe injury, one can still live a fulfilling life through proper compensation and recovery.
We highly recommend that you wear a helmet to avoid head injuries and brain trauma. Bright reflective clothing is helpful, and many bike jerseys are made with bright colors and reflective paint for this very reason. A blinking light on the back of the bicycle helps as well. These are inexpensive nowadays, and often rechargeable. Be on the lookout for vehicles with drivers who are distracted or on their mobile devices. Following traffic laws are some of the most important safety tips for bicyclists in Mankato. Do not drive on the wrong (left) side of the road if possible. Many bikers think that it is better to be on the left side, so that they can see oncoming traffic. The problem is that drivers entering the road ahead of you by turning right are not looking toward you, but away from you (to their left where traffic would be coming) as they enter. They can enter your roadway and strike you head-on, without ever looking your way. You can also reduce your risk of a crash by making sure all parts of your bike work properly and are well-maintained.
Despite these safety measures, accidents and injuries may still occur, particularly if the accident happens because of another driver’s negligence. Bicycling accidents can result in mild to severe injuries, and severe accidents may permanently injure or disable the victim.
Bicycle accidents can result in the following injuries:
Bike accidents can become huge financial burdens, especially with injuries requiring medical attention. If you suffer injuries to your head, break bones, or experience any other dire consequence of a collision, you may need emergency medical care. Whether or not you have insurance, many people encounter difficulty paying for medical expenses when they occur—let alone bike repairs, repairs to another vehicle, and therapy for psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or other mental disorders.
In Minnesota, injured bicyclists have the same rights as people driving passenger vehicles. The state of Minnesota follows the no-fault system, so your own auto insurance will be responsible for paying for your medical costs regardless of who caused the accident.
Whether you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in the city or a rural area, our experienced legal team can help you secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Being involved in a bike accident can lead to orthopedic, head, and neck afflictions that can affect you for the rest of your life. Don’t let another driver get away with negligence. You can count on Knutson & Casey’s years of collective experience and resources for effective representation of your case.
Hire a law firm with a reputation for diligently protecting its clients’ rights. If you’d like to schedule a no-obligation initial consultation, contact our office today by calling (507) 344-8888 for more information.
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