Many of us ride bicycles for recreation or exercise. We also ride our bikes to get to school or work. Motorists are expected to share the streets and roads with cyclists, but the sad reality is that some drivers operate their vehicles in a careless or reckless manner. This can lead to severe injuries for bicyclists. All too often, riders hit by motorists suffer life-altering, potentially fatal injuries.
When a motorist’s carelessness causes a bicycle accident, the motorist deserves to be held accountable for the bicyclist’s injuries and damages.
The costs of being injured in a bicycle accident can be staggering. Those costs make pursuing a bicycle accident claim even more critical. You need dedicated, knowledgeable legal representation on your side to have the best chance at securing the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law.
How Our St. Charles Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you were injured in a bicycle accident in St. Charles through no fault of your own, the Law Office of Andrew S. Martin, LLC, can help you effectively pursue your injury claim. Our St. Charles bicycle accident lawyer can help. Our law firm will:
Investigate your accidentand secure critical evidence to prove your claim. That evidence includes the police accident report, accident scene photos, dashcam or surveillance video, and eyewitness statements.
Keep records to calculate your damages. We will collect medical bills, invoices for other out-of-pocket expenses, payment records and income statements. We will also get testimony from yourself and family and friends to establish your pain and suffering and lost quality of life.
Work with expert witnesses such as engineering and traffic experts. We will develop accident reconstruction reports. Our medical experts will examine how your injuries will affect your life. Our financial experts will explain your lost earning capacity.
Aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to get you the full and fair compensation you deserve. We may obtain uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits from your own insurance company, if applicable.
Prepare to take your case to trial, if necessary. We will build a strong, persuasive legal case. We will vigorously advocate on your behalf before the jury or judge to get a verdict in your favor.
Pursuing Fair Compensation for Bike Accident Victims
After you’ve been involved in a bike accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. A bicycle accident victim may be entitled to pursue compensation for damages such as:
Past and future medical expenses
Lost wages from missed work
Lost earning capacity if you cannot return to work
Lost quality of life due to disabilities or disfigurement
Pain and suffering
You may also be entitled to pursue compensation for property damage if your bicycle or other property was damaged or destroyed in the accident.
Time Limits for Filing a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in Missouri
If you believe you have a claim for a bicycle accident in Missouri, you have a limited period of time to file a lawsuit for compensation. Under Missouri law, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is five years from the date of your bicycle accident.
Under limited circumstances, you may be able to pause, or “toll,” the statute of limitations. For example, consider the statute of limitations for a minor child injured in a bicycle accident. That limitations period does not begin to run until the child turns 18.
Keep in mind if you file your bicycle accident lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the court can permanently dismiss your lawsuit.
If you were a bicycle rider who was injured by a government vehicle, you must also provide the government with notice of your bicycle accident claim. The notice deadlines are much stricter than the statute of limitations.
If you were a bicycle rider who was injured due to a dangerous roadway or intersection, you may need to provide notice to the local government.In some cases, the notice period can be as short as ninety days for claims against county or municipal governments and agencies. If you do not provide timely notice or obtain leave to file a late notice, your claim for compensation can be denied.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Bicycle Accident
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you can protect your rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. Take these steps after your accident:
Contact 911 or police. Call 911 if you or someone else involved in the accident was injured. If no one was hurt, call the police department anyway to have an officer come to the scene and prepare an accident report. Police accident reports are often critical evidence in bicycle accident claims. They set out the officer’s factual findings and may include the officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault for the accident.
Get contact and insurance information for the drivers involved in the accident. You will need this information to later make a claim for compensation.
Take photos or videos of the accident scene. If possible, document the accident scene as soon as possible after the accident. Include the positions of vehicles after the accident and any damage to the vehicles. Also photograph any skid marks on the road, the traffic controls at the scene, and the weather, lighting, traffic and road conditions.
Seek medical treatment. The shock of being in a bicycle accident can release adrenaline and endorphins that mask the pain of injuries sustained in the accident. You may not realize that you were injured for hours or even days or weeks following your accident. However, your doctor or a medical provider may be able to identify any injuries. Follow the treatment instructions and recommendations. Failing to do so may allow the driver of the vehicle to claim that you were not as seriously injured as you allege.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
Because bicycle riders lack any protection in an accident beyond a helmet, riders tend to suffer severe injuries in bicycle accidents, particularly in accidents involving another vehicle. Injuries commonly suffered in bicycle accidents in St. Charles and Missouri include:
Road rash, or skin abrasions and lacerations caused when a rider contacts the pavement
Soft-tissue injuries, including strains and tears of muscles, tendons, and ligaments
Neck and back injuries, including spinal disc injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
Traumatic brain injuries
Bicycle accident injuries frequently lead to long-lasting or lifelong effects for injured riders. When an accident is especially catastrophic, a bicycle rider’s injuries can be fatal.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
Although bicycle accident can happen because of external factors such as the weather or road conditions, many bicycle accidents are caused by the error and negligence of other motorists. Common causes of bike accidents in Missouri include:
Opening vehicle doors in front on oncoming bicyclists
Failing to give a bicycle enough room when passing
Following a bicycle too closely
Failing to yield to a bicycle on left and right turns
Failure to check side mirrors and blind spots
Failure to signal a turn or lane change
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Running stop signs or red lights
Failing to follow traffic signs or traffic control devices
Talk to a Missouri Bicycle Accident Attorney Now
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident in St. Charles or elsewhere in Missouri, don’t wait one more day. Start the process today of pursuing the financial compensation you need and deserve for your physical and emotional recovery.