Whether you are on a casual weekend ride or zooming along on your daily commute, cycling can be a great experience in the Louisville area. Regardless of the safety precautions you take as a cyclist, a collision with a vehicle can be disastrous. Bicycle accidents can range from minor scrapes and bruises to life-altering injuries or even death.
If you were injured while riding your bike, you need a bicycle accident attorney in Louisville who understands your rights and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. The experienced bicycle injury lawyers at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys strive to represent your best interest with compassion and empathy.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Several factors can contribute to causing a bicycle accident. It is the responsibility of both the cyclist and motorist to travel with due diligence.
Some common causes include:
- Failing to follow traffic or bicycle laws,
- Distracted bicycling or driving,
- Inexperienced drivers and bicyclists,
- Improper lane changes,
- Excessive speed,
- Biking or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
- Motorists driving too close to bicycles,
- Failing to yield the right of way, and
- Driving while fatigued or drowsy.
These mistakes can be made by either party, so it is essential to use caution while biking or driving. It is also important to prove which party was at fault.
Kentucky Comparative Negligence
The comparative negligence rule distributes fault according to each party’s role in the accident. A percentage of responsibility is assigned to each party. This impacts how much compensation the victim can receive.
The driver and their insurance company are going to do their best to assert that you caused the accident. This is one reason it is crucial to hire a bicycle accident attorney in Louisville who is willing to put the work in to prove that you were minimally or not at all responsible for the accident.
What to Do After You Are in a Louisville Bicycle Accident
After you are in a bicycle accident, one thing to remember is to avoid admitting or implying fault. It is common to say “I’m sorry” in these situations even if you did not cause the accident. It is often seen as polite, but it can be detrimental to your case in these circumstances. Any statement you make could be used against you when the defendant’s insurance company tries to claim that you caused the accident. Here are some additional steps to take.
Get to Safety
It is common for bicycle accidents to happen on the road. The sooner you can move to a safe location away from traffic, the better. If you are unable to move because of an injury, try to make yourself as visible as possible.
Receive Medical Attention
It is essential to seek medical attention even if you feel fine. Just because you were wearing a helmet does not mean you have avoided a concussion or other head injury. Sometimes injuries surface after the adrenaline has worn off.
Not only is getting immediate medical attention vital to your health, but it could also help your case by establishing the scope of your injuries. Receiving medical attention also serves as an indicator that an injury occurred at the time of the accident and wasn’t something that was an afterthought.
File a Report
Even if you think your accident was minor, you should call the authorities to get it on record. It is always a good idea to have an official report on file. The report should include details of the accident, such as location, damage, potential fault, names of parties, and names of witnesses.
Take Photos of the Scene
Photos are a great way to present evidence of what happened at the accident scene and your injuries. If you are able and can do so safely, take photos of your bicycle and where you were on the road when the accident occurred.
Driver and Witness Information
Even though the police report should contain the information of the other party involved, it is a good idea to have it as well. If there are witnesses, their statements may be helpful if there is a debate regarding what happened at the scene.
Track All Expenses
Keep a detailed record of all medical expenses sustained due to the accident. In some cases, your injuries may prevent you from returning to work. You may also be entitled to reimbursement of these wages. Don’t forget to include the cost of your bicycle or repairs to the bike if applicable.
Do Not Sign Anything
Kentucky is a no-fault state, so your initial filing for compensation will be with your own insurance company. From there, they may negotiate with you or you may choose to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident, depending on the amount and severity of your damages. The only people who genuinely have your best interest in mind will be you and your Louisville bicycle accident attorney.
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When Can You File a Lawsuit?
According to the Kentucky Department of Insurance, an accident victim can file a lawsuit if their injuries exceed $1,000 in medical expenses or include a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or death.
In some situations, it may be a better idea to negotiate with your insurance company to reach an agreeable settlement. A bicycle accident lawyer in Louisville will be able to calculate the value of your claim and negotiate on your behalf so that you get the compensation you deserve.
Hiring a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Louisville
We are committed to providing quality representation for our cyclist community. Our firm even takes an active role in promoting bicycle safety with our Gerling Law Great Helmet Giveaway. If you or your loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, consider legal representation from an experienced Louisville bicycle accident attorney.
All too often, victims accept low settlements because they don’t understand their rights. Let the team at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys take care of the legal strategy so that you can focus on healing. (888) 437-5464 for your free case review.
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