You may often opt to ride your bike in Las Vegas as this mode of transportation is cheaper, quicker, and safer when traveling short distances. Additionally, riding your bicycle can be enjoyable, and it is one way of ensuring you remain fit. Unfortunately, this mode of transportation poses a high risk for you if you are involved in an accident. Unlike in a motor vehicle where its body will protect you, in a bicycle accident, you do not have the luxury of coverage. Your body is vulnerable as it will sustain fatal injuries during a bicycle accident. If you or your loved one is involved in a bicycle accident, you must ensure you are well compensated to continue with your life.
According to a study published by the Department of Transportation in Nevada, the state has experienced a decreasing number of cyclist deaths. This decrease is due to the state's steps to improve roads, especially in the city of Las Vegas. However, bicycle accidents are still rampant in Las Vegas despite measures taken by the state to enhance cyclist road safety.
When riding your bike in Las Vegas, you must understand Nevada traffic laws and watch out for drunk drivers and tourists unfamiliar with the local traffic laws. However, if you are involved in a bicycle accident, seeking the professional help of a car accident attorney for advice should be your priority. Our personal injury attorneys at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm will guide you on what to do after a bicycle accident.
Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents
Although cars and bikes contribute to most bicycle accidents in Las Vegas, motorists should observe and obey traffic laws. Most bike accidents occur at intersections as most motorists fail to give bikers the right of way.
Common Mistakes That Contribute to Bicycle Accidents
While on the roads, most motorists make the following mistakes which contribute significantly to the majority of bicycle accidents:
- Forgetting to check blind spots for cyclists before merging.
- Opening their parked vehicle doors without checking if there are bicyclists nearby.
- Failing to stop at pedestrian crossing points.
- Quickly pulling out of the parking lot without checking if the bicycle lane is clear.
- Not stopping at stop signs.
- Turning directly in front of bicyclists
- Driving closely to the cyclist and not observing Nevada's three-foot rule when passing them.
- Failing to give right of way.
In most cases, you will rarely be involved in a bicycle accident with other cyclists. Instead, you are a vulnerable target to vehicles on the roads. Some of the leading causes of bicycle accidents are due to drivers who are drunk, speeding, and distracted. Apart from motorists causing your bike accident, other factors that contribute are:
- Car collisions
- Colliding with roadside fixed objects.
- Running into stray animals.
- Using unclear bicycle paths and lanes.
- Poorly maintained bicycle lanes and paths.
If you do not observe Nevada's traffic laws, you can contribute to your accident as a cyclist. To ensure your safety, you should:
- Wear a helmet, even if the law does not require you to wear them. It will minimize the severity of head injury if you are in an accident.
- Signal other road users like pedestrians, drivers, and other bicyclists with your arms if possible.
- If you are riding at dawn or dusk, ensure that you have a white light in the front and a red light as the taillight of your bike. Ensure that both lights are visible; the front light should be visible at a distance of 500 feet, while the tail lights should be at a distance of 300 feet.
- Avoid carrying bulky or massive objects on your bike's handlebars as they may obstruct your view.
- Use the right side of the road while riding.
- Ensure you follow traffic laws.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Despite maintaining safety measures like wearing helmets and reflectors and having your lights on, it can still be difficult for motorists to see you, especially if you are riding at night or when the traffic is heavy. The high level of risk that cyclists face while riding makes it critical for you to remain vigilant while riding. Sometimes, an accident may be unavoidable despite taking safety measures. Some of these bicycle accidents include:
Motor Vehicle Making a Right-Hand Turn
This type of accident is prevalent in Las Vegas, and it occurs when you are hit by a vehicle while it is making a right-hand turn, and the driver fails to check bike lanes for riders before turning at an intersection. When the vehicle turns right, it might catch you off guard, causing you to crash on the vehicle. Such accidents can result in severe bodily injuries and property damage where your bike may be totaled.
Vehicle Making a Left-Hand Turn
Sometimes you can be hit by a vehicle that is taking a left-hand turn, but this type of accident is not very common in Las Vegas. This type of accident occurs when riding on the opposite side of a traffic flow. The driver, in this case, usually passes through the left side of the road but fails to see the oncoming bicycle. In this type of accident, you will most likely suffer head-on collision injuries as you will either crash when you try to swerve away to avoid the oncoming motor vehicle or run into the vehicle’s side.
When You are Rear-Ended
This type of bicycle accident is similar to a rear-ended car accident. In this case, the driver is usually distracted while driving and ends up hitting your bike. The driver’s distraction may come from texting as they drive, changing their radio station, or adjusting their GPS.
When You are Hit by a Packed Vehicle's Door While Riding on Bike Paths or Lanes
The door of a parked vehicle can hit you as you ride down a bicycle path. This type of accident is not very common, but you can still be a victim, and it occurs when the car’s occupant suddenly opens the car door hitting you as you ride in the bicycle lane. You then end up crashing into the car, sustaining some injuries.
You are most likely ejected from your bike in a motor vehicle accident. This ejection usually leads to severe bodily injuries, and you must seek medical attention immediately. Your priority should be your well-being and attend to other issues afterward. Though you may not notice any injuries or feel any pain immediately after the accident, ensure you seek medical evaluation as soon as possible. The high level of adrenalin may delay your body’s reaction to pain and only feel pain later, which may affect your compensation significantly.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
When you are involved in a bicycle accident, the experience can be traumatizing. The risk of suffering severe bodily injuries is high in bicycle accidents. Even after observing all safety requirements like wearing a helmet, you still risk suffering severe injuries after a bicycle accident. Therefore it is crucial to engage the services of a car accident attorney to defend you. Your lawyer will also help you if you do not have money or insurance to cater for your injuries. Some doctors can tend to your injuries and wait for payment. This arrangement can be advantageous, especially if you have to wait for compensation to cover medical expenses.
Some of the most common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Internal bleeding.
- Head injuries.
- Brain damage.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Broken bones.
- Road rash.
- Organ damage.
- Skull fracture.
- Ruptured discs.
- Cranial hemorrhage.
Actions to Take After a Bicycle Accident
Since bicycle accidents can result in severe bodily injuries, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you experience pain while breathing deeply, suffer a head injury, hit your stomach with handlebars, bleeding, or experience stomach tenderness, these are indications that you should seek medical assistance immediately. Also, if you suspect you have a neck or spine injury, you should not move but wait for professional medical help.
Sometimes your injuries may seem minor, and the only effect may be shock. You can still contact your attorney for guidance if this is your case. However, before contacting your attorney, you should do the following immediately after your bicycle accident.
Call 911 for Emergency Services
After a bike accident, calling 911 will ensure that an ambulance comes to the site, ensuring you receive prompt medical assistance. When you call for emergency services, the police will also come, allowing you to record your statement with them. You should remember to request the reporting officers to give you a copy of their report. You can use this report when making your claim later on.
Move to A Safe Place If You Can
After an accident, evaluate your injuries. If your injuries are minor, or if you are uninjured, move out of traffic to a safe place. By doing this, you will enable traffic to flow smoothly and, at the same time, prevent other accidents from occurring. However, if you experience severe dizziness, extreme pain, or paralysis, kindly refrain from moving and wait for medical assistance. Some of these symptoms show that you may have suffered spinal or brain injuries, and your attempts to move can worsen your condition.
Collect Relevant Information At The Accident Site
Collecting information like the driver’s contact, vehicle registration, driver's license, and identification is crucial. If you cannot collect this information, you can ask someone else to assist you. If you realize that the driver is unwilling to provide this information, do not press them for it; instead, note down their vehicle’s number plate.
Who Is At Fault for a Bicycle Accident in Nevada?
In Nevada, the person who causes the accident pays as it is a fault state. If it is a no-fault state, you would have to pay for your medication or cater for your injuries and seek compensation from your insurance provider, even when you are not responsible for the accident. After an accident, your attorneys must determine who was at fault for your accident.
Regarding bike accidents, there can be several liable parties, depending on the facts surrounding the crash. Your attorney can sue the following parties for your bicycle accident in Nevada:
- The party that is responsible for the accident by not following traffic rules.
- Your bike manufacturer if your bike is defective.
- The vehicle manufacturer.
- The city or the local government.
Partial Liability in A Bicycle Accident
Nevada follows comparative negligence laws, which means you will be eligible to receive compensation if the party responsible is at least 50% at fault. The defendant may blame you for your accident. But you do not have to worry even if you were partially at fault for your accident as you can still recover compensation.
For example, if you are riding down the street without your helmet when Sandy crashes into you. The crash's impact may result in tooth loss or a cracked skull. During the trial, Sandy's lawyer may argue that you sustained your injuries because you did not have your helmet on.
The jury may find that you were 40% to blame for your injuries since you were not wearing a helmet. But Sandy is also 60% to blame, so the court can ask her to pay you for the damages.
In this case, you will receive 60% in damages, as the 40% you are responsible for will not be paid. The court will ensure you receive compensation that is proportional to your fault.
Filing a Bicycle Lawsuit in Nevada
After your bicycle crash, you should seek medical assistance even if you feel alright. Injuries may appear later, but your doctor will take care of them when you seek their help early with proper medical attention. With the help of an attorney, you will be in a better position to take legal actions against the responsible person or party. Your lawyers can negotiate your case with the party responsible for your accident without trial.
After a bicycle accident, your lawyer will help to receive compensation for your injuries and property loss, among others. In most cases, your attorney may agree with the other party without trial. If you are dissatisfied with the amount the at-fault party is willing to pay, you can always go on trial. Let your attorney handle the negotiations as they have your best interest at heart. If your lawyers can not come into an agreement with the other parties, they can decide to take the case to court. Your attorney will require the following evidence in court:
- Medical records.
- Video surveillance footage of the accident site.
- Photos of the accident site.
- Police reports.
- Eyewitness accounts.
- Experts testimony.
- The at-fault driver's confession if it is available.
- Weather reports
Damages That You Can Recover After a Bicycle Accident
After the negotiations, you may be in a position to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses.
- Physical Pain and suffering.
- Loss of future earning capability.
- Property damages.
- Loss of income.
- Funeral expenses.
- Bicycle repairs.
- Bike replacement.
It is your attorney's responsibility to prove that the at-fault driver's actions led to your injuries. For a civil lawsuit, proving that the other party's actions led to your injuries is more effortless than proving beyond a reasonable doubt required in a criminal lawsuit. Your lawyers will continue negotiating with the other parties even during the trial. Sometimes the fault party may opt to settle if they think the trial will not favor them.
You can also decide to sue the parties liable for punitive damages, which will ensure you obtain higher compensation. Punitive damages ensure that the law punishes the at-fault driver for their reckless and negligent behavior on the road. The court orders harsher penalties for punitive damages to curb reckless road behavior.
What to File a Lawsuit For After a Bicycle Accident
When filing a lawsuit against the parties responsible for your accident, your attorney will guide you to file an appropriate lawsuit with a high chance of succeeding against them. You can sue them for:
With the help of your attorney, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, for this lawsuit to be successful, you will have to prove that the person responsible or the defendant, in this case, was negligent in their actions. To achieve this, you will show the court that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- The defendant did not honor their duty of care towards you.
- When the defendant breached their duty of care, it resulted in your crash.
You should note that you can also be at fault for your bicycle accident. For instance, if you are not paying attention to the road as you ride your bike, you may cause a collision with the defendant, which can result in your injuries. In this case, the jury will determine your level of fault in the accident and ensure that the defendant only pays you for their part in the accident.
Negligence Per Se
Sometimes, you can sue other parties not at the scene of your bicycle accident. For example, Dan has a drunk son and allows him to drive their family car. You can file a lawsuit against Dan for allowing his son to drive while intoxicated under negligence per se. For this lawsuit to be successful in Nevada, you will need to prove that:
- The defendant had an obligation to follow Nevada's laws.
- The law aims at protecting you and other people.
- The defendant failed to follow the law, leading to your bicycle accident.
In Las Vegas, all drivers and bikers must obey traffic laws as this will help protect other road users. For instance, if you cause an accident by driving while;e under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or you were speeding, you could face a negligence per se lawsuit.
If you decide to take a lawsuit against a manufacturer for a defective bicycle or vehicle, you will have to show that:
- Your bicycle or the vehicle involved in the accident was defective. The defect was brought about by its faulty design or issue in the manufacturing.
- Your injuries resulted from the bicycle's or the vehicle's defect.
Sometimes your attorney can investigate if your bike may be defective, especially if you are in a solo bicycle crash. In most of these solo bicycle accidents, you will have to rely on product liability to make your claim.
Bicycle accidents can sometimes be fatal, especially when the crash is with a truck or large vehicle. If the accident led to a death of a loved one, then their family or estate can file a wrongful death claim. For this claim to succeed in court, you will have to prove that:
- The bicycle accident victim died.
- The death of your loved one was due to the defendant's negligent or reckless actions.
- You are the victim's representative or heir.
- You suffered financial loss due to the wrongful death of the bike accident victim.
Statute of Limitation in Nevada
The statute of limitation in Nevada gives you up to two years from the time of the bike accident to file a personal injury claim. However, there are exceptions to this statute of limitation. Also, you can file a personal injury claim with the years from the time you realize you were injured.
After a bicycle accident, you should consult your lawyer, as this will help start the legal procedure for your case. If you let time pass, your chances of receiving adequate compensation lowers. You should still talk with your attorney as they may find a way to file a lawsuit and ensure you still receive payment.
Contact An Experienced Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Near Me
A bicycle accident can be a traumatic experience, and you will need to concentrate on your health first. Seeking the assistance of an experienced lawyer will be of great help. An attorney will guide you, represent you and deal with insurance agents simultaneously. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to concentrate on rebuilding your life after the accident.
The tricky part is determining who you hire as your attorney. If this is your case, you do not have to worry, as the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm is the place to start. Our attorneys understand Nevada traffic laws' intricacies and will represent you well. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call us at 702-576-0010, and our lawyers will answer them.