If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a bicycle accident in the Quad Cities, it may feel like your whole world has been turned upside down. You may be suffering from debilitating injuries, missing out on much-needed income, and struggling to pay your medical bills and other expenses.
When a bike accident is caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver, injured victims may be entitled to considerable compensation for their financial losses in addition to their pain and suffering. Read on to find out how you can secure a fair settlement with the help of the Quad Cities bicycle accident attorneys at Winstein, Kavensky, & Cunningham.
Determining Liability in Bicycle Injury Cases
In order to file an accident claim or a lawsuit, you or your personal injury attorney must first determine who (or in some cases, whom) is responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. When it comes to bicycle accidents, there are several parties who may be held liable.
Most commonly, drivers of motor vehicles are found to be at fault for injuring a cyclist. This is often the case in car accidents or motorcycle accidents involving a bicyclist. However, just because these vehicles are bigger than bicycles doesn’t mean they’re automatically at fault. To obtain compensation, you’ll need to prove that the driver or motorcyclist violated traffic laws or otherwise acted negligently leading up to the accident. Common accidents for which the driver is found to be at fault include:
- Left-turn accidents. Drivers who are turning left at an intersection do not see a cyclist who is riding straight through an intersection or misjudge their distance and fail to yield the right of way.
- Right-turn accidents. Drivers who are turning right at an intersection don’t see or cut off a cyclist riding straight through the intersection in the same direction. Although these accidents generally occur at slower speeds, cyclists have a smaller chance of seeing the approaching vehicle behind them and less time to get out of the way.
- Right hook accidents. This type of accident occurs when a motorist tries to pass a bicyclist and cuts into their designated lane, either striking the rider or causing the rider to hit their vehicle. This often occurs when motorists don’t use their signals when changing lanes.
- Rear-end accidents. Bicyclists are particularly prone to being rear-ended by other drivers, especially when driving on a road that curves. When motorists don’t give cyclists enough following distance or don’t respect bike lanes, cyclists often pay the price.
- Car door accidents. Someone riding a bicycle may “get doored” when a motorist opens the door to their parked car directly in the pathway of a cyclist. The cyclist may slam into the door or suffer an accident while swerving to avoid hitting the door. Either way, this common bike accident can result in serious injuries and even wrongful death.
Sometimes, a bicycle accident may be directly caused by a defective product. For example, if your brakes unexpectedly fail while riding and this causes you to be struck by a vehicle or run into a fixed object, the bicycle’s manufacturer may be held responsible for your injuries in a product liability case. This may apply to bike parts as well as bike gear, such as a manufacturing defect in a helmet that results in catastrophic injuries.
The criteria to qualify for a defective product case is more stringent, so you’ll want to consult with Quad Cities bicycle accident attorneys before proceeding with this kind of lawsuit. For example, if your brakes failed because you were riding your bicycle in a reckless manner or you failed to perform proper bike maintenance, your case would likely be unsuccessful.
Less commonly, full or partial liability for a bike accident may fall on local governments. If you suffer a bike injury in the city of Bettendorf, Davenport, Rock Island, Moline, or East Moline caused by hazardous road conditions, local city councils or county governments may be responsible for your expenses. Examples of accidents for which governments may be at fault include:
- Poorly-maintained roads
- Lack of proper warning of road hazards
- Failure to provide enough space for cyclists
- Failure to enforce traffic safety laws
How Our Quad Cities Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
Not all bicycle accidents necessarily require the help of a personal injury attorney. If there’s no question as to who caused the accident and there’s little to no property damage or only minor physical injuries, you may be able to handle the accident claim process on your own with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
However, if it’s unclear who is really at fault, serious injuries are involved, or the insurance company tries to deny your claim, consulting a Quad Cities bicycle accident attorney can be instrumental in getting you fair, adequate compensation.
Contact WKC Law Firm Today
Have you or a loved one been injured in a bicycle accident in the Quad Cities? If so, legal help is just one phone call away. Our law office located in Rock Island, Illinois serves all of the Quad Cities in Iowa and Illinois.
Call us at (309) 794-1515 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation with one of our Quad Cities bicycle accident attorneys. We’ll carefully review the details of your case and explain all your legal options after an accident at no charge.
Our legal team is also available for home and hospital visits, in addition to evening and weekend appointments. In addition, should you decide to use our services, you won’t pay us any fees unless we obtain a financial recovery on your behalf. Contact us today!