Auburn Bicycle Accident Law Firm
Bicycling is an environmentally friendly and healthy way to get around, one that should be more widely encouraged as city streets get more and more congested. However, in Auburn, Alabama, the roads simply aren’t always safe for bicyclists. Faced with impatient drivers, drivers who do not understand the rules of the road, and those who are too distracted to drive safely, cyclists often pay the biggest price when an accident occurs.
Have you been injured in a bicycle accident? If you have, you deserve a dedicated personal injury attorney who is committed to getting you the compensation you are owed. To discuss your case now, call Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short at 334-821-3892.
The Dangers You Face as a Bicyclist
Bicyclists should have the same rights as drivers on the road, but there are few drivers who understand that. Drivers often incorrectly estimate a bicyclist’s speed, causing them to either turn in front of bicyclists at the wrong time or try to rush past bicyclists and cause a crash.
Similarly, Auburn drivers also underestimate how much space they should leave between themselves and bicyclists. When passing bicyclists on the road, drivers often fail to switch lanes or move over to leave room. This is both frightening to cyclists and dangerous since it increases the risk of a collision. When following bicyclists, drivers tend to get impatient and drive too close to a cyclist, causing them to get distracted and frightened. These situations all lay the groundwork for a bicycle accident.
Perhaps the main reason that bicycle accidents are so serious is the lack of protection. Drivers are surrounded by protection on all sides, and even if they are in an accident, they have a good chance of coming out unscathed. Bicyclists rely primarily on their own safe cycling practices and helmets to protect them. If a collision occurs, bicyclists are far more likely to sustain severe or fatal injuries than drivers.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
While bicycle accidents can be caused by the cyclist, the driver, or another party, liability often lies with drivers. Investigations into bike accidents uncover the root causes of crashes, which often include:
- Wind drafts caused by drivers passing bicyclists too closely. When drivers do not move over when passing bicyclists, they cause wind drafts that can push bicyclists into sidewalks, parked cars, or other obstacles. These drafts can also cause bicyclists to lose their balance and fall off their bicycle, making it more likely that they will be struck by another car.
- Distracted driving. Distracted drivers are a huge danger to everyone, and they cause a substantial amount of bike accidents. Drivers may believe they have a clear road ahead, look down to check their phone, and drift out of their lane and hit a bicyclist.
- Hit and run. Since a collision with a bicyclist may feel more like a minor thud than an actual crash to a distracted driver, the risk of a hit and run accident is high. When this happens, bicyclists are left without any way to get medical help and without a chance to seek compensation for the driver’s actions.
- Poorly marked shoulder lanes. Shoulder lanes and bicycle lanes may be poorly marked, leading drivers to believe that it is simply an extension of the right lane. Bicyclists using the lane as intended are then in serious danger of being hit by drivers who are unaware that they are driving in a bicycle lane.
- Improper use of designated bicycle lane. Even when the bicycle lane is clearly marked, there are drivers who either ignore it or willfully misuse it. This is a particularly significant problem in big cities, where impatient drivers may try to “skip the line” by coasting along in the bicycle lane. When they encounter a bicyclist, they are often moving too fast to stop in time.
- Failure to yield when making a left turn. Left turn accidents are extremely common. When a driver is waiting to make a left turn and they see a bicyclist coming the opposite direction, they often misjudge the cyclist’s speed and believe they have time to complete the turn. When they do this, they often hit the bicyclist head on or cause the bicyclist to run into the side of their car, which often leads to them being from the bicycle.
- Drivers who do not stop at traffic signals. Everyone knows drivers who roll through stop signs or don’t stop completely before turning right on red. This puts bicyclists who follow traffic signs at risk.
- Uneven pavement. Poorly maintained roads are another risk for cyclists. Unexpected dips or holes in the road can cause an accident.
What to Do After a Bike Accident in Auburn, Alabama
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, follow these steps to protect yourself and your rights:
- Call emergency services. You need to report the accident and get it on the record. You may also need emergency medical care, depending on the severity of the crash.
- Assess yourself. Check yourself immediately for injuries. Any serious injuries may require immediate care.
- Seek medical care. Even if you feel fine or only have mild pain, get checked by a medical professional. Some injuries take hours or days to show up, at which point it may be too late to tie them to the accident. Prompt care is necessary for your health and your personal injury claim.
- Preserve evidence. Get the driver’s insurance and contact information, contact information for any witnesses, photos of the crash scene, and medical records. Make copies of everything.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. Before you get in touch with the insurance company or the other party, find an attorney you trust to handle your case.
How We Can Help You Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
Our firm has substantial experience with bicycle accident cases and other personal injury cases. We know that bicyclists are often the victims of careless, distracted, or impatient drivers, and we believe that you should not have to take on the financial burden of an accident alone.
When you choose Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short for your bicycle accident case, you can trust us to fight for every penny you deserve. We will investigate your accident, analyze the evidence, and come up with a fair settlement number. We will represent your best interests in negotiations with the other party and protect you from insulting lowball offers. If they are unwilling to negotiate in good faith, we are more than ready to take your case to court and fight them there.
You should focus on healing and recovery, not fighting with insurance companies and the other party’s attorneys. Let us handle that side of your case while you rest.
Reach Out Today to Discuss Your Case
The team at Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short is here to guide you through the personal injury claim process. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 334-821-3892 or getting in touch with us online.