If you have been injured in a bicycling accident, contact the St. Louis personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC to discuss your case.
Riding a bicycle is both an effective form of transportation and a great way to exercise. Bicycles are popular among people of all ages, and many cities are changing and expanding to accommodate people who travel by bike. Even though bicyclists have the right to use the road just like any other driver, many people do not respect cyclists’ rights and safety.
When you are on a bicycle, you cannot move as quickly as a car, which causes many drivers to be reckless while driving near or passing cyclists. Whether because of carelessness or frustration, many drivers do not take the precautions they should when near a cyclist, causing critical and often life-threatening bicycle accidents. In 2020 alone, 697 bicyclists died in accidents involving motor vehicle drivers.
If you or a loved one has been in a severe bicycle accident, you are overwhelmed with the stress of managing the injuries from the accident. This devastating experience is even more challenging to cope with when you know that another person is the cause of your accident.
You have the right to fight back and seek compensation if you are injured in a bicycle accident. The attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC are ready to work on your behalf, as well as offer advice and support during this difficult time.
Contact OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 today to begin your journey towards seeking justice.
Why Hire OnderLaw, LLC?
Pursuing a lawsuit after a bicycle accident is a lengthy and challenging process. As the person injured, you are responsible for presenting evidence that the driver was at fault in any personal injury case.
Not only does this mean that you will need a strong case to present the facts and prove liability, but you will also need to be able to fight the obstacles from the other person’s lawyer. Expect a fight back against your claim, regardless of the validity of your evidence, because it is their attorney’s job to prove they weren’t liable for the accident and injuries.
OnderLaw, LLC has won countless personal injury cases for our clients, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation. We are dedicated to presenting the most persuasive case possible as we put our years of legal knowledge and experience to work for you.
Winning a personal injury case requires collecting evidence to prove that another person is at fault for the accident. OnderLaw, LLC has the resources to gather evidence and to use it to build and present a compelling case for negotiations with insurance companies.
If these negotiations don’t result in a satisfactory settlement, we will take your case to court.
The strategies that OnderLaw, LLC will use are both innovative and effective and will be tailored to the specifics of your bicycle accident case. You can trust that OnderLaw, LLC will work for you and with you throughout your lawsuit, so you can receive the compensation you deserve after the accident.
Protecting Your Rights After A Bicycle Accident Causes Your Injuries
The initial shock you’re feeling following a bicycle crash may mask the severity of your injury or cause you to make irrational decisions. What you do next could impact whether you have the opportunity to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their actions and pursue compensation. Bicyclists tend to suffer more severe injuries than vehicle occupants during a collision, so it’s critical that you seek immediate medical treatment. You probably can’t exchange insurance information with the driver or take photos of the scene, so you should focus on your recovery.
You should also immediately hire a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer. At OnderLaw, LLC, we have the resources necessary to investigate what happened and gather evidence proving someone else was at fault. While we’re working on your case, you should follow up with all medical providers referred to you by the initial doctor. You might think waiting a few days or weeks before your first appointment won’t hurt you, but it could result in much lower compensation than you need or even a denied insurance claim.
Insurance companies are often all about protecting their interests. Even if the representative seems friendly, it’s vital that you remember they don’t care about you. They want to save money and will search for evidence to disprove your claim. Skipping doctor’s appointments or delaying initial treatment is the evidence they need to strongarm you into accepting an inadequate settlement so they can quickly close out your claim and move onto the next one.
Any billing statements, prescriptions, and other documents you receive should get forwarded to us throughout your case. Don’t throw away anything. Even if it seems insignificant, it could be proof that the driver caused the accident and should be liable for your losses. We can use our resources to gather any evidence you don’t have to provide to the insurance company during the claims process.
Possible Compensation After a Bicycle Accident
The suffering you experience after a bicycle accident is three-fold: physical, emotional, and financial. You likely experienced significant physical injuries, especially if the collision occurred at high speeds or because of a large vehicle. You may have required emergency medical services at the accident scene, possibly resulting in hospitalization or surgery. Even for less severe injuries, you may need physical therapy and an extended amount of time away from work for a quicker recovery.
While the physical injuries are the most apparent after an accident, you may also be struggling with the emotional impact. You may be angry at the person who caused your injury, depressed because of the impact this injury has on your life, and even afraid of getting back on your bicycle. These emotions are difficult to manage, and you may require psychological assistance to help you move forward with your life after a bicycle accident.
Missouri uses the fault system to determine who’s liable after an accident. That means the party responsible for causing someone’s injuries must provide compensation for the resulting expenses, such as:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Out of pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The experienced and compassionate St. Louis bicycle accident lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC will fight hard for a full and fair settlement from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. They should pay what you’re owed for the suffering you endured and the cost of recovering from your injuries. When we file your claim, we will seek up to the maximum amount of coverage listed on their insurance policy.
State law requires motorists to carry liability insurance with the following minimum limits:
- $25,000 – bodily injury per person
- $50,000 – bodily injury per accident
- $10,000 – property damage
After a bicycle accident, both physical and emotional suffering can lead to significant financial expenses, causing unnecessary strain on your well-being and potentially negatively affecting your future.
Any treatment you receive for physical or psychological suffering comes with a price that can be extraordinary for many individuals. Additionally, lost time from work, inability to return to work and damage to your personal property all threaten your financial future.
When you seek compensation for a bicycle accident, the price of your injury includes each of these types of suffering that you or your loved ones have experienced. Your lawyer will work with you to help you understand the extent of the impact this accident has on your life, ensuring that your lawsuit considers each of these elements.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bike accidents are a common occurrence in St. Louis. It’s a convenient mode of transportation but also excellent exercise. Unfortunately, there are dangers you face every time you ride your bicycle. When you’re sharing the road with motor vehicle drivers, you can sustain serious injuries if an accident occurs.
The most common causes of bicycle accidents in St. Louis are typically due to driver error. Examples include:
- Dooring – A car door could spring open right into your path if a driver doesn’t check for bicyclists after parking.
- Drifting into the bike lane – Driver inattention can cause someone to unknowingly drift into the bike lane, colliding with a bicyclist.
- Unsafe lane changes – Changing lanes requires checking blind spots first. Failing to do so could result in a car sideswiping someone on their bike.
- Distracted driving – Focusing on something other than driving is reckless behavior that could lead to a collision. Texting is the most common example that can put a bicyclist at risk of injury.
- Turning left at an intersection – Motorists can only turn left at an intersection if they have a green light or enough time to proceed ahead of oncoming cars. Failing to use a turn signal might cause a bicyclist to think they can continue forward, putting them in the path of the turning vehicle.
- Backing up – Even parking lots can be dangerous for bike riders. Before backing out of a parking space, drivers should look over both shoulders for anyone passing.
These are just some examples of the causes of devastating accidents that can occur when a driver isn’t paying attention or makes an error behind the wheel. The negligent driver should be held liable for the harm you suffered and the expenses you incurred to heal your injuries. OnderLaw, LLC has handled hundreds of cases like yours, and we are ready to fight aggressively to meet your legal goals.
Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
Protective gear, such as a helmet, reflective clothing, and bright lights, is essential for keeping yourself safe when riding a bike. However, even when you try to protect yourself from danger while cycling, you cannot prevent another driver’s reckless actions from causing an accident.
Accidents that happen while you are on a bicycle are particularly dangerous. You have very little external protection that can prevent your body from experiencing the full force of the impact. When you are in a bicycle accident, you may suffer injuries such as:
- Lacerations and bruises
- Sprains and strains
- Joint dislocation
- Broken bones
- Neck and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Psychological damage
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limbs or extremities
- Crush injuries
- Permanent disability
These are just some of the possible injuries you may experience as a result of a bike crash. In the most severe cases, an accident can result in a coma and even death. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need extensive medical treatment and ongoing therapy or assistance.
Recovery is always a long and challenging process, and this is especially true if you experience head or neck injuries that affect your spinal cord or brain. These injuries may result in long-term impairment in your mobility, communication, and reasoning skills.
Regardless of the extent of your injuries, this accident has had a detrimental impact on your life and well-being. The person who caused your injuries must be brought to justice and forced to take responsibility for the pain they have caused you.
Bicycle Safety Laws
Many states across the U.S. have passed specific bicycle laws regarding the actions cyclists and other drivers must take to help prevent accidents on the road whenever possible. Cyclists fall into a class of people known as Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs).
VRUs are people on the road who do not have any exterior protection or additional safety features on their mode of transportation. The risk for VRUs is much higher than for people in vehicles, such as cars or trucks, and often the injuries that result from accidents involving a VRU are much more critical.
Given the risks that cyclists face while on the road, in 2005, the Missouri governor signed the Missouri Bicycle Safety Law to provide more protection and more transparent rules for vehicles to follow. Some of the provisions of this law include:
- Drivers must keep a safe distance between themselves and the cyclist when passing a bicycle
- Bicycles are not restricted to bike lanes, and they have the right to use the road as other vehicles would
- Cars may not block the bike lane, and they must yield to any cyclist if they need to cross the bike line
- Bicycles may use shoulders on the road, but they are not required to
These laws solidify the rights that bicycles have when on the road throughout Missouri. They also create a clear legal definition for punishment that drivers may face if they do not respect cyclists.
When you are riding a bicycle, you should not feel unsafe on the road, and there is legal protection against drivers who harass or antagonize you. If you have been in a bicycle accident, these laws may be essential to proving your case in court.
Laws Affecting Personal Injury Cases In St. Louis
A strict law called a statute of limitations requires filing a lawsuit within a specific timeframe. This is a strict deadline you must adhere to if you want to sue the at-fault driver for the injuries they caused. Missouri has a five-year statute of limitations. That means you would have five years from the accident date to file, or you might not get another chance to seek compensation for your losses. If the deadline passes and you attempt to initiate a legal case anyway, the court will most likely dismiss your case.
Unfortunately, another law could diminish the amount of your monetary award if you share any blame for the accident. Under pure comparative fault, an injured party’s total losses could decrease by their percentage of shared fault. For example, if your losses equal $50,000, but a jury finds that your actions were 20% responsible for the accident, you would be entitled to no more than $40,000 in financial compensation.
Bicycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
OnderLaw, LLC knows the ins and outs of cases involving bike riders. You probably have questions, and we’re here to answer them. We want to help prepare you for the legal road ahead, the obstacles you might face, and how to overcome them. We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions below. Contact us at (314) 963-9000 for a more comprehensive understanding of Missouri laws and the process for pursuing compensation following a bicycle accident.
What’s the average cost of hiring a lawyer?
Our St. Louis bicycle accident lawyers are aware of the costs associated with medical treatment. They can become expensive and lead to crushing debt. You shouldn’t be forced to face additional financial struggles to receive quality legal representation.
We take cases on contingency, which means you won’t owe us upfront fees or costs when you hire us. We don’t recover any legal fees unless you receive compensation from an insurance claim or lawsuit. You won’t have to pay us anything if we lose your case.
Do I have any options if the at-fault driver is uninsured?
Even though you were on your bike at the time of the accident, you could file a claim with your auto insurance company. Uninsured motorist (UM) is available to accident victims if the negligent driver doesn’t have liability insurance. You can seek compensation for various losses up to the limit listed on your policy. UM could potentially cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Should I talk to the insurance company?
No. If the insurance company contacts you, give them our contact information. The insurance representative might seem friendly and willing to help, but they want to save money. If you say the wrong thing during a phone call, they could use that information to diminish your case’s value and deny the claim. We will handle all communication so we can protect your rights to the maximum available settlement.
Contact OnderLaw, LLC Today
If another person’s actions caused you or your loved one injuries in a bicycle accident, you deserve justice. No one should expect you to pay for another person’s negligence or recklessness, and compensation for your injuries will help ensure that you do not have to.
Let us start working on your bicycle accident lawsuit today. Contact OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 for a free consultation.