Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Charlottesville, VA
Have you been injured in a bicycle crash in Charlottesville? Many cyclists are injured in bicycle accidents caused by automobile drivers who weren’t looking out for bicyclists on the road. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, Virginia bicyclists were involved in 746 traffic crashes. The bike accidents resulted in 712 injuries and the loss of life for 12 bicyclists in a recent year alone. If you have been injured due to another driver’s failure to act safely, you may have the right to seek justice and fair compensation.
The Virginia bicycle accident attorneys at the Kendall Law Firm are proud of the positive results we have achieved for our clients. We are ready to put our experience to work for you. We know how severe injuries can disrupt your life and livelihood. We can help you seek justice if someone else’s carelessness or negligence caused your bicycle crash injuries. Call us or reach out to us online to discuss your case with a bicycle accident lawyer. The consultation is free.
Reasons for Bicycle Accidents
While carelessness on the part of cyclists causes some bike accidents, bicyclists are most likely to be seriously injured in collisions involving motor vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Some of the most common contributing factors to bike accidents include:
- Drivers failing to leave an adequate distance between their vehicle and a cyclist when passing
- Distracted driving
- Speeding or aggressive driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failing to see a bicyclist in a blind spot
- Turning without looking
- Failure to yield
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Fatigued driving
Common Injuries After Bicycle Accidents
A study on bicycle-related injuries published in the medical journal American Family Physician found that injuries from bicycle accidents often include:
- Abrasions that can range from superficial to severe
- Contusions and lacerations
- Strains, fractures, and dislocations
- Trauma to the thorax, abdominal organs, and pelvis
- Neck trauma, which usually only occurs in a collision with a motor vehicle
According to the same study, a significant number of bicyclists suffer head and brain injuries in collisions involving motor vehicles. These severe injuries are the leading cause of long-term disabilities and loss of life as a result of bike accidents.
Bicycle Laws in Virginia
Virginia law establishes specific rights and duties for bicyclists. A cyclist has the right to use public roads as well as shared-use paths. Unfortunately, even when a cyclist follows the law, accidents can still happen if others don’t act responsibly. Generally, a Virginia bicyclist:
- Has the same rights and duties as the operator of a motor vehicle when on the road
- Has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian when on a sidewalk or shared-use path
- Must come to a complete stop before using the crosswalk when crossing a road from a path with a crosswalk
- Has a duty to yield to oncoming traffic when crossing a road from a path without a crosswalk.
Additionally, bicyclists must observe the following safety guidelines:
- Bicyclists must not carry articles that prevent them from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars
- Bicyclists must not carry more people than the bicycle is designed to accommodate, except for adult bicyclists carrying a child, under six years of age, securely attached to the bicycle in a seat or trailer designed to carry children
- Bicyclists must not attach themselves or their bicycles to any other vehicle on the roadway
- Bicyclists are not permitted to wear earphones in both ears while riding a bicycle
- Bicyclists under the age of 14 may be required to wear a helmet. While there is no requirement for individuals over the age of 14 to wear a helmet, some local areas require helmets for children under the age of 14
What To Do After a Bicycle Accident in Charlottesville
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you should immediately seek medical attention. Even if injuries are not immediately apparent, go to a doctor or a hospital to get a thorough examination.
You should call the police and report the accident even if you do not need to be transported to the hospital. The police report will provide documentation of much of the information you will need if you choose to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
As soon as possible, contact a bike accident lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options. Your lawyer can investigate your crash, determine what compensation you’re owed, and seek a fair settlement from the at-fault party. If the at-fault driver’s insurance refuses to offer a just settlement, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit and taking your case to trial.
Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accident Claims
Virginia law gives an injured bicyclist two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party after a crash. This does not mean the legal process must be concluded within two years. You simply need to file your lawsuit before the filing deadline established by the state’s statute of limitations.
What Can You Recover After a Bicycle Accident in Charlottesville?
Depending on the severity of your injuries and the specifics of your accident, you could be owed significant compensation, including payment for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Travel costs for treatment
- Prescription medicine and medical devices
- Lost wages
- Repairs or replacement of your bike and other personal property
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
Contact a Charlottesville Bicycle Attorney
As a cyclist, you have a right to use Charlottesville roads and a responsibility to obey traffic laws. You count on motorists to respect your rights. When a motorist acts carelessly and injures you, you have the right to demand justice. The bicycle accident lawyers at the Kendall Law Firm are committed to helping those injured in Charlottesville seek full and fair compensation. Call us or contact us online for a free case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.