When a motorist is distracted or driving recklessly, they put other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists at risk of injury. Unfortunately, due to their small size and lack of protection, when a cyclist is struck by a vehicle, the resulting harm can be catastrophic.

A Chesterfield bicycle accident lawyer could help you get the compensation you deserve if you are injured by a reckless driver who crashes into you while you are riding your bike. An experienced injury attorney could review your case and calculate how much you could seek in damages from the responsible party.

Common Causes of Bicycle Collisions

According to Missouri Revised Statutes § 307.188, bicyclists are afforded all the rights and duties motorists have when on the road. However, bicyclists are more vulnerable to devastating physical damage and need to be even more vigilant than drivers of cars and trucks, whose vehicles offer a level of protection. Severe bike accidents commonly occur due to a motorist:

  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist
  • Failing to leave at least three feet between the car and the bicycle
  • Opening a driver’s side or passenger door into an oncoming cyclist
  • Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol
  • Violating traffic safety laws by speeding, running red lights, or texting while driving

If a driver strikes a cyclist while performing any of these actions, the injured biker could have grounds for a civil claim. With the help of a local attorney, a bicyclist could file a claim for damages that resulted from the accident.

How is Negligence Established in Bike Crash Claims?

Accidents involving a motor vehicle striking a bicyclist require the biker and their attorney to establish driver negligence. To do this, plaintiffs must first prove the motorists owed them a duty of care to drive carefully and follow the rules of the road. The claimant must then show the defendant breached that duty, directly resulting in the cyclist’s losses. If a plaintiff is successful, they could recover damages from the at-fault party.

Compensation may include the cost of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of the enjoyment of life, and lost future earnings. A lawyer in Chesterfield could gather police and medical reports, witness statements, and other evidence to help prove a defendant is responsible for the bike wreck.

Punitive Damages

Although uncommon, punitive damages can be awarded in personal injury lawsuits. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate a plaintiff but to punish the person who caused the accident. The actions of the defendant must be willful, wanton, egregious intentional, or done with deliberate disregard for the bicyclist’s safety. An example of when punitive damages might be appropriate is a motorist strikes a cyclist while driving drunk.

Avoiding Bicycle Wrecks

Bicyclists should never assume that motorists will see them and yield the right of way when appropriate. Staying vigilant is essential. Bikers should look for dangerous situations so they may avoid them. Additionally, cyclist should equip front and rear lights, bells or horns, and reflector tape to their bikes, especially if they plan on riding at night.

Although Missouri has no helmet laws for bicyclists, wearing them can save lives. Wearing a helmet could also prevent any allegations of biker fault in the event of an accident.

Seek Help From a Chesterfield Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you are riding your bicycle and a reckless driver strikes you, you may need expensive and extensive medical care. You could be unable to work during recuperation, and your pain and suffering may be devastating. A bicycle accident lawyer could talk to you about your situation and help you seek compensation for your losses. Call today for your free consultation.