If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident in Las Vegas, you CAN make a claim against the driver and other entities
On the road, the most vulnerable people are cyclists. You’re not surrounded by 4 walls, seatbelts, and airbags. Your protection is your awareness, and a helmet. But unfortunately, this often isn’t enough to stop a negligent driver from putting you in harm’s way.
Hundreds of cyclists are knocked off their bikes by cars, and sadly there are cyclists who die each year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nevada is statistically one of the safest states in the USA for cyclists… but that fact is hardly heartwarming if you have been a victim of a bike/car accident.
Cyclists have to follow the same rules of the road as car drivers, including riding on the right-hand side, following traffic signs and signals, or not riding a bike while drunk or on drugs. But this also affords you the right to get from A-to-B safely and without being in danger of being knocked off your bike.
If you don’t know where you stand following a crash and you think that you may be able to make a claim against a negligent driver, keep reading to find out your rights as an injured cyclist in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Who is at fault?
Contrary to many driver’s beliefs, cyclists have just as much right to be on the road as car drivers. Just because a driver had to go around you, it doesn’t mean that you’re at fault for the crash. By law, cars need to give sufficient space when passing a cyclist (typically seen as a minimum of 3 feet).
As mentioned above, cyclists are held to the same standards as other road users. Cyclists need to ensure that they have followed the rules of the road and not caused a crash by riding dangerously. To figure out your rights and the next steps that you may be able to take, we need to establish who was at fault.
If you pulled out in front of a vehicle without signaling or looking for oncoming traffic, then you may be at fault. If this is the case, you cannot make a claim. But if a driver was checking their Instagram and hit you, or was otherwise distracted or driving poorly, then they are at fault.
Figuring out where the blame lies is the first step. There is also something called partial blame, where responsibility for the accident can be divided up between the parties involved. For example, you could be 10% responsible for several reasons and this would reduce the compensation that you’re entitled to receive.
It is also possible to look into other parties for fault. Did you know it is illegal to park in a bicycle lane in Nevada? This means that if you had to cycle around a parked car and then you crashed, the owner of the parked car could be held at least responsible for the crash. We can then pursue a claim against the insurance for the driver of the parked car.
Who can you make a claim against?
Accidents on the road between bikes and cars are not always as simple as “he did it” or “you did it.” There are many factors at play, and this means that you may have a case against multiple parties. In some cases, you might not have a case against the driver but could bring a lawsuit against another cyclist. Here is a small list of people that you may be able to file a claim against:
- The driver of the car
- A governmental entity: If there are potholes or debris in the road, then you might be able to bring suit against a government entity. However, there are strict deadlines that go along with this claim. This is why you need to reach out to an injury attorney as soon as you can.
- Other cyclists
- Bike manufacturer: If your bike wasn’t made to a sufficient standard, or your brakes failed, you might be able to make a claim against the manufacturer or repair shop.
- The owner of a parked car
You also do not need to make contact with another vehicle for them to be at fault. Another cyclist or car could have forced you off the road and led to your injuries. Their vehicle might not have touched you, but intimidation and negligence may be enough for a claim. These cases can be difficult but speaking with an attorney can help you understand your potential claim.
Hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you in a bike crash case is always recommended. The nuances involved and evidence required in these types of cases can be stressful and confusing. Having a trained legal professional who will fight like a bulldog for you to get you adequately compensated is the best way to pursue a claim against a negligent driver who has caused you physical harm.
Having a crash as a cyclist can be so scary and really dangerous. The trauma from bike crashes is something that no one should ever have to endure. If you need someone to fight for your case, then please call Kim Welch Law today at (888) 590-5510 or email Kim Welch at [email protected] for a free consultation and aggressive personal injury representation.
Injuries that you can make a claim for:
Without the protection of riding leathers for motorcyclists or the 4 walls from a car, you are at real risk on a bicycle. Following an accident, you may suffer from both short term, and unfortunately, long term physical injuries. These could include, but are not limited to:
- Head trauma
- Spinal injuries
- Skull or bone fractures
- Concussion/traumatic brain injury
- Injuries to internal organs
- Cranial hemorrhage
The greatest risk here is a head injury (which is why always wearing a helmet is so important). They are also attributed to more than 60% of bike crash fatalities.
What can I make a claim for?
Whether you’re using your bicycle to commute from home to work, or you’re out on a leisurely ride, you can make a claim in a bike accident case. This doesn’t have to be exclusively for medical expenses either. You can also claim for:
- Permanent personal injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Damages to your bike
- Legal fees
- Loss of wages and loss of earning capacity
- Medical expenses, including past and future
How much you can claim comes down to the insurance that the guilty party has. You also cannot use other cases as a baseline for your compensation. Each case is different. Speak with your attorney to get an idea of what your claim is worth and when you will know the value of your claim (usually the value of your claim is not apparent until all of your medical treatment is completed).
When can I make a claim?
Immediately. Get started as soon as you can. You only have 2 years from the date of the crash to make a claim in Nevada (in most cases) so you don’t have time to waste. Also, if you have to make a claim against a governmental entity, there may be a shorter deadline. If you wait too long you could potentially lose the ability to pursue your claim forever because you waited too long to get a personal injury attorney on your side.
Trying to arrange a settlement is the best option because this can avoid a long and drawn-out court case. But settlements take time. You need to find the evidence to back up your claim, get medical reports, establish the series of events, and negotiate the right settlement.
Next steps if you have been in a bicycle accident in Las Vegas
If you have recently been in an accident with a car while riding a bike, there are three things that we recommend that you do immediately:
1. Get in touch with your doctor
Even if you feel fine – get in touch with them. There may be some damage to your bones, joints or ligaments, or internal organs that you are not aware of. We hope that this is not the case, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Get your doctor to check you over and identify any possible problems that have come as a result of the crash. This is an unbelievably important step, and I cannot emphasize enough that you take this step.
2. Map out your version of events.
Get a piece of paper, and a pen, or get on your computer, and write down everything that happened. The events leading up to the accident, what caused it, and what happened afterward. Did anyone see it happen, and, if so, did you get their contact information? Was there any security camera footage? Put everything down in writing as early as you can so that you don’t forget as your memory fades.
3. Speak with an attorney
Know your rights. A blog post like this can give a broad outline of your rights and the sort of things that you can make a claim for. But your case is unique and specific. Speaking with an attorney can help you to identify whether you have a case. If you do, they can then help you by putting together a plan to get the evidence that you need to make a successful claim. This could include getting weather reports, eyewitness testimony, the speed that the car was doing, CCTV evidence, and so much more.
Your attorney will use this evidence to try and value your claim and negotiate a settlement based on the facts, thereby removing any need for you to be in touch with insurance companies. If your attorney and the insurance company can’t agree to reasonable compensation, then your attorney can file suit and bring the claim to court.
I have years of experience litigating on behalf of insurance companies, and now victims of accidents. I know how insurance companies work because of this experience. I use this knowledge to help our clients achieve their best possible results when they have, unfortunately, been in car and bicycle accidents.
You can get in touch with Kim Welch Law today by calling us on (888) 590-5510 or by using the contact form on our website. We offer a free consultation to help you understand your case better and make an informed decision about whether to move forward. We also work with you at a time that is convenient for you. We pride ourselves on our communication skills and customer service. This is your case and you deserve to be fully informed of its progress.
Being in any form of a car accident can be traumatic, but we try to remove any stress or worry. Call Kim Welch Law today; let’s see how we can help you or your case by being a bulldog for you!