One of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful scenery in White Bear Lake is by getting outside and riding your bike. It’s a great way to exercise, avoid traffic, and enjoy all the natural beauty of Minnesota. With the number of bikers on Minnesota’s roads growing with each passing year, it is an unfortunate reality that bicycling injuries in our state continue to rise. These increasingly frequent accidents often involve serious injuries that can dramatically alter the course of the victim’s life. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, talking to the experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Sand Law can help you to understand your rights and options.
Causes of Minnesota Bike Accidents
When discussing bicycle-related personal injury cases, one is almost always discussing a crash that occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle. A car accident that involves a bicyclist is by far the most common way that a bike rider is injured involving negligence. The most common negligent behaviors that lead to accidents are things like:
- Failure to yield right-of-way to cyclists by drivers
- Hit and run
- Distracted driving, such as texting or applying makeup
- Careless or reckless driving, such as speeding
- Ignoring stop signs
What to do after a White Bear Lake Bicycle Accident
What to do at the scene of a bike accident:
- If you’re seriously injured, do not move. Wait for someone else to call 911.
- If you’re not hurt, call 911 to help anyone else who may be injured.
- If possible, move out of the way of danger by getting yourself and anything else that movable out of the roadway.
Be sure to collect information to protect your rights:
- Make sure to the get the car driver’s name, address, phone number, license number, plate number, and vehicle model and year.
- Get the name of the driver’s insurance company and their policy number.
- If possible, and this is critical, get the name and phone number of any witnesses that may have seen the accident.
- Once the police arrive, write down their names and badge numbers.
- Get the number of the police report, if possible.
- Finally, take photos. Do not skip this step; it is vital to getting compensation. Take photos of the car, your bicycle, the roadway, intersections, street signs, weather conditions, and anything else that might help. You can always delete photo, you can never recreate a non-existent photo.
Protect your rights after a bike accident:
- Do not admit fault to the accident to anyone. Simply recount the facts to the authorities as they ask questions.
- Do not give any statements about your health or injuries.
- Do not provide any information about what you think the damages might be.
- Make sure a police report is filed and that it includes all necessary information.
Once you are done at the bike accident scene:
- As soon as you are able, create a voice recording or written record of what happened.
- Report the incident to your insurance company.
- Begin keeping a folder for documents that is well-organized. Create a section for: reports, receipts, medical bills, miscellaneous documents, etc.
- Keep any physical evidence, like your bike or bloody clothes.
- Take pictures of all your injuries, including bruising, cuts, scrapes, etc.
- Contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney.
What are a cyclists’ rights in White Bear Lake?
Bicycle riders have all the same rights and duties that a car driver has under Minnesota law. The only laws that differ are those that address riding a bike with a child, helmet laws, etc. Beyond that, however, cyclists are as entitled to the road as any car.
Bicycle lanes exist for riders that are going slower than the normal speed of traffic. If a particular stretch of road doesn’t have a bike lane, then cyclists are required to ride as far to the right of the road as possible. Unfortunately, drivers often don’t consider bike lanes as traffic lanes, and fail to yield to the right-of-way when crossing them. This can lead to them crashing into riders who are adhering to the law; this is considered negligence.
Recovering Compensation After a Bike Accident in Minnesota
Generally, an attorney will seek to prove negligence on the part of a driver that injured their client with a motor vehicle. The point of an injury claim is to recover compensation for damages, like medical bills and lost wages. In order to show this, the attorney must prove the following:
- The driver had a duty by law to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner.
- The driver failed to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner, or in a way that followed the guidelines of Minnesota law.
- As a result of the driver’s failure to uphold their duty, the bicycle rider was involved in a traffic accident with the driver’s vehicle.
- And finally, because of the accident, the cyclist sustained injuries or other damages that demand compensation.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are the most serious injuries that are suffered in bike accidents, especially if the bike rider wasn’t wearing a helmet. TBIs can result in lifelong disabilities and loss of motor function for the victims. Even a minor impact can turn fatal depending on what the cyclists hits on the way down and how they hit it, whether that be the ground, a vehicle, or some other object.
Other common bike accident injuries include facial disfigurement, dental injuries such as teeth being knocked loose, bones being fractured or dislocated, neck and back injuries, and abdominal injuries. With the severity of some of these, it’s important to contact a White Bear Lake injury attorney as soon as possible.
Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorneys in White Bear Lake, Minnesota
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident as the result of a negligent driver, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced White Bear Lake bicycle accident lawyers at Sand Law LLC. We offer a free consultation where you can learn your rights and options from an actual attorney. We can be reached by filling out our online contact form, or by calling us at 651-571-4125. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you get compensation for your Minnesota Bicycle Accident.