Bicycle accidents often result in devastating injuries for those involved. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are not uncommon in and around the Indianapolis area. At the Fountain Law Firm, we are here to help if you need an Indianapolis bicycle accident attorney by your side. The goal of the Fountain Law Firm is to thoroughly investigate these claims, determine liability, and help our clients recover the compensation they are entitled to.
At Fountain Law Firm, you can count on receiving personalized attention for your case. We ensure that we understand your goals and needs as we move forward with your claim.
We have extensive experience handling complex injury claims throughout Indiana, and we understand the laws related to proving negligence and securing maximum compensation.
We are not afraid to take a case all the way to trial if that is what it takes to ensure that you are treated fairly and receive the compensation you need.
Learn More About Indiana’s Bicycle Accident Lawsuits and Where to Get Help:
Bicycle accident cases in Indianapolis can be challenging, particularly when it comes to determining liability. Most injury victims do not have the resources necessary to properly investigate their claim. However, an Indianapolis bicycle accident attorney can use their resources and legal expertise to:
Fully investigate the claim and uncover all evidence that can prove liability, including photos, eyewitness statements, police reports, etc.
Ensure their client is evaluated by a trusted medical professional who can treat their injuries and help calculate total expected losses.
Engage in negotiations with all parties involved in an attempt to reach a fair settlement on behalf of their client.
Data available from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute shows that there were 744 accidents involving bicyclists reported during the latest year across the state. Out of these incidents, there were:
Bike accidents can lead to serious injuries and be disorienting, so it’s no wonder that many people are confused about what to do in the aftermath of a bike accident. However, the steps you take immediately after a bike accident can significantly impact your recovery and legal claim.
If possible, try to take these proactive steps:
Also, contact an Indianapolis bike accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can handle communication on your behalf so you do not have to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company. A lawyer can also protect your rights and handle the legal aspects of your claim so you can focus on your recovery.
Bicycle accidents occur so often that there are names that specifically identify common causes of these crashes. This includes:
When investigating these incidents, our bicycle accident attorneys regularly discover that our clients were injured because of another driver:
In addition to these common causes of bicycle accidents, we also want to make you aware that these incidents are much more likely to occur if a vehicle driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs or distracted by a phone or another device. Bicycle accidents can occur in many of the same ways as any other vehicle accident. However, bicyclists are much more vulnerable to severe injuries, and the results of these incidents are often much more severe.
Bicyclists do not have much protection from the force of a vehicle slamming into them. Even when a bicyclist is wearing a helmet, it is not uncommon for them to sustain one or more of the following injuries in an accident:
Fortunately, there are certain steps that you can take to reduce your risk of involvement in an accident.
If drivers cannot see you, they cannot avoid you. You should take steps to make sure that you are as visible as possible when you ride. These include the following:
Bicyclists have the duty to follow the rules of the road like anyone else does. Make sure you are familiar with the legal requirements of riding on the roadways, including:
Bicycles require regular inspection, maintenance, and repair. If your bicycle has a defect, a malfunction while riding can result in a collision and injuries. Brakes, tires, gears, and other parts should be kept in good condition at all times to ensure safe riding.
At the Fountain Law Firm, our team takes Indianapolis bicycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients will not have to pay any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case. We only collect legal fees after our clients recover the compensation they are entitled to for their personal injury case. We represent our clients for recovery for their bicycles and other property at no cost.
Bike accidents can lead to massive losses, both from an economic and emotional standpoint. Bike accidents can lead to serious injuries, months of lost wages, ongoing medical needs, and considerable pain and suffering that negatively impacts their life. Indiana allows accident victims to recover the following types of damages:
Actual damages are those damages you suffer because of the defendant’s conduct, which can generally be traced to an economic loss. These damages include:
Indiana also allows accident victims to recover non-economic damages, which may include compensation for the following:
An experienced bike accident lawyer can review the circumstances of your case to determine the types of compensation that might be available for your claim.
Many accident victims wonder, “What is my case worth?” Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. Your lawyer can explain the potential value of your claim depends on many factors, including:
Bike accidents can result in injuries ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Generally, the more extensive your injuries, the more compensation you may be able to recover because treating these injuries can be expensive. Additionally, your long-term earning potential and quality of life can be adversely affected.
Another crucial factor that can impact the value of your case is how clear liability is. If there is objective evidence to show the insured caused your accident, the insurance company may not have a good argument to deny your claim. However, if liability is less certain or if you contributed to the accident, the insurance company may try to deny the claim or offer a lower settlement.
There are many other factors that can affect your claim, including:
An experienced lawyer can evaluate your case and determine how much compensation you may be entitled to.
It is possible that you may be found partially at fault for the accident. Even though the motorist is in a much better position to observe you and take the necessary steps to avoid a crash, you may have contributed to the accident by being distracted or breaking a traffic law. As a cyclist, you have legal responsibilities you must uphold. If you violated your legal duties, you could be found partially at fault for the accident.
Indiana is a comparative fault state. You can still pursue compensation for the damages you sustained even if you were partially at fault, as long as you were no more than 50% at fault.
Determination of the amount of your fault is a tricky area of the law and an attorney can help you recover as much as possible.
Your damages are reduced by your degree of fault. So, if you are found to be 10% at fault for the accident, your damages can be reduced by 10%. If you are found to be 51% at fault you cannot recover anything.
Indiana has a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims. This means, generally, you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident in most cases, or you can lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries through the court.
You should contact an attorney right away though for a consultation, because important evidence can be lost by delays or you may sign documents that will jeopardize your case.
The CDC lists the important risk factors that are especially contributive to fatal and nonfatal bike accident injuries:
Even if the above risk categories do not apply to you, you are still at risk of being injured anytime you head out on your bicycle. No matter how careful you may be, you can never control the actions of drivers who may be distracted, drunk, or aggressive and as a result, may crash into your bike.
Biking is a great way to stay active, shorten commute times, and decrease your carbon footprint, but as evidenced, biking can also be dangerous. As a bicyclist, always obey the safety rules of the road and follow the CDC’s guidelines for preventing bike accidents:
On a per capita basis, Indiana recorded an annual average of about 2.0 cyclist deaths per million residents, the 13th highest in the United States. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that slightly more than 10 percent of serious bicycle accidents involve vehicles, and they usually result in the most serious injuries to cyclists.
Although intersections may represent a relatively small portion of a cyclist’s travel route, they are where a cyclist is most at risk of getting hit by a car or otherwise involved in a car accident. Only 11% of bicycle accidents involve a collision with a car but of these, 45% take place in intersections.
In order to minimize the risk of intersection accidents with cars, cyclists need to maximize their visibility, understand the rules of the road, learn to recognize some of the most dangerous intersection hazards and take safety precautions when approaching and riding through an intersection.
Intersections pose a special risk to bicyclists for many reasons:
Legally speaking, in the state of Indiana, a bicycle is considered a “vehicle”; therefore, just like motorists, cyclists must follow the rules of the road. When it comes to collisions occurring at intersections, liability usually boils down to who had the right-of-way between the car or the bike.
No traffic signals: When two vehicles approach an intersection not controlled by a traffic signal, the vehicle arriving first has the right-of-way. If the vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right-of-way.
Traffic signals: The right-of-way at intersections controlled by signals is determined by the traffic signal. If a signal sensor is unable to detect the presence of a bicycle, the cyclist can position the bicycle closer to the sensors embedded in the road or wait until it is safe to cross at the crosswalk.
When everything goes right, motor vehicles and bicyclists share the roadways without conflict. However, the reality is that drivers often ignore the rights of bicyclists throughout the state of Indiana.
Bicyclists have a right to be on the roadway and are generally considered to be vehicles for the purposes of traffic safety. Bicyclists have to obey all the laws of the road, including following all traffic control devices. Drivers must follow bicyclists at appropriate distances, pass a bicyclist only when it is safe to do so and at a safe distance and yield the right of way to a bicyclist when required to do so. This includes yielding appropriately at traffic control devices, when there is a bicycle lane present, and at crosswalks.
If a bicyclist is injured in an accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of a vehicle driver, they should contact a skilled attorney for help as soon as possible.
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a bicycle accident in Indianapolis, contact the the Fountain Law Firm today. Our team has extensive experience handling bicycle claims, and we are ready to fully investigate your incident.
Our goal is to secure maximum compensation so you can make a full recovery and get back to living your life. When you need an Indianapolis bicycle accident lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 866-989-3439.