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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

How to File a Lawsuit for Bicycle Accident in Indiana - What To Know

Bicycling is a fun way to burn a few extra calories and go places without a vehicle. While motorists and bicyclists share the road, accidents are common.

Bike accidents can happen to cautious and safe bicyclists. An understanding of road safety might not be enough to protect a person.

After being injured in a bicycle accident, the victim deserves fair compensation if another driver is at fault. However, the legal system is complex, so it's wise to seek help from an experienced attorney.

Indianapolis bicycle accident attorneys understand the law and how it applies to each case. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is here to help injured victims. Contact the law firm today to receive a free initial case evaluation. They can also provide information on how to file a lawsuit for motorcycle accident in Indiana.

Five Steps Victims Must Take to Protect Their Rights After a Bike Accident in Indiana

Five Steps Victims Must Take to Protect Their Rights After a Bike Accident in Indiana

If one is injured in a bicycle accident, they should follow these five steps to protect their rights after the crash:

1. Understand Compensation Options for a Bicycle Accident Case

Being involved in a bicycle accident can be traumatic. The victim could be entitled to receive fair compensation for non-economic and economic damages. This includes money for the injuries, property, and hardships caused directly by the crash.

Bicycle accident victims should be compensated for their mental anguish, emotional damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and future issues.

In most cases, the vehicle's driver is held liable. Compensation is often sought by turning to the at-fault party's insurance company. However, the person driving might have been working at the time, which means the employer could also be responsible.

Victims shouldn't have to bear the medical expenses of a catastrophic injury alone. Indiana bicycle accident lawyers will help them navigate the complex personal injury laws in the state to pursue compensation for those damages. They can also help with how to file a lawsuit for pedestrian accident in Indiana.

2. Hire a Bicycle Accident Attorney

It's not always easy to determine liability. People often forget the chain of events, which leads to opposing stories. A bicycle accident victim who tries to investigate and make claims alone might face severe challenges.

Bicycle accident lawyers have a legal team that visits the accident scene. They collect video and photo evidence, medical records, police reports, and eyewitness statements to build the case. This also includes calculating the total losses and ensuring that medical bills are covered.

The bike accident lawyer will also work with the other driver's insurance company to reach a settlement. If that doesn't happen, they will go to trial.

Sometimes, victims handle their own personal injury cases without help from an Indiana bicycle accident lawyer. They believe the process is simple, but their claims could be denied or lowered.

3. Avoid Fault

Bicyclists and motorists can both violate traffic laws. For example, the person riding a bike might not be doing so safely, so they could be held liable for some or all of the incident.

Though cars are bigger than bikes and bicyclists are often injured instead of drivers, a personal injury claim relies on determining fault, regardless of injuries or damages.

Indiana law requires bicyclists to follow traffic laws. Therefore, they must halt at traffic lights and stop signs and yield correctly to other travelers.

4. Understand What Shared Fault Means

It's possible that more than one party contributed to the bicycle accident. Negligence from the bicyclists could be used to put them partially at fault.

Contributory fault focuses on the contributions a party made to the incident, making bicycle accident claims more complicated. Ultimately, Indiana law states that injured claimants who are partially responsible can seek financial compensation for those losses, though the amount might be lowered.

Because of this confusion, it's often wise to hire an Indianapolis bicycle accident lawyer to help with the case.

5. Understand the Deadline to File a Bicycle Accident Claim

Indiana has a statute of limitations of two years for filing a bicycle accident lawsuit over an injury. This starts from the moment the incident occurred.

Though it might be possible to file a claim after the statute of limitations passes, a judge will generally dismiss the case. While two years sounds like a decent amount of time, it can take that long for the personal injury lawyer to gather evidence and complete the necessary paperwork.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Here are a few common reasons for bicycle accidents:

Dangerous Driving

A motor vehicle can be unpredictable and fast. Even if bicyclists obey the traffic laws, those drivers might not be using the car safely. They might be aggressive, negligent, or careless.

These dangerous driving practices could cause a bicycle accident:

  • Speeding

  • Distracted driving

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol/drugs

  • Driving during low visibility times

  • Driving at night

  • Passing too close to a bicyclist

  • Trying to run a bicyclist off the road

  • Opening the vehicle door too quickly

Unsafe/Safe Cycling

When motor vehicles and bicycles collide, the bicyclist usually suffers serious injuries that may be life-threatening. Therefore, riders should follow the rules of the road and be responsible; otherwise, they could cause a bike crash because of those unsafe practices.

Common reasons for crashes caused by the bicyclist include:

  • Riding against the flow of traffic

  • Riding without reflective gear during bad weather or poor road conditions

  • Failing to yield the right of way

Common Injuries Bike Accident Victims Suffer

Bicycle accidents can happen, regardless of experience level or age. Here are the common injuries suffered by victims:

Vulnerability of All Body Parts

Generally, bicycle accident injuries can happen to any body part, including the torso, neck, and head. Check out these factors:

Head Injuries or Traumatic Brain Injury

Though wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of brain or head injuries to riders, they can't guarantee safety.

Ultimately, bicycle accidents can cause these injuries:

  • Eye trauma

  • Concussions

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Skull fractures

  • Facial scratches and contusions (bruises)

  • Dental damage

  • Hemorrhaging

Other Common Bike Accident Injuries

While face and head injuries are the most common for bike accidents, here are a few others to consider:

  • Internal organ injuries

  • Strains and sprains to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles

  • Scrapes and lacerations

  • Road rash

  • Knee and shoulder dislocations

  • Fractures to the hips, feet, legs, hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Back injuries

  • Neck injuries

What to Do After the Bicycle Accident

Bicycle accidents are traumatic and can cause serious property damage and injury. It might be hard to think clearly after the incident, but there are steps victims can take to preserve evidence, protect themselves, and strengthen the eventual claim they will make. These include:

Taking Action During the Accident Scene

The victim's recovery and safety are top priorities after being in a bicycle accident. Immediately afterward, it's wise to move the person and bike away from the side of the road. Stay at the scene.

Seek immediate medical attention for injuries sustained to provide documentation, which is crucial during bicycle accident cases.

Photographs are also helpful. Take pictures and videos of the location, the surroundings, the bicycle, the vehicle, and the injuries. Call the police and report the accident, get contact information from potential witnesses, and exchange auto insurance details with other parties involved.

Ways to Strengthen the Case

It's important to call a personal injury attorney with experience handling bicycle accidents as soon as possible after the incident. They will review the case.

Never sign anything or provide a written statement to the motor vehicle insurer until after contacting an attorney.

Make sure to listen to the medical professionals and their advice. Take appropriate medications, follow all instructions, and seek the treatments they request.

These tips can also be helpful:

  • Don't post anything on social media.

  • Save statements and photographs for the attorney.

  • Protect evidence (clothing and other items).

  • Don't fix the damage to the bicycle.

Safety Tips to Reduce the Risk of Bicycle Accidents

Safety Tips to Reduce the Risk of Bicycle Accidents

Here are a few tips to protect bicycle riders from accidents on the road:

Before Getting on the Bicycle

Always put a helmet on before getting on the bike. It's also wise to wear reflective and bright clothing, especially when riding at night.

Nighttime bike riders should have a white line on the front of their bicycles. A red light at the back is also important and must be visible from 500 feet away.

Safe Practices for Riding

It's crucial for bicyclists to know the local bicycle laws and practice safe biking habits to reduce the likelihood of an accident. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as cars. This means coming to a full stop at traffic lights and stop signs and waiting their turn.

  • Bicyclists have equal rights to the road. Indianapolis law requires drivers to leave 3 feet of space between the bike and vehicle when passing.

  • Bicyclists should use bike lanes when they're available.

Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

Since bike accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries, it's crucial for injury victims to recover compensation from the at-fault party.

Hiring an Indianapolis bicycle accident lawyer can be beneficial after being injured by a motorist. Victims have rights, and Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will go to war for Indy. Call or use the online contact form to request a free consultation today.


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