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Louisville, Kentucky Bicycle Accidents
Do you have questions about your bicycle accident case? The Louisville bicycle accident attorneys at The Schafer Law Office have the answers!
- What To Do After A Bicycle Accident in Louisville, KY
- What Are The Legal Differences Between A Bicycle Accident And A Car Accident in Kentucky?
- Do Bike Lanes Really Protect Cyclists in Kentucky?
- How Can I Reduce The Risk Of A Bicycle Accident in KY?
- Contact a Louisville, KY Bicycle Accident Attorney
What To Do After A Bicycle Accident in Louisville, KY
Call 9-1-1 to report the bicycle accident as soon as possible. Police will come to the accident scene and file an accident report. If it’s safe and you are able to do so, gather as much information from the accident scene as possible. You’ll want to get the other party’s name, phone number, address, license plate number and make and model of their vehicle. If you have a camera or smartphone, you will also want to take pictures. Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your bicycle, other vehicles involved, license plate number, and people involved in the accident. Do NOT put your life at risk to gather information or take pictures of the accident scene. The police report will have many of these details recorded for you in case you aren’t able to gather evidence.
Even if you feel fine after the accident, you need to see a doctor right away. Some injuries aren’t visible right away. By seeing a doctor, they will help diagnose your injuries. Also, if you feel that legal action is necessary, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. They will help you get compensated for your injuries.
What Are The Legal Differences Between A Bicycle Accident And A Car Accident in Kentucky?
How are bicycle accidents different from car accidents in Louisville, KY?
- Your medical bills are paid by the insurance company of the car that caused the accident up to $10,000, in most cases.
- The cyclist is exposed to their surroundings.
- Your injuries are likely to be more severe.
How are bicycle accidents the same as car accidents in Louisville, KY?
- The person that caused the accident is responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
- The injured person can go to the doctor of their choice.
- The person that caused the accident will pay to fix your bike and any other property damage.
- The insurance company will evaluate and pay your claim based on a computer program.
Do Bike Lanes Really Protect Cyclists in Kentucky?
Bike lanes are meant to keep vehicles away from cyclists. While this doesn’t always happen, bike lanes give cyclists their own space to ride. Studies have shown that bike lanes improve safety for both motorists and cyclists by lowering the chance of a bicycle accident in Louisville, KY. This is because drivers can pass a cyclist without having to swerve into the other lane to get around the cyclist. This is also good for cyclists because they don’t have to hug the side of the road as much as on roads without bike lanes. Hugging the side of the road may make a cyclist feel safer, but it is harder for other vehicles to see them.
The dangers associated with bike lanes in Kentucky
Bike lanes help protect cyclists, but they also have their risks. Cyclists need to be aware of their surroundings, keep an eye on other vehicles and watch out for objects in their lane. Here are some obstacles to look out for when you’re riding in a bike lane:
- Car doors. Bike lanes put the cyclist towards the side of the road. If there’s street parking, there will be parked cars on the road. This could mean someone opening their car door when you’re getting ready to pass, causing you to hit their door.
- Turning cars. Cars are not allowed in bike lanes. However, if a car is making a right-hand turn, it could enter the bike lane.
- Debris. Bike lanes are normally towards the side of the road. This is also commonplace to find debris like rocks, broken glass, and trash. Hitting any of those could cause your bicycle to flip or cause a flat tire.
- Familiarity. Many drivers and cyclists are not familiar with bike lanes and do not use them properly.
How Can I Reduce The Risk Of A Bicycle Accident in KY?
Riding a bicycle is both fun and rewarding, but it can be dangerous. You are completely exposed to your surroundings and are harder for other vehicles to see. Don’t let this discourage you from riding your bike, however. Here is a list of safety tips to keep in mind when you go for a bike ride in KY:
- Always wear a DOT-approved helmet and other safety gear.
- Use a front and rear light on your bike. This will make it easier for other bikers and vehicles to see you, especially when it’s dark.
- Be familiar with the bicycle laws in your area. For example, it’s illegal for anyone over 11-years-old to ride a bicycle on any sidewalk in Louisville Metro. Also, no one of any age is allowed to ride on the sidewalk downtown.
- Be seen. Wear brightly colored clothing if possible.
- Be predictable. You want other cyclists and vehicles to know your next move, like making a turn or coming to a stop. You can do this through hand signals.
- Always ride with traffic. Bicycles are considered vehicles. That means they must obey the same rules as cars.
Bicycle Accident Settlements in Louisville, KY
Although some cases go to trial, the majority of bicycle accident claims are settled. How much they settle for depends on factors that are unique to each case, such as:
- Type of Injuries Suffered: Some bicycle accident injuries such as scrapes and bruises, are comparatively minor and heal quickly while others, like spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury, can affect your life for years or even permanently. In these cases, you’re more likely to claim non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
- How Your Injuries Affect Your Employment: If you’re unable to work while you recover, you can pursue compensation for loss of income. In the case of permanent disability, you may also be entitled to compensation for loss of future earnings.
- Your Future Needs: If you suffer a debilitating injury, you may need prescription medications, support equipment, rehabilitation therapies, and/or assistance with housekeeping and personal care. All reasonable expenses you expect to incur for your future care must be included in your bicycle accident settlement.
In general, the greater the victim’s financial and emotional harm, the larger the settlement in a bicycle accident case. Your Louisville bicycle accident lawyer at The Schafer Law Office will use trusted and accurate resources to calculate the value of your claim settlement and advocate for it during negotiations with the insurance company. If a settlement is not reached in your bicycle accident case, The Schafer Law Office will be ready to take your case to trial.
Who Pays My Bills After a Louisville Bicycle Accident?
Kentucky is a no-fault state for motor vehicle accidents, meaning that drivers typically turn to their own auto insurance company to cover their losses. When you’re injured as a cyclist and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will be available through the insurance company of the car that hit you, you can use it to cover up to $10,000 of your medical bills, 85% of lost wages (up to $200 per week), and other out of pocket costs.
You can sue the responsible party directly if your claim meets the following criteria:
- You incurred over $1,000 in medical expenses
- You suffered a permanent injury, disfigurement, significant bone fracture, or significant loss of an organ or body function
Your car accident attorney in Louisville will recommend the option that best covers your financial needs, now and in the future.
What if I Was Partly Responsible for My Bicycle Accident?
Perhaps you were distracted by looking at your bike computer and didn’t see an oncoming vehicle until it was too late to avoid a collision. How does this affect your right to compensation?
Kentucky follows a pure comparative fault rule, meaning that you can still seek compensation for your injuries even if you were partly or even mainly responsible for your accident and injuries. However, your settlement or award will be reduced by your degree of fault.
As an example, if the jury awarded $20,000 in compensation for your injuries and losses but determined that you were 10% liable for the bicycle accident, your damages would be reduced by $2,000. In this case, your damages would only be $18,000.
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to assign greater degrees of blame to claimants so that they reduce the amount of compensation they have to pay. Your Louisville, KY bicycle accident lawyer will resist all attempts to minimize the value of your claim so that you get the money you really need to make a recovery.
Contact a Louisville, KY Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in the city of Louisville or Kentucky, you need to get legal advice from a Louisville bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. You’ll want to make sure any evidence that will help your case can still be gathered. You’ll want to make sure that the evidence is not destroyed. A Kentucky bicycle accident attorney can help you understand your case and Kentucky law. You want a KY bike accident attorney who cares about you. You’ll find all that and much more in Mike Schafer, Bryan Meader, and The Schafer Law Office.
With Mike Schafer and Bryan Meader on your side, you’ll be in good hands. The KY injury attorneys at The Schafer Law Office have been helping bike accident injury victims in Kentucky get compensated for more than 25 years. Unlike big bicycle accident law firms that will have other people work on your case, Mike or Bryan is personally involved in every case.
The Schafer Law Office knows the challenges and pitfalls of Kentucky bicycle accident injury cases, all the tactics of the “other” side, and how to best present the facts. They can handle the brutal tactics of the insurance companies. In fact, before Mike opened Schafer Law Office, Mike worked for an insurance defense firm. They really know all the tactics the insurance companies have up their sleeves.