Las Vegas Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bicycle Accidents in Nevada
“Share the road!”—it’s a safety standard that drivers must adhere to and one that cyclists depend on every day. Because cyclists have relatively little protection compared to drivers and passengers in large, heavy vehicles, it is crucial for cyclists that motorists are careful, safe, and always share the road. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you were hit by a distracted, careless, or reckless driver while cycling, you are likely facing significant injuries and a long, difficult road to recovery. You don’t have to face this alone.
At Bertoldo, Baker, Carter, Smith & Cullen, our Las Vegas bicycle accident lawyers understand just how devastating it is to be struck by a car, truck, or motorcycle while riding your bike. Our entire team of dedicated attorneys, legal professionals, and staff is here to help you get back on your feet. We have decades of experience and a history of success, having secured millions of dollars for our clients over the years. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, reach out to our firm to learn how we can fight for you, too.
Fighting for Injured Cyclists Since 1985
Call our office at (702) 505-8115 or contact us online to get started with your free initial consultation. We offer services in English and Spanish.
Nevada Bicycle Laws
Unfortunately, there is a stigma against bike riders when they are involved in accidents. Many drivers are too quick to blame the bike rider as being the cause of the accident, rather than looking at the whole situation.
Every bicyclist is urged to follow the rules of the road. This will ensure that they are being safe and keeping themselves out of harm’s way. Additionally, it will ensure that they are more easily visible when sharing the road with other motor vehicles.
Some of those rules include:
- Take care not to interfere with the motion of anyone driving a motor vehicle
- Ride their bicycle with the flow of traffic, not against it
- Cyclists must follow all normal traffic rules, including stopping at stop signs/red lights
- No one is permitted to ride a bicycle on the shoulder of a roadway
- When available, cyclists should always ride in designated bicycle lanes
- Cyclists are required to use hand signals when turning, changing lanes, or stopping
Additionally, motorists have a responsibility to follow certain rules in order to keep cyclists safe. Some of these include:
- Every motorist should take care to avoid a collision with a cyclist
- Motor vehicles should pass cyclists on the left if they must share a traffic lane
- Motorists must give people on bicycles at least three feet of space when passing
- On multi-lane roadways/highways, motorists must give cyclists a full lane when passing
Despite these rules of the road, 52,000 bike riders are injured and 716 cyclists are killed due to bicycle accidents every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cyclists represent about 14% of all traffic accident fatalities. It’s essential for cyclists to stay informed and safe in order to avoid becoming a statistic themselves.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
The most common accident involving a bicycle is a collision with a car or another type of motor vehicle. However, bicycle accidents can also occur when cyclists hit a pedestrian who is not paying attention or when they collide with other cyclists who are being negligent. Sometimes, a defective bike part can lead to damage which, in turn, may result in an accident.
Examples of how defective bicycle parts can cause accidents include:
- Bicycle tire blowouts
- Stuck gears
- Brake failures
- Unsafe bike helmets
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
When it comes to a collision with a motor vehicle, fellow cyclist, or pedestrian, the most common injuries cyclists endure include soft tissue damage (e.g., trauma to the skin and muscles) and bone fractures. In fatal and serious accidents, the most common injury is severe head or brain trauma.
What Should I Do If I Get in a Bike Accident?
First, seek immediate medical attention if you or another involved person has been hurt. You should also contact the police to get an official report of the incident on record. Next, gather as much information about the incident as you can. Take down the names and phone numbers of every driver that was involved and get the contact information of any witnesses in the area. Also, be sure to get the insurance information from every driver involved in the accident. Take photos of the scene and collect every broken bicycle part as evidence.
Once you have done these things and, most importantly, received proper medical care, the next thing you should do is contact a bicycle accident attorney. You could be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, but actually recovering this compensation can be difficult without the help of a skilled legal professional.
Insurance Questions About Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can result in permanent injuries, broken equipment and bicycles, and lost income from periods of disability. Parties responsible for these damages can be held accountable, and their motor vehicle liability insurance can be used to pay for everything. You as a bicyclist have the same rights to make a claim for your injuries and damages as a motorist. If a driver negligently operated their vehicle and you’ve suffered for it, then they should be on the hook for your damages. In Nevada, you can seek these damages regardless of any insurance you have purchased to cover yourself.
Although, if your insurance does pay, you get the benefit of having paid the premiums, not the tortfeasor. Most laws allow your health insurance a right of reimbursement if there’s a recovery, but an attorney can often negotiate this amount. Using all the insurance that is available to best benefit you is vital.
Most cyclists also own motor vehicles, and their auto insurance often applies in a bicycle accident case, too. Coverage you absolutely want to have under your car insurance is Medical Payments (aka “Med Pay”) and uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM). Both are relatively inexpensive but hugely beneficial. UM/UIM will provide coverage in the event the at-fault driver didn’t have coverage or didn’t have enough coverage to pay for all related damages.
Nevada Insurance Minimums
Nevada mandates liability insurance of:
- $15,000 per person
- $30,000 per accident (if multiple people are injured)
$15,000 doesn’t go very far, though. A broken shoulder’s medical costs and lost time from work, let alone ongoing disability, will have a value far exceeding the minimum limits. If your liability coverage is more than your UM/UIM, why would you insure others better than you insure yourself? You should talk with your insurance provider about increasing your policy caps.
Additional Liability Situations for Bicycle Accident Claims
Homeowner’s insurance can apply if a pedestrian or non-motorized vehicle acts negligently. Businesses can be held responsible if danger is created through road debris, unsecured loads, construction, lack of warnings, negligent drivers, etc. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can be liable for selling defective biking equipment caused by manufacturing defects, design defects, and failing to warn of foreseeable dangers. Holding shop owners responsible may be necessary when bikes are improperly assembled, modified, or serviced.
Can You Sue If Hurt at a Bike Event?
Most bicycle events like races or marathons require participants to sign a liability waiver that makes it seem like the event planner cannot be sued for any accidents or injuries. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that you have no recourse at all. Liability waivers must be specific and frequently aren’t interpreted to relieve someone of negligence. If you’ve assumed the risk of the activity, was the specific risk or danger that caused you harm known? Could it and should it have been prevented through reasonable effort? There are many factors that can give you complete authority to file a claim or lawsuit.
How Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
At Bertoldo, Baker, Carter, Smith & Cullen, we make it our goal to treat every client with the utmost compassion and understanding. The care and attention we put into each case allows us to better understand your unique situation, the challenges you have endured, and the difficulties that still lay ahead. From there, our Las Vegas bicycle accident attorneys can craft a strong, personalized claim aimed at securing the maximum compensation you are owed.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Bertoldo, Baker, Carter, Smith & Cullen Today
Every cyclist should feel safe on the road. It isn’t fair to let one wrong turn or one driver’s careless mistake ruin the rest of your life. Seek the help and compensation you need today—reach out to Bertoldo, Baker, Carter, Smith & Cullen. We offer a free initial consultation for anyone who’s in need of our representation. We can even visit you if you’re unable to leave your home or the hospital.
Contact our firm online or call us at (702) 505-8115.
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