St. Louis Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Although bike lanes are becoming the norm for public roads across the state, accidents still happen. Thousands of bicycle riders are injured yearly due to accidents involving motor vehicles. These accidents are usually at the bicycle rider's expense as they have little safety protection between themselves and the car. Beyond a helmet, there is not much a bicycle rider can do to protect themselves during an accident with a motor vehicle. Moving out of the way is difficult - if not impossible - because cars move much faster than any bicyclist can. The rider can increase their chances of visibility by wearing fluorescent and reflective gear, but this still cannot guarantee the person operating the vehicle will actually see them.
Bottom line, even the safest bicyclist can suffer some severe injuries regardless of wearing a helmet and reflective gear. Missouri law prohibits riding bicycles on the sidewalk (in a business district), so it is imperative that both bicyclists and motorists learn to share the road, even absent bike lanes. In this respect, the motorist cannot just tell bicyclists to "stay out of the road." Bike-vehicle accidents are rarely the bicycle rider's fault and, more commonly, the car driver's fault for failing to look for and yield to bicycles. Even low-speed collisions can injure the bicyclist while causing no damage to the driver or the driver's vehicle. In the same respect, high-speed collisions that cause no injury to the driver may seriously injure or even kill a bicyclist. Hundreds of bicyclists are killed every year due to collisions with car and truck drivers. For this reason, Missouri Law requires that drivers use the highest degree of care when operating a vehicle – meaning that a driver should not do anything that may endanger a bicyclist, even if it otherwise appears to be legal.
Accidents do happen, but it is very important that motorists are held accountable for threatening a bicyclist's safety.We understand that bicycling accidents can be traumatic, whether it is a severe injury or just a big scare – it can ruin the sport (or hobby) of biking for you completely. Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry will walk you through all of your legal options and will try our best to recover the compensation that you need and deserve.
Recovering physically and emotionally from an injury can be a tremendous struggle, but we are here to help as much as we can along the way. We will take the time to listen to all of your thoughts and concerns and do our best to give you straightforward answers to address those thoughts and concerns. Our experienced firm knows all of the ins and outs of the law, specifically concerning bicycle injuries. We will do everything in our power to use our legal experience and knowledge for your benefit. At Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, we know that the legal system can be daunting and confusing. With our legal professionals on your side, you have nothing to worry about except feeling better and getting back to doing what you love.
Who Is at Fault, the Driver or the Biker?
When it comes to bicycle-motor vehicle collisions, the biker definitely has more to lose. The individual in the vehicle is at a much lower risk for injury because the car often protects them from direct impact. The only thing protecting a biker is (hopefully) their helmet. Even low-speed collisions can injure the bicyclist while causing no damage to the driver or the driver's vehicle. In the same respect, high-speed collisions that cause no injury to the driver may seriously injure or even kill a bicyclist. Hundreds of bicyclists are killed every year due to collisions with car and truck drivers. For this reason, Missouri Law requires that drivers use the highest degree of care when operating a vehicle – meaning that a driver should not do anything that may endanger a bicyclist, even if it otherwise appears to be legal.
However, bikers are not exempt from this standard of care. Bikers must follow the rules of the road, just like the motorists. Fault essentially comes down to who was more negligent. A couple of liability factors that can be looked to for negligence after a collision are:
- Bicycle lane: Bicycle lanes are for bicycles. If a motorist crosses into a biking lane, they might easily be considered negligent. Conversely, a biker could be seen as negligent if there is a bike lane, but the biker is not using it.
- Lighting: Bikers and motorists alike are required to use lighting at night in order to be seen and avoid accidents. If one party failed to use the proper lighting at night, they might be considered negligent.
- Signaling: Bikers and motorists are also required to use signals when turning. If one party failed to use the proper signal, they might be considered negligent.
- Right-of-way: Contrary to popular belief, the biker does not always automatically have the right-of-way. The biker must follow the same rules of the road as the motorist, this means:
- Traffic light signals indicate who has the right-of-way.
- Whoever arrives first at a stop sign has the right-of-way.
- If both arrive at the same time, the person on the right has the right-of-way.
There is rarely a clear-as-day answer when it comes to who is at fault in an accident. For this reason, it is crucial to have attorneys who are both knowledgeable and experienced in bicycle injury claims. Our attorneys will argue your side vigorously. We will explain the strongest aspects of your case and any of the potential weaknesses we see. We will make sure that you understand your rights and are justly compensated, given your specific circumstances. If you or a loved one has been affected by a bicycle injury and have any questions about the extent of your own fault or another party's fault, please do not hesitate to reach out to Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry today.
What Do I Do If an Uninsured Driver Hit Me?
Bicycling is a hobby and sport enjoyed by many, but costs can be high physically and fiscally. Bicycling accidents could inflict severe injuries that lead to loss of earnings, extensive medical bills, pain and suffering, and many other physical and emotional burdens. Missouri law requires that all motor vehicle drivers maintain motor-vehicle liability insurance coverage to cover these burdens, but not everyone obeys this law. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of uninsured drivers on the road.
If an uninsured driver hits you, you may feel it is impossible to hold the driver accountable for your losses. However, the law affords many avenues for compensation outside of the other party's insurance (or lack thereof). At Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, we will exhaust all of our efforts to get you the compensation and justice that you deserve, whether it be through suing the uninsured driver and going after their personal assets or through UIM coverage. UIM coverage stands for uninsured motorist coverage; this would be through your own insurance policy, protecting you if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance and is at fault. Missouri law requires that you have UIM coverage to cover $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury. In other words, if you get in an accident with an uninsured driver, your own insurance will cover you – up to a certain amount.
Sometimes your insurance policy's uninsured motorist coverage is not enough; our legal team has experience with uninsured drivers and insurance companies alike. We will know exactly how to guide you through the process of getting the results you deserve. Though it may be more difficult to receive adequate compensation through an uninsured driver, nothing is impossible, especially with our team's extensive background in insurance set-backs within bicycle injury law. If you are not sure how to proceed with your case because of an uninsured driver, give us a call. We will help you figure out options, because at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, we firmly believe that you should not be held responsible for another party's irresponsibility.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
While every bicyclist may feel as though the chances of an accident happening to them are very low, it is vital to be prepared if an accident does happen. No one can predict when or if an accident may occur, but knowing what to do after a bicycle accident can save your attorney a lot of time and make the entire process much more advantageous for you and your case. Even in the most minor of accidents, it is essential to take each step seriously to ensure your rights are protected.
The attorneys at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry are very familiar with bicycle accidents having many years of experience recovering financial compensation for the injured and helping their clients to get back on their feet after an accident. No matter how long your road to recovery is, our lawyers will help guide you through the confusing and stressful process of getting the justice you deserve. Accidents are relatively rare and often take us by surprise; it is entirely normal to be in shock and unsure of what to do when they occur. Accordingly, we have outlined the following steps of what we would advise our clients to do in the event of a bicycle accident to ensure the optimal outcome of your case.
1. Do Not Fight or Flight
2. Contact First Responders
3. Exchange Information
4. Document Accident
5. Seek Medical Attention
6. Call a Lawyer
What Types of Bicycle Injuries Should I Get Legal Help For?
Whether it’s for your daily commute or just some fun with friends, riding a bike on public roadways can be a risky activity. While bicyclists still have the same rights to the roadway as a motorist, it may not always feel that way. Often, motorists struggle to share the road with bicyclists and can get into accidents from either not paying attention or failing to yield for bicyclists properly. According to the National Safety Council, every year, thousands of bicyclists are injured due to bike/car accidents; the cost associated with bicyclist injuries and deaths in the U.S. exceeds $4 billion per year.
The factors that can contribute to an accident are endless, but there is no debate that bicyclists are much more likely to get injured when it comes to these accidents. Bicyclists are often more aware of their surroundings than motorists because riding a bike requires a lot more of your energy and attention than driving a vehicle. Bicyclists are also mindful that they are more exposed to injury, which somewhat forces them to be more alert. On the other hand, motorists may be guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting, speeding, disobeying traffic signals, or just generally not paying attention to the road. Regardless of the reason for the collision or where the fault lies, the bicyclist is likely to end up with severe injuries while the motorist will likely suffer minor to no injuries - depending on the nature of the accident.
Some of the injuries that bicyclist might suffer due to an accident are:
- Facial Injuries
- Broken and Fractured Bones
- Chest and Abdomen Injuries
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
These injuries are painful, both physically and emotionally, and can weigh heavily on the injured and their family. Recovery can also be financially costly due to medical treatments and the possibility of being unable to work for an extensive period of time; this can be especially true in the unfortunate cases of permanent disability or death.
If you or a loved one has been affected by a bicycle accident, our team of lawyers at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry is prepared to help. We have many years of experience representing injured cyclists and will make sure you receive the compensation and justice you deserve. Our lawyers can guide you through the confusing (and sometimes frustrating) process of putting a bicycle accident behind you.
Your bicycle accident may seem very straightforward, and you may even feel like you can handle it all on your own. However, many accidents are much more complicated than they appear on the surface. Insurance companies and opposing parties alike may try to take advantage of the situation if you do not have someone on your side who knows bicycle injury law. Do not let the other side dictate what is fair to you. Let our experienced team of lawyers ensure that you receive the best outcome possible.
Bicycle-Related Quotes from the Missouri Driver Guide. p. 2.
Biketips_bikelaws.Pdf. https://mobikefed.org/sites/default/files/biketips_bikelaws.pdf. Accessed 3 July 2019.
Modot-Pedestrian-Statutes-Flyer-8-2005.Pdf. https://mobikefed.org/files/modot-pedestrian-statutes-flyer-8-2005.pdf. Accessed 3 July 2019.
Pedtips_pedlaws.Pdf. https://mobikefed.org/files/pedtips_pedlaws.pdf. Accessed 3 July 2019.
Insurance Information. https://dor.mo.gov/drivers/insurinfo.php. Accessed 9 July 2019.
“Missouri’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Laws.” Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, https://mobikefed.org/content/missouris-bicycle-and-pedestrian-laws. Accessed 3 July 2019.
Telken, Steven. “FAQs About Uninsured Motorist Accidents in Missouri.” Walton Telken, 7 June 2018, https://waltontelken.com/uninsured-motorist-accidents-missouri/.