St. Louis Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Need A St. Louis Bike Accident Lawyer?
Our legal team at The Bruning Law Firm wants to help accident victims such as yourself recover for the losses and damages you have suffered through no fault of your own. Accident injuries are painful, and when a negligent driver left you with expensive medical bills, the aftermath is a stressful experience you should not have to face alone.
Our St. Louis bicycle accident lawyers at The Bruning Law Firm understand the challenges you face against insurance companies and at-fault parties. Call us today for help seeking compensation so that you don’t have to pay those medical bills out of your own pocket.
The Popularity of Cycling in St. Louis
Often voted one of the best cities for cycling across the country, St. Louis has a positive reputation among residents and visitors that travel by bicycle. With many greenway options for bicyclists to enjoy, the city is a hotspot for avid cyclists and recreational riders. In addition, many residents in St. Louis use their bicycles to commute to and from their work and daily errands as a way to stay active and go green. The city of St. Louis boasts over 135 miles of bicycle routes throughout the city.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 50,000 cyclists were injured in accidents involving motorized vehicles in 2012. While bicycling and other forms of pedal-powered transportation are both healthy and efficient, they also expose riders to the risk of serious bodily injury. When bicycles are involved in cars accidents, or truck accidents, the injuries that victims sustain can be extremely serious. In some cases, victims may be left with permanent complications as a result of their injuries as well as massive and potentially ongoing medical bills. Fortunately, if bicyclists can establish that their accident was caused by the negligence of a driver, in many cases they can recover for these and other losses with the help from an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer.
Risk of Injury and Death to Bicyclists in the St. Louis Area
Although cycling has risen in popularity throughout St. Louis, so has the frequency of bicycle accidents. Bicycles must often share the roads with motor vehicle drivers, which can put them at increased risk of injury and death. Although St.Louis offers many trails for cyclists to travel, many must travel on bike paths for their commutes or to their recreation destinations, which puts them in danger on the roadways. In a given year, Missouri can see 13 bicycle-related fatalities and close to 400 injury-producing cyclist accidents.
The Dangers to Bicyclists on the Roadways in St. Louis
Unlike pedestrians that mostly travel by sidewalks and paths off of the main roadways, bicyclists must often travel on the road with vehicular traffic. In some areas, designated paths will help to keep bicyclists in a separate lane than vehicles, but in many areas, bicycles must travel by the same rules of the road and alongside cars, trucks, and other commercial vehicles.
Bicyclists that travel along roadways in and around St. Louis will encounter unique dangers that put them at higher risk of an accident and injury.
- Parked Cars – Many people would not think of a parked car as a potential threat to the safety of cyclists. However, parked cars can cause serious injuries and even the death of an unsuspecting bicyclist that cannot react in time. The danger of a parked car is that an occupant will open their door onto the roadway without making certain a bicyclist is nearby. When a car passenger or driver opens a door that impedes a cyclist’s right of way, the bicyclist can’t avoid an accident without incident or injury. Cyclists travel at high speeds, especially when on road bicycles. They require some effort and time to come to a complete stop or safely maneuver out of the way of obstacles. An unexpected car door in the road can cause a cyclist to veer quickly into another vehicle or object or may impact the door directly, which can cause a cyclist to be thrown off their bike and into the road.
- Congested Roadways – Rush hour can be particularly dangerous for bicyclists that commute on the roadways. Heavy traffic can cause impatient motorists to weave in and out of traffic or attempt to use bicycle lanes and the road shoulder to overtake other vehicles and get ahead. Bicyclists can’t easily cross congested intersections safely, leaving them vulnerable to drivers who speed or run red lights and other traffic signals.
- Visibility – Bicyclists are much smaller than any motor vehicle or even motorcycle on the road. The presence of a bicyclist on the road can often go unnoticed until it is too late. Motorists don’t always respect the right of bicyclists to share the road alongside them. Visibility challenges become even greater during the nighttime hours, dawn, dusk, or inclement weather.
- Slower Speed – Bicycles can move at much higher speeds than pedestrians, but these human-powered modes of transportation cannot maintain the same high rate of speed as motor vehicles. Even the most elite athletes in the world will travel on average at 25 mph on flat roads. The slower speeds of bicyclists can cause drivers to become impatient if they are behind one. In these instances, many drivers attempt to overtake the cyclists even if they don’t take the proper precautions or have the space to do so safely. Many bicycle accidents will occur when a vehicle attempts to overtake or pass a rider.
- Riding in Pelotons (Large Groups) – An activity unique to cyclists. Riding in large groups is common, especially during training and weekend rides. This activity, however, can increase the danger of injury and death to the cyclists involved. When riding in a peloton, cyclists must remain alert of their surrounding riders and motor vehicles. Any mistake by another rider or impact of a vehicle on one of the cyclists can result in a massive crash that can cause many injuries and damage. Motor vehicles that encounter pelotons while driving are also likely to make any attempt to pass the group when not safe, which will put all of the cyclists at risk.
- Road Conditions – Damage to the road, smaller debris, or other obstacles can pose a slight risk to motor vehicles, but often, many can avoid the dangers with ease. Unfortunately, the most minor of road issues can place bicyclists in serious danger. An unexpected rock, nail in the road, or loose gravel can cause a cyclist to lose control of their bicycle and into nearby traffic.
- Weather – Inclement and dangerous weather is not the time for cyclists to be on the road, but some may unexpectedly get caught during a commute. When this occurs, they are in danger of a bicycle accident. Wet roads can make navigation difficult, while rain and snow can significantly reduce the visibility of motorists nearby, making it challenging for them to identify a cyclist that shares the road.
The Cause of Most Bicycle Accidents – Negligent Drivers
In just one year, over 800 bicyclists in the U.S. will lose their lives in motor vehicle accidents. Of those accidents, the vast majority will share the same cause: negligent drivers. Motorists do not often feel threatened by bicyclists on the road and many disregard the rights of a cyclist to share the road. This general attitude towards cyclists can make traveling on the roadways a deadly risk.
Motorists that engage in certain behaviors are more likely to cause a bicycle accident.
- Distractions – Distracted drivers that lose focus for just a moment can strike a cyclist that is on the side of the road or crossing an intersection. Unlike a nearby vehicle that is more difficult to miss, a cyclist can easily be overlooked and struck when a driver is not fully alert and aware of their surroundings.
- Drinking – Drivers under the influence pose a risk to everyone on the road and cyclists are no exception. This risk is even higher for bicyclists that may travel along roads in the early morning hours or on weekends in areas where drivers travel from their evening activities.
- Speeding – Drivers that speed, risk the lives of cyclists. Their high speed will not allow the driver to identify a cyclist with sufficient time to react. In addition, the higher the speed at which a vehicle travels at the time of a bicycle accident, the higher the chance of the cyclist’s death. Cyclists travel mostly unprotected on their bikes; impact from a vehicle can lunge cyclists large distances into the air and ultimately into the pavement or another vehicle.
- Aggressive – Probably one of the most frequent types of negligent driver encountered by cyclists. Aggressive drivers will attempt to overtake cyclists with little regard or patience to await a safe opportunity.
Common Injuries in a St. Louis Bicycle Crash
Bicycle riders have little protection other than their helmets. While a helmet is a critical piece of safety equipment that can increase the chance of a cyclist’s survival in a bicycle accident, it cannot prevent all injuries. Bicycle accident injuries are often serious and many cyclists may not survive the impact with a motor vehicle.
Bicycle accident injuries often take time to heal and recover from and many can leave permanent effects on the life of a victim.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – Brain injuries are among the most common in a bicycle accident and one of the most dangerous. These injuries can leave cyclists with loss of mobility and function that can take years to recover from and in some instances can result in permanent brain damage.
- Spinal Cord Injury – Broken backs, necks, and other spinal cord injuries often afflict survivors of bicycle accidents. Bicyclists travel at high speeds and speeding vehicles can hit them. The momentum of these accidents results in unimaginable forces on the human body as bicyclists fall onto the ground, other vehicles, or nearby objects.
- Road Rash – When bicyclists fall off their bikes into the road beneath them they may often have exposed areas of skin that come into contact with the ground. Road rash injuries are most common in all bicycle accidents, even those occurring off the roads, but the speed and hardness of road surfaces result in severe road rash injuries.
- Broken Bones – Broken bones in a bicycle accident are common, especially in the arms and legs of riders. When bicyclists fall they will likely attempt to break their fall, which can cause fractures and breaks of one or multiple bones.
- Internal Injuries – While not always visible, internal bleeding and injuries to organs can endanger the health of cyclists. The impact of a bicycle accident can cause internal injuries whenever the body strikes another object or the ground.
Damages in a Bicycle Accident Case
If a bicycle accident injured you through no fault of your own, you might recover compensation against the party responsible. Under the law, victims of a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle can seek compensation against a negligent party for their damages and losses. While negotiations with insurers will resolve most cases, some may require lawsuits. A lawyer can evaluate your case and help you determine the best course of action to protect your rights and for you to fight for the compensation you deserve following a bicycle accident.
Damages you can seek in a bicycle accident case can include:
- Current and future
- medical costs
- Current and future income losses
- Damage to the bicycle and other personal effects
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality and enjoyment of life
- Compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one
When Should You Call a Lawyer After a St. Louis Bicycle Accident?
If you or a loved one is in a bicycle accident, you must contact a bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the collision occurs. Do not accept any settlement offers from an insurer or the party at fault without first consulting a lawyer. You may feel nervous and uncertain about the medical expenses and other costs and losses you have accrued because of your injuries.
Our lawyers can advocate for your rights through a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit. Our goal is to help you reach a positive resolution in your case and set you on a path forward from your unfortunate and preventable accident.Call The Bruning Law Firm today if a driver hit you while you rode your bike in St. Louis—whether in the city or county—or in the Metro East area of Illinois. You can reach us at (314) 735-8100 or contact us online for your free claim evaluation.
Contact a St. Louis Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Bicycle accident victims may be eligible to receive significant financial compensation for their injuries and other losses. Contact The Bruning Law Firm today at (314) 735-8100 to discuss your claim with an experienced St. Louis bicycle accident attorney.
The Bruning Law Firm
555 Washington Ave Ste 600A,
St. Louis, MO 63101
“AJ and team were so delightful to work with. They were very responsive to all emails and phone calls. I always knew which step we were on in the process of getting my lawsuit settled. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the amount the settlement was for was twice that of the original coverage of the insurance company. I don’t know how they did it but I am very pleased with the service they provided. Hands down easiest process, and people to deal with. 100% recommend if you have a personal injury case to be worked. Hopefully I won’t need their services again, but if I do I won’t hesitate to call.” – Amanda W.
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