Bicycle Accident Lawyer Kansas City
According to the Center for Disease Control, bicycle accidents lead to 1.2 million doctor visits, 580,000 emergency room visits, 23,000 hospital admissions, and nearly 900 deaths each year in the United States. Additionally, bicyclists face a higher risk of crashes and suffering severe injuries than car vehicles. Unfortunately, the number of severe bicycle accidents continues to rise.
If you or a family member has been involved in a bicycle accident, you need to understand that you are not alone. You can always seek legal assistance to be by your side and reach out for the best compensation for your injuries. You might be entitled to pursue compensation for loss of wages, loss of financial or emotional support.
We understand that being involved in a bicycle accident can be devastating, and sometimes it ends tragically. Our law firm is here to answer your questions, and offer guidance in understanding your legal rights, and walk you through the entire process.
Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Kansas City
Bicycle accidents causes may vary from case to case and can occur in many circumstances. It can happen at an intersection with a stop sign or light or when making a left-hand turn. Most drivers tend to blame bicyclists when an accident happens, but at times the driver has failed to yield the right of way, or it was distracted. Separately, drunk drivers are responsible for a considerable number of bicycle accidents.
Other factors may include the weather conditions, speeding, making wrong turns, driver’s failure to signal, or a sudden lane change. Either way, a bicyclist should always be aware and ride defensively to avoid serious injuries. If such an accident occurs, the cyclist will face the worst of the impact, dealing with severe injuries.
How Can You Prove Who Caused the Bicycle Accident
When dealing with any type of personal injury accident, you are entitled to recover damages for your injuries once you are capable of proving that the other party was negligent when the accident occurred. Negligence is used to describe the best behavior that doesn’t respect the standard of care in certain circumstances.
Insurance companies representing the at-fault party will try to fight against you, blaming that your negligence has contributed to the accidents. Kansas is a comparative negligence state, implying that in some cases, the right to recover compensation might be reduced or even eliminated if you are found partially at fault.
With that being said, you should always get legal assistance to walk by your side; that will help you gather evidence and present the strongest case on your behalf.
A top-rated personal injury lawyer will usually help you with:
- getting and reviewing a police report;
- taking statements from witnesses;
- taking photographs of the accident;
- obtaining and reviewing medical records and bills;
- consulting with professionals regarding the long-term implications of your injuries.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you must get proper medical care and treatment for your injuries, no matter how minor they might be. After the crash, contact the police and get a copy of the police report as soon as possible. Do not leave the accident scene without taking photos, getting contact information from the driver or witnesses. Finally, seek a free consultation with a Kansas bicycle accident attorney before calling your insurance company.
Liability and Damages in a Bicycle Accident in Kansas City
When suffering a catastrophic bicycle accident, your primary concern is to get medical care and treatment. It is crucial to understand that insurance companies are in the business of making money, so they may not offer a fair settlement or consider the extent of your injuries. Hold off on signing any agreement with the insurance company until you speak with an experienced Kansas City bike accident attorney.
Following your personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings, and pain and suffering. With Kansas being a comparative negligence state, the total compensation could be reduced by the percentage of the victim is found to be at fault.
Compared to Missouri, a pure comparative negligence state, Kansas is a modified comparative negligence state. That means that the defendant is required to pay for the damages if the victim is found to be less than 50 percent at fault for the injuries. If the victim’s negligence is greater than 50 percent, then the victim won’t file a successful claim for damages. On the other hand, if the victim is found to be 49 percent at fault, they will be entitled to compensation from the defendant for 51 percent of the total damages.
By hiring an experienced personal injury attorney, both the facts of your case and the extent of your injuries will be closely examined to successfully file a claim against the responsible party. The attorney will be able to detail to the court the percentage you might be found at fault.
Bicycle Laws in Kansas City
Kansas has implemented many laws for cyclists. Generally, bicyclists are required to obey the same laws as any drivers, but there are still regulations by which a bicyclist has to abide:
- They must stay as far to the right as possible at all times, except for when preparing for a left turn, overtaking another bicyclist, avoiding hazards, on a good run only name, or when needing to go straight.
- Unless they are riding on a path designated explicitly for bicyclists, they are forbidden to pedal next to each other. Bicyclists must ride in a line.
- Bicyclist’s reflective lighting must be in place at all times. Although it is not required by laws in Kansas to wear a helmet, it is recommended to do so to be as visible as possible for drivers,
- Under Kansas law, a bicyclist should own a front-facing dead lamp that’ll provide 500 feet of visibility when riding at night. Additionally, it is required to have a rear-facing red reflector that is visible from a distance of 600 feet by approaching car vehicles.
Separately, drivers must also follow the rules of the road and are subject to their own laws. They must keep a safe distance from the bicyclist, which is a minimum of three feet. They also most not travel or park their cars in the specially designated bicycle lanes. By failing to follow these driving rules may lead to misdemeanor offenses or traffic citations.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
While bicycles have always been an environmentally friendly alternative or a healthy alternative to driving or taking the bus, many bicycle accidents have seen a significant increase in the last years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes annual data on crash statistics throughout the United States. The NHTSA confirmed that between 2010 and 2012, Florida had the most bicycle accidents per million residents, while Kansas was placed in the 39th position.
Other studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that young adults and adolescents, or adults over the age of 40, have the highest bicycle death rates. Then children, or young adults under the age of 24, are the most likely to suffer injuries from bicycle accidents.
Why Should You Hire a Kansas City Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
While you may always try to prevent or avoid bicycle accidents, you can never be sure of what will happen to you. No matter how severe your injuries are, you have a legal right to seek compensation for them. Whether you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident or a negligent driver caused a family member to die in such an accident, both you and your family can file a wrongful death claim that will allow you to obtain compensation for your loss of financial and emotional support.
The medical bills can reach a substantial amount of money, and the more severe the injuries, the more expenses you will have. In addition, you may lose your capacity for work, which will make your situation more complicated. For this matter, it is essential to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. By seeking the legal representation of our law firm, we will do our best to pursue a claim for damages such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost future earnings, past and future pain and suffering.
We understand how important it is for you and your family to have legal help by your side and have someone to provide you with answers, support, and guidance throughout the bicycle accident process. At RKB LAW, LLC, we will make sure your rights are fully protected. We will help you recover what you are entitled to under Kansas City’s law, and we’ll help you consider the right decision for your bicycle accident claim.
To speak with our Kansas City personal injury lawyers, contact us at (816) 813-8256 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are looking forward to being of your assistance.