Have you or a loved one been involved in a bicycle accident in Delaware? If you were injured, you may have the right to seek compensation. Contact Edelstein Martin & Nelson for a free consultation.
Getting on a bicycle for the first time is typically something that happens in early childhood, following you all through the ages. Many individuals who ride bikes do so for the feeling of freedom, as well as a healthy form of exercise that gets them from one destination to the next. With millions of people biking every year in the U.S., safety is a major concern for bicyclists, as many risks exist. Unfortunately, bicycle-related accidents are on the rise in the U.S., leading to serious injuries for many.
Over just the past few years, it is estimated that up to 6% of the U.S. population took up bicycling as a new mode of transportation and entertainment. Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 1,000 bicyclists lose their lives and over 130,000 sustain serious injuries in bike accidents throughout the U.S. No matter how cautious you may be when you’re biking, a Delaware bicycle accident can still occur in the blink of an eye due to the negligence of another driver sharing our roads.
After an accident, speaking with a Delaware bicycle accident lawyer who has handled personal injury claims in the past is incredibly crucial. Our attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson are here to protect the rights of all bicyclists who have sustained injuries in a preventable Delaware bicycle accident.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents Involving Motor Vehicle Drivers
Though a bicycle accident can happen due to many different reasons, a percentage of all bike accidents occur when drivers make road mistakes in a car. The main cause of accidents involving a Delaware bicycle rider and a vehicle driver is a driver who fails to yield to a bicyclist. The most common types of bike accidents that occur with passenger vehicles include the following:
Right-Cross Collisions: Motorists are supposed to yield to bicyclists who are riding with the flow of traffic. However, bicyclists sometimes ride against traffic and a motorist makes a right turn in front of them, which accounts for about 25% of all bicycle accidents. When a passenger vehicle driver makes a right turn from a side street or a driveway in front of a cyclist, a cycling accident could occur where the bike rider slams into the left side of the passenger vehicle. Passenger vehicle drivers are supposed to always look out for bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable parties when stopped at stop signs or lights.
Left-Cross Collisions: A left-cross collision occurs when a bicyclist rides with the flow of traffic but an oncoming driver makes a left turn in front of them. Though these accidents are more common involving motorcyclists due to their quick speed, they still account for a small percentage of bicycle accidents each year in the U.S. and, more specifically, Delaware as well.
Rear-End Collisions: At times, a bicycle accident could occur when a bicyclist approaches a vehicle from the back and slams into their car. This type of bike accident tends to occur at stop signs and could take place due to failing brakes or even a driver who makes a sudden stop.
Right Hook: A right hook accident occurs when a bicyclist is traveling on the right side of the road and a vehicle driver suddenly makes a right turn into their path. Motorists tend to forget that bicyclists are in a blind spot and they might not see them until it is too late.
Door-Related Accident: Accidents known as “dooring” take place when a motorist inside a parked vehicle opens their door when a bicyclist is passing them. Typically, these accidents involve a passenger who opens their car door and a sidewalk-riding bicyclist slams into the door. Due to the force of these accidents, a bicyclist could be thrown onto the ground, where they sustain serious injuries like head trauma and broken bones.
Night time Overtaking: Accidents sometimes occur when a motor vehicle driver overtakes a bicyclist on their left side. These accidents are more common at night, when bicyclists are less likely to be seen by a passenger vehicle driver.
Many bike accidents involving motor vehicle drivers can be prevented when drivers obey the rules of the road and when distracted driving is avoided. Being aware of these vulnerable parties on our roads is essential for safe biking throughout Delaware and beyond. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident due to a negligent driver, it is important to know that you have many options with the assistance of a Delaware bicycle accident lawyer on your side.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident to Protect Your Health and Rights
After a Delaware bicycle accident, protecting your health and your future rights in a claim are incredibly essential elements. Injured cyclists should start thinking about these aspects from the moment that a bike crash occurs. Here are some of the steps that you should remember to take as a bicyclist who has been involved in an accident with a vehicle driver:
- Call 911 so that EMS crews and police can assist you at the scene, especially when a personal injury has occurred
- Obtain the information of all drivers involved in the accident, including auto insurance policy information
- Speak with witnesses and also obtain their personal information
- Document all aspects of your bicycle accident while it is fresh in your mind
- Document your injuries and never deny medical attention
- Never negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company on your own
- Seek advice from a skilled Delaware bicycle accident lawyer
Common Injuries Caused by Delaware Bicycle Accidents
Because bicyclists have no protection in the event of a bike accident involving a passenger vehicle, they are likely to sustain traumatic injuries. Because the injuries stemming from a bicycle crash can be catastrophic and severe, it is important that you always seek immediate medical attention. Some of the most common Delaware bike accident injuries include the following:
Head Injuries/Traumatic Brain Injuries: When a bicyclist is riding without a helmet and a bicycle crash occurs, a head injury could result. When something as serious as a skull fracture occurs, a traumatic brain injury could result. Brain injuries could be present even when there is no visible injury to a rider’s head. Brain injuries can cause many severe symptoms such as dizziness, memory loss, mood swings, and permanent emotional changes.
Facial Injuries: Facial injuries can occur due to bicycle accidents as well. These include broken teeth, fractures of the jaw and other facial bones, vision issues, and more.
Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries, such as torn ligaments and knee joint problems, are common in serious bicycle accidents.
Back Injuries: When a cyclist is struck with force, they are likely to be thrown from their bicycle and onto the ground. This means that a cyclist could receive an injury to their spinal cord. In the worst cases, a cyclist could become paralyzed due to these severe injuries.
Broken Bones: When you fall from your bicycle in your accident, broken bones are likely to occur. These fractures can be incredibly painful and take a long time to heal, keeping you from work and everyday activities that you enjoyed before your accident.
If you have sustained any type of injury in a bicycle accident, speaking with a Delaware personal injury attorney is the best way to get back on your feet financially as you physically recover. A law firm with years of experience in these cases will help you recover compensation that you deserve via your personal injury claim.
Ways to Increase Your Safety When Biking
There are many health and recreational benefits to riding a bicycle. However, within seconds, a severe accident could occur that turns your life upside down for months or even years to come. This is why it is important to remember safety when riding a bicycle so that serious injuries can be prevented. Of course, the best way to prevent serious injuries in a bicycle accident is by wearing a helmet. Head protection is incredibly important, as a head injury can leave you with permanent effects. There are some other important bicycle safety steps that you can take as well, which include the following:
- Ride a bicycle that is the perfect fit for you so that you can stay in control of your bicycle.
- Make sure that your brakes work before you head out.
- Wear any type of equipment that can make you visible if you are riding at night or in high-traffic areas.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Obey any and all street signs posted on the road.
- Always assume that drivers do not see you.
It can be difficult to face the aftermath of a bicycle accident, which is why you should never handle a claim on your own. You should reach out to contact a Delaware bicycle accident lawyer at Edelstein Martin & Nelson to get the support you need during this trying time.
Types of Evidence to Collect After a Bicycle Accident
Evidence is the best way to prove that your accident occurred, and that it happened due to the negligence of one or more other parties. Some types of evidence are crucial if you want to be successful when it comes to moving forward with a personal injury claim against an at fault driver. These include some of the following:
Photographs and Videos: With everybody having cell phones with them at all times, you should be able to take photographs and video of the accident scene and any property damage to your bike. Photos and videos are one of the best ways to establish that a driver caused your accident.
Medical Records: If you have been hurt and sustained any injuries in your accident, you will require medical attention. This means that you will need to collect your medical records so that you can establish that these injuries actually existed following your bicycle crash.
Bills Associated with Your Accident: A Delaware bicycle accident attorney will help you obtain all of the bills that you sustained after your accident so that you can get working toward financial recovery. These include medical bills associated with your claim, lost wages you have sustained due to missed work, and any other bills related to your accident thus far. You may also be able to recover for medical bills and lost wages you will experience in the future due to ongoing injury treatment and lost time at work.
Eyewitness Testimony: If there were witnesses to your accident, they will be able to give testimony on your behalf about what happened during your collision. These statements can be helpful when it comes to determining fault and moving forward with a successful claim.
Choosing the Best Bicycle Accident Attorney for Your Case
After a bicycle collision, you deserve fair compensation for the medical expenses, lost wages, and many other damages you have sustained. The best way to receive these types of compensation after an accident is speaking with a compassionate and experienced Delaware bicycle accident lawyer. Bicycle accidents can be entirely complex claims, which is why you should have a skilled law firm on your side to deal with the other driver’s insurance company and help you receive fair compensation. Here are some steps that you can take to find the best bicycle accident attorney for the job:
- Seeking referrals from those around you
- Looking for attorneys who have specifically handled bicycle accident claims
- Looking at an attorney’s success rates in regards to bicycle accidents
- Seeking attorneys who work on a contingency fee
Our knowledgeable and dedicated Delaware bicycle accident attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson will handle your claim from start to finish after you have been hurt in a severe bicycle accident. You should never move forward with a personal injury claim without the help of an experienced Delaware bicycle accident lawyer, as working with the other driver’s insurance company can bring forth many complications. Our law firm will assist you with every aspect of your bike accident claim.
Why You Should Not Handle a Bicycle Accident Claim on Your Own
Negotiating a bicycle accident claim on your own is not a wise decision. The other driver’s insurance company will try to reach out to you, but you should not speak to them without first talking to a skilled Delaware bicycle accident lawyer. This is because the insurance company might try to take advantage of you and twist your words so that they can deny you the compensation that you deserve in your personal injury claim. An insurance company will do anything that they can to deny or lessen a claim, which is why you should have help from an experienced attorney on your side.
On top of this reason, you also want to get the best legal advice as you move forward with a claim – especially if you believe that your accident warrants a lawsuit. These can quickly become complicated matters, and you don’t want to make any moves that will prevent you from preserving your rights. This is why you should always have the help of a Delaware bicycle accident lawyer on your side.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations After a Bicycle Accident
What is the Delaware statute of limitations and why is it an important consideration when it comes to your bike accident claim? The statute of limitations is the period of time that you have to bring a personal injury claim after an accident before you are barred from doing so. If you plan to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other damages, you want to abide by this statute and bring a claim before time ticks down.
In Delaware, the statute of limitations is two years after the date of your bicycle accident or when you discovered your injuries. You never want to delay when it comes to bringing a personal injury claim after a bike accident. This is why you should speak with one of our bicycle accident attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson as soon as possible after an accident.
Delaware Comparative Negligence Laws and Third Party Negligence
In Delaware, comparative negligence laws exist, which could reduce the amount of compensation that you receive in a Delaware bicycle accident claim. Under these laws, if a bicyclist is more than 50% at fault for an accident, they could be barred from compensation when bringing a bicycle accident claim. If you are less than 50% at fault for your accident, you can receive financial recovery but these damages could be significantly less depending on your own fault.
Another thing to remember is that a claim can be brought against a third party in Delaware. For instance, what happens if there was a hazard on the road or poor road maintenance that contributed to your accident? This very well means that a government entity could share fault in your accident. A manufacturer could also be to blame if your bicycle was manufactured incorrectly and an accident resulted. After a bike crash, speaking with an attorney is vital so that you can be sure to hold the correct parties accountable in your claim.
Compensation You Can Receive in Your Delaware Bicycle Accident Claim
Injured cyclists who have been hurt due to another party’s negligence will be able to recover compensation for many expenses after an accident. Here are some common damages that you may be able to recover following a bicycle accident:
- Medical costs related to emergency room care, surgeries you received, long-term medical care, ongoing medical tests, and more
- Lost wages due to any missed time at work, as well as time that you may miss out at work in the future
- Physical property damage to your bicycle and any other property that was damaged in the collision
On top of this, you could receive pain and suffering damages depending on the severity of your bicycle accident. Any cyclist who was injured in a catastrophic and life-altering bicycle accident could sustain physical and emotional damage as a result. You may feel scared and uncomfortable after your accident, as well as lose the enjoyment of bike riding. These damages can help you obtain compensation for any lasting psychological damage resulting from the accident.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal Bicycle Accident
If you have had to endure the unfortunate and sudden loss of a loved one in a bicycle collision, you may be able to successfully bring a wrongful death claim on their behalf. Wrongful death claims are serious and complex matters where proving negligence led to a fatality is key. There are many parties who can successfully bring a wrongful death claim, such as spouses, children, parents, and other individuals related to the deceased.
Handfuls of lives are taken due to bicycle accidents in Delaware each year. Having an experienced attorney on your side is crucial if you want to move forward with a successful wrongful death claim and receive compensation for some of the following:
- Medical expenses your loved one sustained before their passing
- Lost income related to your loved one’s death leading to a lack of income
- Pain and suffering your family has sustained
- Loss of companionship and loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial-related expenses
Those who lose loved ones in bicycle accidents in Delaware are urged to act quickly. If you are somebody who has lost someone close to you in a fatal bicycle accident, you should speak with our Delaware wrongful death attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson immediately.
Contact a Delaware Bicycle Accident Attorney Today for Results
Being hurt in a Delaware bicycle accident can turn your life upside-down from the moment the accident occurs. You may be feeling worried and concerned after your accident, which is completely normal when you have been injured and wonder where you can turn. As you focus on your physical recovery due to your injuries, you should not have to handle the legal work that comes with a claim.
Speaking with a skilled bicycle accident attorney in Delaware is the best decision that you can make as you move forward after an accident. With years of combined legal experience, our attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson are here to assist you and your family. We believe in helping you gain compensation and peace of mind after your bicycle accident. Please contact an attorney that you can trust in Delaware at (302) 295-5050 for more information on your available options.