Omaha Bicycle Accident Attorney
Few things are as relaxing and enjoyable as letting go of your worries, settling onto a bicycle, and heading out for a ride. While the wind in your hair carries you away from daily life, unfortunately, riding a bicycle also carries an extreme risk – particularly when sharing the road with a negligent vehicle operator.
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Bicycle accidents are often devastating, especially if hit by a moving car, truck, SUV, or another vehicle. The injuries sustained in a bicycle crash often lead to significant financial, emotional, and physical repercussions, often for years to come. Even if you wear a helmet and other protective gear, a violent impact with a vehicle result in serious, catastrophic, or fatal injuries. In seeking compensation that reflects the long-term impact of the accident, it is critical to be represented by an Omaha car accident attorney to protect your right to fair compensation.
No matter how carefully you ride a bike, accidents still happen. Common bike-related injuries include:
- Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most serious consequences of bicycle crashes. These injuries often require extensive medical attention, along with years of physical therapy and expensive treatments.
- Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries: Injuries to the neck and spine often cause a great deal of pain, which can require surgery and medication to handle. There is a high risk of partial or complete paralysis with this type of injury.
- Internal Injuries: Internal damage can be life-threatening as an internal organ or body system can be affected, resulting in devastating consequences.
- Loss of Limb: In some instances, injuries from a car impacting a bicyclist result in the loss of a limb, such as a hand, arm, leg, or foot.
- Broken Bones: Broken bones are common bike-related injuries and range from minor to severe. A severe break can reduce your ability to use arms, legs, or shoulders, creating lifelong pain and discomfort.
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, the key to your case is proving the liability of the other party. Nebraska holds a comparative negligence law, which means that as long as the court determines you to be 50% or less responsible for your injuries, you can recover a percentage of the compensation for your damage.
For example, if the court determines that you are 30% responsible for your injuries because you weren’t wearing a helmet, you can seek 70% of the compensation related to the injuries you sustained.
Determining liability is a process that involves interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pursue the compensation you deserve. In some cases, a lawsuit must be filed to seek justice and full compensation. A skilled trial lawyer must represent you in a case of serious injuries sustained in a bicycle accident.
In the state of Nebraska, cyclists who ride on streets or any path set aside by the local Department of Transportation have the same legal rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle operators. There are exceptions to this where the relevant laws are not applicable, and there are additional laws that specifically govern the use of bicycles in Nebraska. Understanding and following the rules of the road is vital, as violations of the law can lead to you being held either partially or fully liable for your injury.
Bicycle riding laws: Some of the critical Nebraska bicycle riding laws include:
- Bicyclists are restricted from riding on interstate highways or freeways in Nebraska. A freeway is defined as a full-access controlled highway without any level crossings.
- While riding a bicycle, you must ride on a permanently attached seat, you must have your feet on the pedals at all times, and you must have at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Bicyclists are prohibited from carrying anything that would prevent them from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Bicyclists are restricted from carrying more people than the bicycle is designed to carry.
- Bicyclists are not allowed to attach themselves or their bicycles to any vehicle on the road.
- If a bicyclist is riding on a street at less than the average speed of traffic, he or she is required to ride as close to the right-hand curb as possible (the left-hand curb is also permissible if on a one-way street with two or more lanes).
- No bicyclist is allowed to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety into the path of a vehicle that is too close to stop.
- Cyclists should not ride their bicycles on the highway if a bike path has been provided. This rule does not apply when a cyclist is riding on paved road shoulders.
Equipment on bicycles: All bicycles and riders are required to have the following safety equipment when out on Nebraska roads:
- Brakes that can stop your bicycle within 25 feet when traveling at 10 mph.
- A red light or reflector attached to the rear of the bicycle when riding at night.
- An attached light on the front when riding at night.
- Reflectors on bicycle wheels, pedals, and/or shoes when riding at night.
While insurance coverage can help after a bicycle accident, ultimately, insurance companies want to pay as little as possible in damages. An insurance company representative can appear to be helpful, but the primary goal is to develop evidence that can be used to reduce the compensation paid. After a bicycle accident, your first call should always be to an experienced personal injury attorney. Even minor misstatements could later be used to reduce the compensation paid to you.
After a bike accident caused by the negligence of another, the victim may recover compensation from the liable party. The most common compensatory damages in bicycle accident cases include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost income if you are unable to return to work
- Pain and suffering
After any bike-related incident causes you injury, you deserve to have a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer by your side to make sure your rights are protected. Call Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234 and put us to work for you. Your consultation is free, so contact us today.
- Bicycle Guide - Nebraska Department of Transportation
- Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics - Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
- Bicycle Safety - NHTSA
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