Omaha Bicycle Accident Attorney
Finding the Right Attorney After an Omaha Bike Accident
In many cases, bicyclists suffer severe damage due to another person’s negligence. Automobile drivers recklessly invade your right-of way or fail to even recognize your presence on the road. Fortunately, Nebraska law is designed to protect your rights and privileges as travelers with equal rights to use the roadway.
Under Nebraska law, a bicycle accident victim may be entitled to a significant compensation. Although the damages in these cases can be extensive, insurance companies are commonly quite stingy. That’s why we are here to fight for your interests. Because we have extensive experience in Omaha car accident cases, we know how to get you a fair payout, even against major insurance companies who are used to getting their way.
From the moment we take your case, Bottlinger Law L.L.C. is on your side. We will start by listening carefully to everything you have to say. You are going through a difficult time, so we try to provide as much support and understanding as possible.
We will perform a full investigation and gather the information needed to prove your case. Our team will be with you throughout the claims process, and we will keep you informed every step of the way. We are very successful when it comes to getting settlements from unwilling insurance companies, and if that means taking your case to court, we aren’t afraid to do it.
What Are Common Bicycle Accident Injuries in Omaha?
Bicycle accidents can be very dangerous. In fact, two percent of all traffic fatalities involve cyclists. Injuries range from minor scrapes and bruises to life-threatening bleeding and contusions. Strains, fractures, abrasions, lacerations (cuts,) and contusion (bruising) of varying severity can all result from a bicycle accident, whether you just fall off your bicycle or if you collide with a vehicle, pedestrian, or another cyclist.
No matter how carefully you ride a bike, accidents still happen. You should not try to move or ride your bicycle. Instead, call 911 and get to the emergency room as soon as possible. Common bike-related injuries include:
- Head and Brain Injuries: If you suffer any type of head injury from crashing or falling, you should see a doctor right away. Head injuries can include contusions, cranial hemorrhage, concussions, and skull fracture. Head injuries cause more long-term disabilities than any other type of bicycle 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 pain could be an indication of serious organ damage, such as a ruptured spleen, bowel contusion, or pancreatic trauma. These are all very serious conditions that require immediate medical intervention.
- Broken Bones: Broken bones are common bike-related injuries. Pain, swelling, and difficulty moving could all be an indication of broken bones. A severe break can reduce your ability to use arms, legs, or shoulders, creating lifelong pain and discomfort.
- Bleeding: Bleeding can be either internal or external. Use basic first aid and apply direct pressure and seek medical assistance. Dizziness, fatigue, confusion, paleness, and shortness of breath can all be signs of internal bleeding.
- 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.
Determining Liability and Comparative Negligence
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.
What Are Bicycle Traffic Laws in Nebraska?
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.
What About Insurance?
Under Nebraska law, a person is negligent when they behave recklessly or carelessly and it results in harm to another person. From our experience, this is often the case when motorists cause accidents involving bicyclists, so it’s only fair that they should have to pay for your pain and suffering.
While insurance coverage can help after a bicycle accident, insurance companies generally want to pay out as little as possible in damages. An insurance company representative can appear to be helpful, but their 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.
There’s a possibility that your uninsured and underinsured motorist UM/UIM coverage applies if you are hit by someone without sufficient coverage or in cases of a hit-and-run driver. If another cyclist causes your injury, their homeowner’s insurance may offer protection to compensate for your injury.
Compensation for an Omaha Bicycle Accident Victim
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.
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