Indiana’s Trusted Personal Injury Advocates Since 1963.

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Fort Wayne Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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Years
100

COMBINED
LEGAL EXPERIENCE

Verdicts
10 +

BEATING PRE-TRIAL OFFERS IN COURT

Hundreds
of Millions

RECOVERED IN SETTLEMENTS & VERDICTS

Success Rate
10 %

IN BEATING AN INSURER'S FINAL OFFER

0 x

AVERAGE WE BEAT THE INSURER'S FINAL OFFER BY

The rules of the road exist to protect all people who make use of public streets. While most people recognize that this extends to people operating cars and trucks, they may not realize that this protection also applies to people on bicycles.

Bike riders must be sure to follow the same traffic laws as all other travelers. In exchange, they should expect other drivers to respect their rights while on the road. This includes the right to demand compensation for injuries that result from another driver’s negligence.

A Fort Wayne bicycle accident lawyer could help if you have suffered injuries on your bike as a result of another person’s conduct. A personal injury attorney based in Fort Wayne could take the necessary steps to prove another driver’s fault for the incident, connect that incident to your losses, and demand proper compensation in or out of court.

Fort Wayne Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Causes of Bike Wrecks in Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne is known for being a bicycle-friendly city, but that doesn’t mean that it is a completely safe city for bicyclists. Cyclists regularly find themselves in unsafe situations in Fort Wayne, even if they are obeying all traffic laws! 

The biggest safety hazard to bicyclists on Fort Wayne’s roads are drivers of motor vehicles. Some common causes of bike wrecks in Allen County include: 

Distracted Driving

Drivers who are distracted, tired, or simply not paying attention are a leading cause of accidents with bicyclists. These drivers fail to see cyclists because they are looking at their phones or something else, and they often turn directly in front of cyclists in their blind spots. 

Speeding

You have probably seen it happen: someone traveling at an excessive speed flies over a hill or around a corner and has to slam on their brakes because they didn’t realize there would be a car right there. When someone flies up behind a cyclist, there is rarely time to stop, because of the difference in speed between the car and the bike. Excessive vehicle speeds reduce reaction times and a driver’s ability to avoid a collision. 

Failure to Yield

Drivers failing to properly yield the right of way to a cyclist when turning or at a stop sign/light is another major cause of crashes in Fort Wayne. A driver’s lack of turn signals also contributes to this because the cyclist can’t anticipate their actions. 

Dooring 

Vehicle occupants opening doors into an adjacent bike lane without looking can knock cyclists into traffic or cause them to crash. 

Unsafe Road Conditions 

Not all accidents are caused by drivers. Poor road maintenance that leaves excessive cracks/potholes, debris, unsafe sewer grates, and faded bike lane striping endangers cyclists and leads to wrecks.

Lack of Proper Infrastructure  

Insufficient bicycling infrastructure like bike lanes, protected lanes, and lighting introduce more conflict points with cars.

Intoxicated Driving 

Impaired drivers have slow reaction times and loss of vehicle control severely endangers bicyclists sharing the roadway. These drivers are a risk to everyone on the road, including cyclists, who have little protection against a collision with a motor vehicle.

What are the types of injuries after a bicycle crash

Types of Injuries After a Bicycle Crash

Bicycle accidents can be minor or serious, and so can the injuries associated with them. A lucky cyclist might only get some bruising and soreness, but other cyclists may face catastrophic injuries, depending upon things like the speed of the accident, whether or not they were wearing a helmet, and how their body struck the ground or other objects in the crash. 

Common injuries after a bike crash include: 

  • Bruising
  • Soft tissue damage (tendons, muscles, and ligaments)
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Sprained joints
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Road rash
  • Scarring
  • Eye injuries
  • Dental injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Amputations
  • Chronic pain
  • PTSD

These injuries may require emergency medical treatment, ongoing medical care, hospitalizations, surgeries, rehabilitation services, and more. Some of these injuries may be fatal. In the event of a fatal bicycle accident, the victim’s family may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. 

Getting Compensation for Injuries After a Bicycle Accident

We understand that after an accident, you are likely going through a lot of difficult experiences. Recovering physically from an accident is difficult, especially if your injuries caused extensive damage. At the same time, accident victims face expensive medical bills and lost wages from missed work. 

If one or more parties caused your accident, you deserve to be compensated for the damage they caused. 

Some options for getting compensation include: 

  • Filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance
  • Negotiating with the insurer on your own
  • Hiring an attorney to negotiate on your behalf
  • Using an attorney’s services to file a bicycle accident claim if the insurer is unwilling to negotiate a fair settlement

Working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney is the best way to ensure that you get the most compensation possible. Your recovery costs a lot of money, and you deserve to have those expenses completely covered by the negligent party’s funds. 

Who is At Fault in a Collision with a Cyclist?

One of the first things that an attorney will do is prove who was at fault for the accident. 

Like drivers of motor vehicles, bicyclists have obligations under the law to follow traffic laws. If it is determined they violated one of these laws, they may share some or all of the blame for a crash. Under Indiana Code § 34-51-2-5, if a bike rider is more than half to blame for a crash, they cannot collect any compensation for their losses. As a result, it is vital to be able to show that the driver was at fault for the crash.

A Fort Wayne attorney could help injured cyclists prove this concept by performing a thorough investigation into the incident and gathering all relevant evidence. In some cases, other parties may play a role in a bike crash, such as the manufacturer of the bicycle if it were defective or a government entity of poor roadways contributed to the accident.

Proving Liability

How can you prove liability in an accident? 

Some of the ways that your attorney will support your claim of liability include: 

  • Photo and video evidence
  • Eyewitness testimonies
  • Expert witness testimonies
  • Reconstruction of the scene of the accident
  • Police reports

There are four main elements to proving negligence in any personal injury lawsuit. They are: 

Duty of Care

Drivers have a duty of care to behave safely on the roads. Similarly, local governments have a duty of care to maintain safe roads for everyone who uses them, including cyclists. 

Breach of Duty of Care 

For negligence to occur, one or more parties must breach their duty of care. This means that they act or fail to act in a way that fulfills their obligation to the injured party. For example, a driver who is speeding or who fails to check their blind spots has breached their duty of care to a cyclist. 

Cause of Harm

The breach of duty of care must cause actual harm to the injured party. For example, let’s say a truck swerves into the path of a cyclist who can quickly come to a stop and avoid being hit. This truck driver may have breached their duty of care, but they did not cause any harm in this instance. If, however, the cyclist was struck, or fell because they were avoiding the truck driver, then the cyclist was harmed. 

Damages

Last but not least, the harm caused by the breach of duty of care must cause damages. These can be both financial and non-financial. Damages include medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more. 

What Can You Get Compensation For? 

In addition to proving who was responsible for the accident, your attorney will review all of the documentation related to your accident in order to determine a fair amount of compensation. Compensation

Whether you are given a settlement from the insurance company or an award from the court, these are some of the things you can get compensation for following a bicycle accident: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost income from missed work
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Physical disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damage
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral costs
  • Punitive damages

What to Do After a Fort Wayne Bicycle Accident 

Here are 6 steps to take in the aftermath of a bicycle accident. 

  1. Seek medical attention: Even if you do not think you are seriously injured, get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible to document injuries and start treatment.
  2. Report the accident:  File an official police report documenting the accident and share all of the contributing factors.
  3. Document the scene: Take photos showing any damage, skid marks, road hazards, and traffic signs/signals, as well as photos of your bike and injuries. Video footage is also helpful if it is available. An attorney may be able to collect video from nearby security cameras to help create a full picture of the scene.
  4. Get witness info: Record names/contact information of eyewitnesses whenever possible. Their accounts help to determine who was at fault.
  5. Keep records of everything: We can’t emphasize this enough: maintain records of all accident-related expenses like medical bills, costs for vehicle or property repairs, missed wages from work, and rehabilitation expenses.
  6. Consult an attorney: Speak with a bicycle accident lawyer who can determine fault, assess potential damages to claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and file a lawsuit if a fair settlement cannot be reached.

Talk to an attorney regarding your bicycle accident

Time Limit to File in Fort Wayne

Bicycle accidents can have a profound impact on a person’s life. At the minimum, they may require care at an emergency room and lose out on a few day’s wages while making a recovery. In more serious incidents, a cyclist may require emergency surgery or suffer a permanent disability. This could impact their overall quality of life or severely impact their ability to earn a living.

No matter how severe a bicycle wreck is, there is a limited time in which a cyclist could file a claim for damages. Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4 gives most people only two years after a crash to demand recompense. Talking with a Fort Wayne attorney as soon as possible after a bike crash gives injured cyclists the best chance of fully recovering compensation.

Get in Touch with a Fort Wayne Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

Accidents involving cyclists can result in catastrophic injuries that could substantially alter your life. You may be unable to continue your line of work which can make paying for medical treatment extremely challenging.

If your accident was the result of another person’s reckless or careless actions, you could be eligible for financial compensation that could help you afford the treatment you need. Contact a Fort Wayne bicycle accident lawyer at our firm to learn more about the civil process.

Yosha Law Firm offers free consultations to potential clients. In these meetings, we review your case, answer your questions, and help you determine the best course of action. If you decide to retain our services, you don’t have to pay anything unless we win your case, as we work entirely on contingency. 

Schedule your free case evaluation today.

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Right now, you might feel like life will never go back to normal. Despite your mounting medical bills and significant physical and emotional pain, faceless insurance companies will try to devalue the quality of a life – whether it’s yours or a loved one’s. But, you don’t need to fight this battle alone.

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