According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicycle accidents nationwide steadily declined through 2015. Unfortunately, that same time period saw a notable rise in fatal bicycle crashes. While efforts to make cities more bicycle-friendly seem to have helped lower the number of these accidents, the reality is that cycling remains risky. When a motor vehicle collides with a cyclist, the consequences can be deadly.
If you have suffered an injury in a New Hampshire bike accident through no fault of your own, you could have a viable claim for financial compensation. Attorney Bradford Coates understands how debilitating a serious injury can be and is ready to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact the Coates Law Office, PLLC, to discuss your legal options.
Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents
From driver inattention to roadway disrepair, there are countless factors that could result in a bike crash. However, the NHTSA has reported that, of the most common causes of a bicycle crash, more than 30% of them involve a collision with a motor vehicle. This represents the single most common factor in an injury accident.
Motorists can cause bicycle crashes in a variety of ways. Drivers that are either distracted or intoxicated commonly fail to notice a cyclist until it is too late to avoid a crash. Other common causes involve vehicles that drive too fast for the conditions. One of the most dangerous factors in many bicycle crashes involve drivers violating a cyclist’s right-of-way.
Bicycles And The Right Of Way
Cyclists in New Hampshire enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as any motorist. They are entitled to make use of roadways but must abide by the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. Motorists must yield to bicycles in the same situations where they would yield to a motor vehicle. This includes stop signs and in turn lanes.
Because of their unique nature, cyclists do enjoy some legal protections that are not available to motorists. These protections come in the form of rights-of-way. A New Hampshire motorist must yield to bike riders when making a turn, merging into bicycle lanes, or when opening their vehicle doors. While vehicle drivers are required to avoid following other cars too closely, state law sets a three-foot minimum for any driver attempting to pass a cyclist. Drivers must give cyclists an additional foot of clearance for every 10 miles per hour over and above 30 MPH.
Common Injuries In A Bike Accident
Cyclists face the risk of injury any time they ride. These injuries are especially devastating when a vehicle collides with a bike rider. Bicycles offer little in the way of protection for their riders, which can result in catastrophic injuries in many cases. Even low-speed accidents can be devastating when it involves a motor vehicle. Some of the injuries common with a New Hampshire bicycle crash include:
- Road rash
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Tendon and ligament damage
- Eye injuries
- Broken Bones, cuts and bruises
Recovering from an injury can be stressful under any circumstance. However, the pressure of mounting medical bills can make your recovery unnecessarily challenging. A New Hampshire bike accident lawyer can help take some of the stress following a bike crash off of your shoulders.
The medical bills related to a bicycle accident can become overwhelming. After months of emergency room bills, follow-up care, and physical therapy, the cost of these treatments can wreak havoc on your finances. Thankfully, you could recover compensation for those medical costs by filing a lawsuit against the person responsible for your accident.
There are also damages available outside of medical bills. A successful bike accident claim could recover compensation for the cost of your damaged bicycle as well. This could include expenses related to repairing or replacing your damaged bicycle.
The damages commonly sought in a bicycle accident lawsuit include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Bicycle repair bills
- Mental anguish
- Diminished future earnings
- Loss of consortium
How A New Hampshire Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
Following a bicycle accident, it can be challenging to know where to turn. Dealing with the cost of your medical treatment is never easy, but taking this challenge on while injured is especially difficult. With the help of knowledgeable legal counsel, you could pursue the monetary compensation you deserve. Attorney Bradford Coates has the skill experience necessary to help you hold the person responsible for your injuries accountable.
Contact the Coates Law Office, PLLC, to learn more about your options.