Bicycle Accidents in Missouri: Your Guide to Understanding and Seeking Compensation
Here at Martin and Wallentine, LLC, we understand that bicycling is a popular mode of transportation and recreation across Missouri. Our personal injury attorney, Jerry Wallentine, is a cyclist himself, and therefore cares a great deal about bicyclists and their legal rights to the road. Attorney Wallentine also realizes that cycling comes with its fair share of risks, often resulting in severe injuries when colliding with motor vehicles. This grave outcome can be attributed to the inherent vulnerability of cyclists when compared to the protective features that motor vehicles offer.
Bicyclists often suffer catastrophic injuries when they get into an accident with a motor vehicle.
The cause of this is clear:
- Cyclists do not have the same protection that a car does.
One of the most glaring differences contributing to the severity of bicycle accidents is the lack of protective mechanisms available to cyclists. While many cyclists choose to wear helmets, this safety gear offers limited defense in comparison to the comprehensive safety systems in cars. The absence of seatbelts, airbags, and the structural protection of a car's walls leaves cyclists considerably exposed to the impact of a collision. This becomes akin to the stark contrast between a semi-truck colliding with a regular passenger car – the weight differential translates to devastating consequences even at relatively low speeds.
- A bicycle weighs much less than a car.
The weight discrepancy between bicycles and motor vehicles is a pivotal factor in understanding the gravity of bicycle accidents. A bicycle's significantly lighter mass in comparison to cars amplifies the force of impact during a collision. This striking difference in weight can lead to catastrophic outcomes, leaving cyclists vulnerable to severe injuries. It underscores the importance of both cyclists and motorists adhering to traffic laws and exercising caution to mitigate these risks.
- Drivers may not pay attention.
Negligence on the part of drivers is another major contributor to bicycle accidents. Many drivers are attuned to sharing the road with larger vehicles, such as semi-trucks or commercial vehicles, and this could lead them to overlook the presence of cyclists. The failure of drivers to recognize and respect the rights of cyclists can result in collisions that could have otherwise been prevented.
- A driver fails to obey a traffic law.
In addition to driver negligence, factors like driver intoxication, distraction, and fatigue can further elevate the likelihood of accidents involving cyclists. Such behaviors reduce a driver's ability to react swiftly and responsibly to the presence of cyclists on the road, increasing the potential for tragic outcomes.
- A cyclist is not wearing reflective gear at night, making them difficult to see.
Furthermore, cyclists themselves play a role in their safety. Riding at night without wearing reflective gear significantly diminishes a cyclist's visibility to drivers. Failing to take precautions to enhance visibility compounds the risks associated with cycling in low-light conditions.
Amid these concerns, efforts to enhance bicycle safety in Missouri have gained momentum. Dedicated cycling lanes, increased public awareness campaigns, and educational initiatives aimed at both cyclists and drivers seek to reduce the prevalence of accidents. Collaborative endeavors between local authorities, cycling communities, and advocacy groups aim to foster an environment where road users are educated, respectful, and safety-conscious.
Cyclists Can Experience Severe Injuries in Accidents:
Traumatic Brain Injuries: One of these is Traumatic Brain Injuries, often called TBIs. These happen when a cyclist's head hits something during an accident, even if they're wearing a helmet. Even mild TBIs like concussions can cause big problems for days, weeks, or months. But when the injury is severe, involving skull fractures or objects going into the brain, it can lead to lasting issues like trouble thinking or moving.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Another serious injury is to the spinal cord. If any part of the spine gets damaged during a bicycle accident, like the nerves, vertebrae, or discs, it can result in spinal cord injuries. This can bring a lot of issues like ongoing pain, weakness in muscles, and even not being able to feel things or move properly below where the injury happened.
Broken/Fractured Bones: When a bicycle accident occurs, bones can easily break due to the strong impact. Arms, legs, hips, hands, fingers, and even the face bones can be affected. These fractures often need quick medical attention, like surgeries and treatments to help bones heal correctly. But these injuries cause more than just pain – they bring unexpected medical bills, time off work, and a lower quality of life. The good news is that if you get hurt in a bicycle accident, you can seek compensation under Missouri law. So, if this happens, it's smart to get legal advice quickly to make sure your rights are protected.
Seeking Compensation for Bicycle Accidents:
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else's negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. Here's how our personal injury attorney at Martin and Wallentine, LLC can assist you:
Legal Expertise: Our experienced team has handled many personal injury cases, including bicycle accidents.
Understanding the Legal Process: Our experienced lawyer will guide you through the legal process, ensuring you understand your rights and options.
Investigation and Gathering Evidence: We work to gather evidence, including accident reports, witness statements, and medical records, to build a strong case.
Negotiation and Settlement: We will negotiate with insurance companies to secure fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Trial Representation: If needed, we are prepared to represent you in court to fight for your rights.
Your Partner in Seeking Justice:
At Martin and Wallentine, LLC, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll bicycle accidents can take on victims and their families. Our goal is to provide compassionate support while seeking the compensation you deserve. If you've been injured in a bicycle accident, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Together, we can work towards safer roads and a brighter future.
Read What Our Former Clients Have Said
"Professional, informative, and vital in working with the prosecutor to secure the most favorable outcome possible".Barb
"Jerry kept in constant contact with us and our son during the case and went the extra mile to plea before the judge outside and inside the courtroom".Joanne from Nebraska