Bicycle accidents often leave bicyclists with severe, even catastrophic, injuries. A bicyclist has no protection when hit by a vehicle. The bicyclist can be thrown from their bicycle onto the hard pavement, sidewalk, fixed object, or even in the path of other drivers. Injuries can alter the bicyclist’s life, including traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
According to the CDC, while bicycle trips make up only one percent of all transportation trips across the United States, bicyclists account for more than 2 percent of those who die in a collision with an automobile. Across the nation, nearly 1,000 bicyclists die each year following a crash with an automobile, while another 130,000 sustain severe injuries. While you might assume there is no place in Alaska where people would ride bicycles, you would be wrong!
Despite the snow and cold weather, Fairbanks is a great place to ride a bicycle despite the snow and cold weather. In the town of Fairbanks, the terrain is relatively flat, and there are many trails. Most bicyclist deaths in the U.S. occur in urban rather than rural areas, although not all bicycle accidents occur at an intersection—only about 27 percent. If you’ve suffered injuries from a Fairbanks bicycle accident, the single best thing you can do for your future is to contact an experienced Fairbanks bicycle accident attorney from Ringstad Law Office, P.C.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
Many factors are associated with bicycle accidents in Fairbanks—and across the nation. Some of the most common reasons bicycle accidents occur include the following:
- The automobile driver was distracted, whether from texting, talking on their cell phone, eating, fiddling with the car controls or GPS device, or even turning around to see what the pets and children were doing in the back seat.
- Driver impairment was a factor.
- The driver between the vehicle and the bicyclists did not leave an adequate “buffer”. Far too many drivers follow too closely behind bicyclists or pass within three feet of a bicyclist, potentially causing an accident.
- The driver was exceeding the speed limit.
- There was a failure to yield on the part of the driver.
- A driver was weaving in and out of traffic without properly watching for bicyclists and pedestrians.
- The driver was making unsafe lane changes.
- A driver turned right without seeing the bicyclist on their right.
- The driver did not obey a red light or stop sign.
- Driver fatigue caused the driver to have slower reaction times, thus hitting the bicyclist.
What Should You Do if You’re Bicycling And Hit by a Car
A bicyclist who has been hit by a vehicle is likely severely injured. If you are able, ask someone to call 911 for the police and EMTs. Get checked out medically to determine the extent of your injuries. If you are not severely injured, take photos at the scene of the accident and obtain contact information from any witnesses. Obtain insurance information from the driver and ask the police officer when you can pick up a copy of the police report. Once you are home, take the time to write down every detail you can remember about the accident, then contact an experienced, knowledgeable Fairbanks bicycle accident attorney from Ringstad Law Office.
What Compensation Are You Entitled to Receive After Being Hit by a Car?
Your exact compensation will depend on the extent of your injuries, whether your injuries are severe enough to make you miss work, how long you can expect to be treated for your injuries, and whether you will be left with a permanent disability, disfigurement, or chronic pain. You are entitled to economic damages, all expenses associated with your medical costs, lost wages, and future wages, as well as compensation for damages to your bicycle. Non-economic costs are more difficult to quantify or put an exact amount on. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering for actual physical pain and emotional pain and trauma.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Following a Fairbanks Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists who are not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident may have a brain injury. In some cases, even those wearing a helmet could sustain a traumatic brain injury, since bicycle helmets are not as protective as motorcycle helmets. Other common injuries include broken bones, amputated limbs, internal injuries, and road rash that can lead to severe infection, cuts, scrapes, bruises, and facial lacerations resulting in disfigurement. In severe bicycle accidents, bicyclists could be left with a spinal cord injury that will change their lives forever. Following a Fairbanks bicycle accident, you must have a strong advocate in your corner. Attorney Ken Ringstad is ready to help you get the medical treatments you need and the financial compensation you deserve.
Hiring a Fairbanks Bicycle Accident Attorney Near You
If you’ve been hit by a vehicle while riding your bicycle in Fairbanks, you may be uncertain of what you need to do to protect your health, finances, and future. At Ringstad Law Office, P.C., we are invested in our community. While we don’t pretend to know exactly what you are feeling, we will do our best to ease your anxiety and stress during this difficult time. When you have been injured as a result of the negligence or carelessness of another person, attorney Kenneth Ringstad will stand by you from start to finish, fighting for your rights every step of the way.
Our initial consultation is always free, plus we work on a contingency fee. Insurance companies go out of their way to make getting compensation as difficult as possible for you. We will handle the insurance company throughout negotiations and a lawsuit. Contact Ringstad Law Office, P.C. today for zealous, caring legal representation.