Bicycle riding is one of the healthiest and most fun activities around. Unfortunately, it can also be quite dangerous. Bicycle accidents in northern Virginia can cause significant injuries and even death. And although they can occur in countless fashions, bicycle accidents tend to happen in one of a handful of ways. There are many types of bicycle accidents that can cause injuries.
Bicycle Accidents in Northern Virginia
Understanding bicycle accidents in northern Virginia can help you avoid getting into one. If you know how they occur, you can often see them coming long before they take place.
A left cross accident occurs when a motorist makes a left turn into a bicyclist. It typically occurs when the driver fails to yield the right-of-way to an oncoming bicycle because:
- The car driver did not see the bicycle
- The motorist mistakenly thought they had the right-of-way
- The driver was intoxicated
According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, left-cross accidents are among the most common types of bicycle accidents. They account for roughly 50% of them.
Right-hook bicycle accidents are common. They occur when a car passes a bicyclist on the bicyclist’s left and then subsequently executes a right turn in front of the rider. The result sends the bicyclist slamming into the vehicle or the car clipping the bike during the turn.
Although vehicles move more slowly in parking lots, bicyclists still experience many accidents at these locations. Perhaps the number of bicycle wrecks is due to the fact that drivers and bicyclists don’t expect to crash in a parking lot. Hence, they lower their awareness and aren’t as cautious.
Dooring or getting doored occurs when a bicyclist crashes into an opening car door. Typically, the car that doors the bicyclist is not running or has been stationary for a while. In many cases, the person opening the door is at fault for failure to verify it is safe before doing so.
Some motorists are completely unaware that bicyclists have as much right to use the road as cars. Their actions indicate that they do not recognize or respect bicycles as much as they should.
Take passing, for example. Motorists who need to pass a bicyclist often drive far too close to the rider and end up hitting them from behind or swiping them from the side.
How to Get Justice for Your Bicycle Accident
It is sad that many motorists in the state simply do not know the rules of the road relating to bicycles. Even more disturbing is that many do not care. Fortunately, bicyclists can seek recompense for their losses when a driver forces them into a wreck.
If you experience one of the many bicycle accidents in northern Virginia, take the following steps for your own safety and to preserve your claim for compensation.
Get to Safety
After an accident, do your best to get yourself and your bicycle to safety. However, do not attempt any actions that are likely to exacerbate your injuries. Once you are in a safe place, you don’t have to worry about causing further accidents or experiencing further harm.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have been injured, you should consider seeking immediate medical attention. Quick medical attention can stabilize your injuries so they don’t get worse.
Additionally, a medical record is important for establishing your physical injuries in a claim for compensation. If you do not get checked out after a crash, you cannot reasonably expect to get compensated for injuries that have no record.
File an Accident Report
An official accident report will be essential for your subsequent claim for compensation. It will contain key facts and information regarding the crash and the parties involved. Without this report, there is no official record of the accident.
Additionally, the report is mandatory when a car is involved and an injury, death, or $500 or more of damage occurs.
You should only consider gathering evidence if it is safe to do so. If it is, you will want to take photos and video footage of as much of the accident scene as possible. Make sure to document any injuries or property damage that occurs.
Additionally, talk to any witnesses who are present. Make sure to get their contact information, including phone and email, and perhaps a short statement relating to the accident. Later, this evidence will be instrumental in the hands of your bike accident lawyer.
Keep a Journal
Start a diary or a journal about the crash. Detail the events of the crash as well as how the crash has affected your life.
If you are unable to participate in your life activities as you were before the accident, detail this. And explain how the crash has affected your relationships, including any ways the crash has destroyed your ability to be intimate.
Speak with an Attorney
At some point, you will want to meet with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. Without one, your chances of getting maximum compensation drop significantly. In fact, accident victims with personal injury lawyers typically receive up to and over four times the amount of compensation received by those who fought without attorneys.
The discrepancy in compensation totals is due to the fact that injury attorneys know how to battle against insurance companies. They are well-versed in adjusters’ tactics to pay less and can counter with their own.
Speak with a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
Have you been in a bicycle accident? Attorney Joel Bieber and his team are ready to review your case and potentially help you get compensated for your injuries. Call our office today to discuss your case and bicycle accident in northern Virginia. An experienced professional is standing by.