According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), on average, more than 1,087 bicyclists are involved in crashes annually. Out of those crashes, about nine people are killed and 1,036 are injured. Most, if not all, of those crashes could have been prevented had the proper precautions been taken. Most bicycle accidents are caused by inattentive motorists.
If this describes what happened to you, contact our attorneys at Cannon & Dunphy S.C. for a free consultation. Our bicycle accident attorneys will help you receive the compensation you are entitled to, and guide you through the legal process, from start to end.
In Wisconsin, bicycles are considered vehicles, and they are required to obey all rules of the road like other vehicles. Bicyclists must stop at stop signs and red lights, ride with (not against) traffic, and they must signal when turning. Automobiles are required to treat bicycles as other vehicles on the road. They are not permitted to pass bicycles when it is unsafe to do so, and they must yield to bicyclists’ right of way.
Bicyclists can ride defensively and watch for potential motorist errors, but they can only control the way that they ride. It is impossible for cyclists to anticipate and prevent every accident. Even if a bicyclist is partially at fault for an accident, he or she is not necessarily barred from seeking compensation under Wisconsin’s comparative fault laws.
If you made a mistake while biking and violated a traffic law, you should not assume that you do not have a claim for your injuries and damages. You are permitted to pursue a personal injury claim in Wisconsin so long as you were not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. If your case does not settle before trial, fault will be allocated to each party at trial, and your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Bicycle accidents frequently involve children on bicycles. Comparative negligence laws apply in children’s bicycle accident cases as well. When drivers are not paying close attention to their surroundings, they often fail to see small children on bicycles. Drivers have a duty to avoid accidents when possible. Suppose a child fails to notice a driver backing out of a driveway or a child overshoots a stop sign resulting in an accident. In that case, you may still be able to recover compensation from the driver if your child was less than 51 percent at fault for the accident.
One of the most common causes of bicycle accidents is driver inattention, also known as distracted driving. When a driver is focused on anything but driving, that is distracted driving, and it can be deadly. Cell phone use, texting, and changing music are examples of common driver distractions that can lead to bicycle accidents.
Other regular causes of bicycle accidents include intoxicated driving, ignoring stop signs and traffic signals, and passing too closely. Accidents sometimes occur when drivers fail to see bicycles, often when backing up, failing to check blind spots before lane changes, and driving over the speed limit.
You may be entitled to compensation for accident-related expenses like:
When bicycle accidents are fatal, family members might have a wrongful death claim for compensation against the driver who caused the accident. Financial recovery for surviving family members may include loss of the decedent’s financial support, loss of society and companionship, and loss of the value of the decedent’s household services.
A survival action is another legal cause of action that arises out of a wrongful death event. Survival actions are brought by the personal representative to compensate the estate for the decedent’s losses.
Compensation under a survival action might be available if the decedent lived long enough after the accident to incur losses. The decedent’s recoverable losses may include pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, and loss of earning capacity.
- Case evaluation: We will provide you with a free case evaluation. Our attorneys will review the accident facts with you and discuss your injuries. They will also go over the strengths and weaknesses of your case and potential recovery options. We will be available to answer all your questions and concerns.
- Investigation: As soon as we take on your case, we will begin an investigation to gather evidence showing that the defendant was responsible for your accident and resulting injuries. We will review the police report and speak with first responders, including medical technicians and police officers. We will also talk to witnesses, look for any recordings of the accident, and help you preserve case evidence, such as damaged property, including your bicycle and helmet.
- Retain experts: It is often necessary to retain experts to help prove your claim. Our law firm has contacts with all types of experts that can help with your case. Medical experts can be used to review your medical records, evaluate your injuries, and determine the long-term impact of your injuries. Financial experts can help calculate the value of your losses, especially when injuries are permanent and require future medical expenses and lost income. Accident reconstruction experts can help to determine accident causes and factors, such as how the accident occurred and the vehicle speed at the time of impact.
- Value your claim: To recover full compensation, it is critical to calculate the value of your injuries and damages accurately. As mentioned above, financial and medical experts can help with evaluating and calculating your losses. The value of your bicycle accident case may include compensation for pain and suffering, lost income and loss of earning capacity, current and future medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.
- Communication with insurance companies: One or more insurance companies will most likely be involved in your case. We will handle all communication with the insurance company responsible for paying your claim. Our attorneys work with insurance companies in almost all our personal injury cases, and we understand how insurance representatives operate. Your attorney will participate in settlement negotiations and ensure that you do not accept an offer that does not fully and fairly compensate you.
- Prepare and try your case: Your attorney will continuously prepare your case for trial throughout the legal process. Personal injury claims are often settled before trial. However, we know that it is important to be prepared so that you do not feel pressured to settle your case for an amount that does not cover all your injuries and damages. Your case can settle at any time during the legal process, and until we have reached an agreement, we will be ready for trial. If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, our litigation attorneys will try your case in court.
- Maximize your compensation: Injury plaintiffs typically secure more compensation for their claims when they are represented by an attorney. Our attorneys pursue maximum compensation on behalf of all our personal injury clients. We utilize all necessary resources and put in the time and effort it takes to make your case for compensation as strong as possible. Our attorneys will not collect any attorneys’ fees until you reach a financial settlement or secure a trial award.
Fill out a free case evaluation form to learn if you could be entitled to money.
Cannon & Dunphy S.C. is the premier plaintiff’s injury and wrongful death law firm in the state of Wisconsin. We have won more $10 million and more verdicts and settlements than any other firm in the state. We’ve also been rated among the “Best Lawyers” and “Best Law Firms” in America by U.S. News.
The Milwaukee personal injury attorneys that comprise our firm come from a longstanding legacy of legal giants. In fact, our firm has a 100-year family history of lawyers. Attorney William Cannon is even a fourth generation Wisconsin lawyer. Trial law is our legacy, and we take it seriously. If you were injured in this type of accident, you can be confident entrusting your case to our firm.
Injured in a bicycle accident? Call our firm at (855) 627-2147 today!
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