Michigan Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Even the most cautious cyclists who take extra care to follow the rules of the road can still be injured or killed by inattentive or reckless drivers. These injuries can be devastating for the victims and their families, resulting in extensive physical injury, emotional distress, and expensive financial obligations and hardship that can forever alter their lives.
Bicycle riding is more than just a recreational activity in Michigan and across the United States. For many, a bicycle serves as transportation or even a significant component of their daily health and fitness regime. Unfortunately, because bicycle riders often share the roadways with motor vehicles and pedestrians, serious accidents resulting in injury or wrongful death can occur.
Recent statistics indicate that more than 50,000 cyclists are injured each year in accidents with motor vehicles. Nearly 20 percent of those who were injured are under 14 years of age. Every six hours, one bicyclist is fatally injured in the United States. The majority of bicycle accident deaths are brought on by severe head injuries. These are staggering statistics and a sobering reminder of the danger that every person takes when they get on a bicycle as an alternative mode of transportation.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Michigan law gives people who ride bicycles many of the same rights as motor vehicles. For example, bicyclists have the right to ride on streets and roads alongside automobiles. Bicyclists can also ride on sidewalks or in pedestrian crosswalks if they give pedestrians the right-of-way. When drivers fail to observe the law or are negligent, they may be liable for injuries they cause bicyclists.
Bicycle accidents can occur when drivers:
- Consume alcohol or take drugs
- Drive on the wrong side of the road
- Cut cyclists off while making turns
- Open vehicle doors directly in front cyclists
- Exceed the speed limit
- Fail to yield
Accidents may also result from unsafe road conditions, defective or faulty equipment on the bike or helmet, other cyclists riding in a group, and collisions with pedestrians or stationary objects.
Injuries from a bike accident can include:
- Severe head trauma, brain damage, and concussions
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Broken bones and fractures
- Soft tissue damage
- Cuts, scrapes, and “road rash”
- Broken bone and fractures
- Sprains and strains
Legal Issues and Compensation for Bicycle Accidents in Michigan
Automobiles may need to adjust their speeds to accommodate bicycles in their lanes or when they need to go around them. Michigan’s Safe Passing Law requires motor vehicle drivers overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction to allow a distance of three feet to the right or, alternatively, at a safe distance to the right of that bicycle at a safe speed.
If a driver fails to abide by the law and strikes a bicycle, the driver may be liable for the collision and the rider’s injuries. The rider may seek compensation for:
- Property damage to the bicycle
- Medical injuries and bills
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Continuing medical treatment
- Medical rehabilitation
- Emotional distress
What to Do If You Have Been in a Bicycle Accident
If you or someone you love was involved in a serious bicycle accident, there are steps you must take to preserve the facts surrounding the accident. Do not discard, wash, or fix the bike. Ask for any witnesses to write down their accounts as soon as possible. And most important, immediately seek the assistance of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer at Sommers Schwartz.
Sommers Schwartz is a sophisticated litigation firm devoted to helping injured plaintiffs recover the damages they deserve. Our experienced Detroit bicycle attorneys can analyze your case and aggressively fight for just compensation, including lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact us today at (866) 430-5556 for a free consultation.