Lawyer for Bicycle Accident in St. Louis
St. Louis and Southern Illinois Personal Injury Attorneys
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | St. Louis Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
Lawyer for Bicycle Accident in Greater St. Louis. Riding a bicycle is a great way to exercise and enjoy the freedom of the outdoors. But too often, other motorists don't respect the safety of bicyclists and end up causing an accident. If you were injured in a bike accident through no fault of your own, the lawyer for bicycle accident team of Halvorsen Klote is here to stand by your side and fight for the compensation you are rightfully entitled to. Based in St. Louis, we serve clients throughout the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois. Talking to us is free, and we charge no attorneys' fees unless we win your claim. Speak directly to a qualified and friendly bicycle accident lawyer by calling 866-382-4167 or by reaching out to us online.
Why Should You Hire a Lawyer for Bicycle Accident Cases in St. Louis, Missouri?
While some simple cases for relatively minor injuries can be handled without the help of an attorney, most require an experienced St. Louis lawyer for bicycle accident to get the best possible results. A personal injury lawyer in St. Louis can help in a variety of ways:
Maximizing Compensation and Ensuring Fair Settlements
The purpose of making an injury claim is to get compensation. While insurance companies try to offer as little money as possible, bicycle accident lawyers can help you maximize your compensation by:
- Gathering evidence that proves the other party's liability
- Proving how your all of your damages related to the accident are covered by the insurance policy
- Calculating the full extent of your damages and all the compensation you are eligible for
- Finding additional insurance coverage if your damages exceed the policy limits
- Making sure the insurance company applies the law honestly and ethically
Negotiating With Insurance Companies to Protect Your Rights
Dealing with a heartless insurance adjuster can feel defeating. It's their job to help me, isn't it? Yes, but they'll do anything they can to avoid taking that responsibility.
Insurance companies often depend on claimants knowing very little about injury and accident law to pay as little money as possible. We'll make sure they understand their legal obligation to compensate you for all of your damages.
Bicycle accident cases involve intricate legal processes, including gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, analyzing medical records and negotiating with insurance adjusters. People who are inexperienced with injury claims can make mistakes or overlook critical details. By hiring a lawyer specializing in bicycle accidents, your legal standing becomes a strength, not a weakness.
You didn't ask to be injured and you shouldn't have to deal with the consequences. Let us handle securings your compensation while you focus on healing.
Gathering Evidence to Strengthen Your Case
Some cases are more difficult to prove than others. For your bicycle accident case, you'll need an attorney interview witnesses, analyze medical records and connect your injuries to your accident and depose witnesses who can corroborate your story. The more complicated your case, the more evidence is needed. Experienced bicycle accident attorneys like those at Halvorsen Klote will know how to find the evidence needed to win your claim.
Representing You in Court if Filing a Lawsuit is Necessary
Most bicycle accident cases settle out of court. However, if liability isn't clear, your damages are high or other complications arise, the insurance company is going to fight against your rights. That's why you need seasoned personal injury lawyers in your corner to file a lawsuit and take them to court if necessary.
As experienced St. Louis trial attorneys, Halvorsen Klote can be by your side for the duration of your case, from initial consultation through a jury verdict.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in the St. Louis Area?
In 2020, there were 938 bicyclists killed in traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest total since 1987. According to data from the National Safety Council, that same year there were 325,173 nonfatal injuries in bicycle accidents. Most nonfatal injuries occurred in children between five and 14 years old, while deaths were most common in riders between 55 and 64 years old.
In Missouri, there were 406 total crashes which resulted in 351 injuries and six deaths, according to the Missouri Traffic Safety Compendium. In Illinois, there were 2,180 bicycle crashes, which resulted in 28 deaths and 1,995 injuries.
In both states, the vast majority of bicycle accidents occur in urban areas where traffic is more condensed. Thirty-one percent of bike crashes occur at night between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., when visibility is at its lowest.
While bicycle accidents account for only one percent of trips, each year they account for over two percent of motor vehicle deaths. The discrepancy speaks to how important bicycle safety is, and also how important it is for drivers of other vehicles to be aware of bicyclists and share the road with them.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in St. Louis?
Most bike accidents are caused either because of biker error or because a motorist simply did not see a bicyclist or did not see them in time to adjust. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents we see are:
- Drivers failing to pay attention
- Drivers failing to yield the right of way
- Drivers failing to respect a bike lane
- Drivers passing dangerously
- Opening a door without checking for bicyclists
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Poorly placed road signs
- Road hazards
- Improperly marked construction sites
- Pedestrians not paying attention and forcing a bicyclist to swerve
- Faulty car or bike components
While most bike accidents happen at intersections, a National Transport Safety Board report found that "midblock" accidents are more severe because both the motor vehicle and bicycle are traveling at higher speeds. Your St. Louis bike accident lawyer at Halvorsen Klote will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident to determine the cause of your injuries and who is liable for them.
What Are Common Injuries from St. Louis Bicycle Accidents?
Because of the vulnerability of bicyclists relative to their enclosed vehicle counterparts, injuries suffered in bicycle accidents can be traumatic, severe and even sometimes result in permanent disability. Some of the most common injuries our lawyer for bicycle accident team has helped St. Louis and Southern Illinois residents receive compensation for include:
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Joint injuries such as dislocations and strains
Because of the severity of the bicycle accident injuries, you need skilled and passionate bicycle accident lawyers like those at Halvorsen Klote to take on your case and fight to make sure the liable parties are held accountable and you are fairly compensated. In the tragic case of the wrongful death of a loved one in the St. Louis area, we will stand by your side and help you find some form of justice and secure your future.
Who is Liable for My Bicycle Accident Injuries in St. Louis?
Who is liable depends on the causes of your accident. Each accident and injury is unique, and as such the liable party varies. In some cases there are multiple liable parties, and a seasoned bicycle accident lawyer will investigate your claim and assign an appropriate amount of fault to each of them. Some of the parties we have successfully secured compensation from in bicycle accidents include:
Car, truck and motorcycle drivers can often cause bicycle accidents by not respecting bicyclists' right to share the road. But bicyclists have the same right to the road as an operator of any other vehicle, and in the event of an accident the same liability in car accidents applies. For example, if someone hits you because they were distracted by using their phone, they would be at fault for your injuries.
Both Illinois and Missouri have specific laws and rules of the road for how motorists are supposed to interact with bicyclists, such as leaving a safe distance when passing and respecting bike lanes. Under the legal doctrine of negligence per se, someone is automatically liable for your injuries if they violate a state statute. So if a driver breaks the law and injures you, your lawyer for bicycle accident will only have to prove that the accident caused your injuries, and you may be able to get a fair settlement quickly.
A Defective Bike or Motor Vehicle Component
If your accident was caused by a defective product, such as brakes or tires, you can seek a product liability claim. Both bicycle and motor vehicle manufacturers are required to design and manufacture safe products and issue recalls whenever a component is found to be unsafe. If they don't, you can make a claim against them.
A Trucking or Other Commercial Company
If you are injured by a truck driver, rideshare driver or other commercial driver, you may be able to make a claim against both the driver and their employer. For example, if a trucking company hired an unqualified driver, failed to perform a background check, failed to perform drug tests or required their driver to work more hours than regulations allow, they would be considered negligent and thus at least partially liable for your injuries.
A Government Entity
Municipal agencies at the state, local and federal levels are responsible for safely designing and maintaining our St. Louis and Southern Illinois roadways. If a hazard such as a pothole, cracked or uneven pavement, inadequate lighting or signage that makes it difficult for other vehicles to see you at certain intersections caused or contributed to your injuries, you may be able to make a claim against a government entity with the help of your St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer. There are special rules for filing claims against government agencies and they have different deadlines for how long you have to file, so it is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible in order to make your claim.
In Missouri, you are also able to make a claim against a public bus driver. According to Missouri Revised Statute §537.600, public employees who injure somebody while operating a motor vehicle are not granted sovereign immunity like other public employees are in personal injury cases. Unfortunately, in Illinois, under 745 ILCS 10/ you cannot sue a public employee unless you can prove that they deliberately harmed you.
What Are My St. Louis Bicycle Accident Injuries Worth?
There are a variety of factors that determine what, and how much, compensation you will receive for your bicycle accident injuries:
- The severity of your injuries — More serious injuries lead to higher medical bills and expenses, which you will be compensated for. Surgeries or months of physical therapy will lead to much higher compensation than a quick trip to the emergency room. Did your bicycle accident lead to a knee replacement? That will have to be replaced in 15-20 years, and your Halvorsen Klote St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer will make sure that's paid for too.
- How your injuries have affected your life — Personal injury settlements and verdicts are also meant to compensate you for the physical and emotional distress caused by your injuries, including pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. Is it harder to play with your kids than it used to be? Is it painful to sleep in certain positions? After years of playing piano, is it hard to sit up straight on the bench now? Are you afraid to get back on your bike? An experienced and talented St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer at Halvorsen Klote will secure you compensation for those damages as well.
- How much time you miss from work — You will also be reimbursed for the money you were not able to earn. If you couldn't work because you were on bed rest for six weeks, you need to be compensated for that.
- If your injuries prevent you from working the same job — If you were a warehouse worker who suffered a back injury in a St. Louis bicycle accident and now are not able to safely lift over 25 pounds, your ability to earn a living has been severely compromised. If your injuries result in permanent disability, your compensation will need to include enough money to make sure your future is comfortable and secure.
- The amount of insurance coverage available — Different insurance plans have different policy limits. A standard car insurance policy may have a $50,000 limit on bodily injury, while trucking companies often have coverage into the millions. A skilled lawyer for bicycle accidents can help you make an underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company if the negligent party's insurance doesn't cover all of your damages.
- Whether you share any of the blame for your bicycle accident — Both Missouri and Illinois are comparative fault states, meaning that you can still receive compensation if you were partially at fault, but the amount will be lowered based on how much blame you share. So if your damages total $100,000 but you were 30 percent at fault, you would receive $70,000. Missouri is a "pure" comparative fault state, meaning you can make a recovery even if you were 99 percent to blame. Illinois is a "modified" comparative fault state, meaning you cannot get compensation if you are more than 50 percent to blame.
At Halvorsen Klote, our St. Louis and Southern Illinois bicycle accident lawyers know how to precisely value claims and get you all of the compensation you deserve. We know that powerful corporations and large insurance companies treat people unfairly and often don't want to give them what they deserve. Our practice is founded on the idea that everyone has a right to the same expert legal representation as wealthy organizations.
What to Do if You're Injured in a Bicycle Accident in St. Louis, MO
Getting in a bicycle accident can be scary and confusing, but there's several steps you should take to help you recover physically and maximize your compensation.
Stay Calm, Get to Safety and Seek Medical Attention
If you're able to, move to the side of the road to get away from oncoming traffic. Leave your bike, as trying to move it could make your injuries worse. If your injuries are too severe for you to move safely, wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive.
If you don't need to go to the hospital in an ambulance, go to the emergency room or urgent care after police tell you you can leave the scene. If you didn't go the same day, make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible. If you don't have a doctor's record of your injuries, you won't be able to get compensation from the insurance company.
Call and Wait for the Police
You need to have the police make a report, as it will go a long way in proving the other party's liability. Police are trained to assign fault in an accident. When speaking to police, don't admit fault or over-explain your actions. Be truthful, but stick to the facts of the accident and your injuries, and don't offer any information they don't specifically ask for.
Gather Evidence and Witness Contact Information
While waiting for the authorities to arrive, gather as much evidence as possible. Take photos of the accident scene, any damages to your bicycle and the other vehicle and your injuries. If there are witnesses present, ask for their contact information so your St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer can reach out to them later.
Don't Settle Too Quickly
The insurance companies first offer will almost always be a lowball offer. They want you to settle before you realize the full extent of your injuries or hire an attorney. They may tell you no more money is available, but that's almost never true. Most injury attorneys offer free consultations, so it's always worth it to at least speak to a lawyer about your case before accepting a settlement.
Lawyer for Bicycle Accident in Greater St. Louis | Halvorsen Klote
We know that being hurt in a bicycle accident through no fault of your own is shocking, painful and creates a large cloud of uncertainty about how you are going to pay the bills that are piling up and whether or not you will ever feel the same again. Our St. Louis lawyer for bicycle accident team has dedicated their careers to standing up for people who have been wronged and treated unfairly, and ensuring that they get the full compensation they deserve. You do not pay unless we win your case. Call a St. Louis and Southern Illinois bicycle accident lawyer today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.