Lawyer for Bicycle Accident in O'Fallon, MO
O'Fallon, MO Personal Injury Attorneys
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | O'Fallon, MO Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
Lawyer for Bicycle Accident in O'Fallon, MO. Riding a bicycle is great for our physical and mental well-being. But on too many occasions, bicyclists are an afterthought on the road and become hurt when other people don't pay attention or don't respect their safety. If you sustained an injury in a bike accident through no fault of your own, the lawyer for bicycle accident team of Halvorsen Klote is here to help see you through your time of need. We offer expert legal representation clients in O'Fallon, MO and throughout the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois. Our consultations and initial investigations are free, and we charge no attorneys' fees until you are fairly compensated. Speak directly to an accomplished and empathetic bicycle accident lawyer by calling 866-382-4167 or by contacting us online.
Why Should You Hire a Lawyer for Bicycle Accident Cases in O'Fallon, MO?
While some simple cases for relatively minor injuries can be handled without the help of an attorney, most require an experienced bike accident attorney in O'Fallon, MO to ensure the ideal result. A personal injury lawyer in O'Fallon, MO can offer help in a multitude 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 increase your compensation by:
- Gathering evidence that proves the other party's liability
- Proving how all of your damages related to the accident are covered by the insurance policy
- Calculating the complete scope of your damages and all the compensation you are legally entitled to
- Finding extra insurance coverage if your damages go beyond the policy limits
- Making sure the insurance company applies the law truthfully and morally
Negotiating With Insurance Companies to Protect Your Rights
Dealing with a discompassionate insurance adjuster can feel disheartening. It's their job to help me, isn't it? Yes, but they'll do anything they can to avoid accepting that responsibility.
Insurance companies often count on claimants knowing scant about laws pertaining to injuries and accidents to offer as little money as achievable. We'll make sure they understand their lawful responsibility to reimburse you for all your damages.
Bicycle accident cases involve intricate legal processes, including acquiring evidence, deposing witnesses, examining medical records, and negotiating with insurance adjusters. People who are inexperienced with injury claims can make errors or neglect 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 ensuring your compensation while you focus on getting better.
Gathering Evidence to Strengthen Your Case
Some cases are more challenging to prove than others. For your bicycle accident case, you'll need an attorney to interview witnesses, examine medical records, and link your injuries to your accident, as well as question witnesses who can support your story. The more complicated your case, the more evidence is needed. Knowledgeable 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 responsibility isn't clear, your damages are high, or other complications arise, the insurance company is going to contest 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 O'Fallon, MO trial attorneys, Halvorsen Klote can be by your side throughout your case, from initial case evaluation through a jury verdict.
O'Fallon, MO Bicycle Accident Statistics
In 2020, there were 938 bicyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than any other year since 1987. According to reporting from the National Safety Council, in 2020 there were 325,173 bicyclists injured in nonfatal 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 bike accidents which lead to 351 injuries and six deaths, according to the Missouri Traffic Safety Compendium. In Illinois, there were 2,180 bicycle collisions, which lead to 28 fatalities and 1,995 injuries
In both states, urban areas with more vehicle traffic see most bike crashes. Over three-tenths of bike crashes happen between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., when it is more difficult to notice bikers on the road.
While bicycle accidents make up only one percent of trips, each year they account for more than twice that in traffic accident fatalities. The discrepancy points to the terrible damage motorists can cause when they don't look out for bikers, and how important safety measures like helmets and lighting are.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in O'Fallon, MO?
Most bike accidents are caused either because of biker error or because a motorist simply did not see a bicyclist. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents we see are:
- Drivers neglecting to to pay attention
- Drivers failing to yield the right of way
- Drivers failing to respect a bike lane
- Drivers passing dangerously
- Opening a door after parking on the side of the street seeing if a biker is coming
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Road signs that impede a motorists vision
- Road hazards
- Insufficiently marked construction sites
- Pedestrians not paying attention
- Defective car or bike components
While most bike accidents happen at intersections, a National Transport Safety Board report relayed that accidents between intersections cause more serious injuries because both the motor vehicle and bicycle are traveling at higher speeds. Your O'Fallon, MO bike accident lawyer at Halvorsen Klote will perform an exhaustive investigation into your accident to determine the cause of your injuries and who is liable for your damages.
What Are Common Injuries from O'Fallon, MO Bicycle Accidents?
Bicyclists are at a higher risk for severe injuries than anyone else on the road. Some of the most common injuries our lawyer for bicycle accident team has helped O'Fallon, MO residents receive compensation for include:
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Internal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Joint injuries such as ligament tears
Because of the high cost of dealing with a bicycle accident injury, you need knowledgeable and tenacious 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 worst accidents, if you suffer the wrongful death of a family member in the O'Fallon, MO area, we will stand by your side and help you find some form of peace and secure your future.
Who Can I Hold Accountable for My Bicycle Accident Injuries in O'Fallon, MO?
Who is at fault depends on the specifics of your case. Each case is different, and as such the liable party varies. In some cases there are multiple liable parties, and a dedicated bicycle accident lawyer will investigate your accident and hold each party responsible for the percentage of blame they share. The most common liable parties in bicycle accidents include:
Car, truck and motorcycle drivers are the most common liable party for bicycle accidents by not respecting bicyclists' right to share the road. But have the same right to the road as the driver of any other vehicle, and if you are injured by a motorist the same liability in car accidents applies. For example, if someone injures you because they were driving under the influence, they would be responsible for your injuries in a civil claim.
Both Illinois and Missouri have rules of the road for how motorists are supposed to drive around bicyclists, such as allowing at least three feet of space when passing. Under the legal practice of negligence per se, someone is automatically liable for your injuries if they break a state statute. So if you are injured because a motorist did not yield at a crosswalk, your lawyer for bicycle accident will be able to file a negligence per se claim, and the insurance company will be more amenable in negotiations.
A Defective Bike or Car or Truck Component
If your accident was caused by a defective product, such as brakes, an engineer, manufacturer and/or vendor may be liable in a product liability claim. Anybody involved in the chain of distribution must ensure that products are not dangerous when used appropriately and issue recalls whenever a component is found to be unsafe. If they fail to, you can make a claim against them.
A Trucking or Other Commercial Company
If a commercial driver causes your accident, your bike accident attorney may be able to prove negligence on the part of the employer. For example, if a trucking company failed to perform a background check, they would be 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 O'Fallon, MO roadways. If a hazard such as uneven pavement contributed to your injuries, your O'Fallon, MO bicycle accident lawyer may be able to find out that a government agency did not follow their own rules for maintaining safe roads. There are special rules for filing claims against government agencies and they have different deadlines for how long you have to file, so an attorney is vital for the best results in your claim.
In Missouri, you are also able to make a claim against a public bus driver. Pursuant to Missouri Revised Statute §537.600, government employees who cause an accident while operating a motor vehicle are not given sovereign immunity like other public employees are in personal injury cases. Regrettably, in Illinois, 745 ILCS 10/ does not allow anyone to sue a public employee in a tort case unless there was "willful and wanton" misconduct.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive for My O'Fallon, MO Bicycle Accident Injuries?
How much your claim is worth depends on the severity of the injuries, how they've affected your life, your economic loss and other factors:
- The scope of your injuries — The worse your injuries, the more you'll have to pay in medical bills, which you will be compensated for. Months of physical therapy will lead to more money than a a visit or two with your primary care doctor. Did your bicycle accident lead to a knee replacement? Those typically last 15-20 years, and your Halvorsen Klote O'Fallon, MO bicycle accident lawyer will make sure you are not the one that has to pay for it when a new one is necessary.
- The impact your injuries had on your life — Your financial recovery is meant to compensate you for the less tangible ways your injuries have hurt you, including pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Is it painful just to get up and down the stairs? An accomplished and skilled O'Fallon, MO bicycle accident lawyer at Halvorsen Klote will fight to make sure the physical and emotional pain you felt is compensated to.
- Your lost wages from time spent recovering — You will also receive compensation for the money you were not able to earn. If you couldn't earn a living because a physician told you to stay home and rest, that lost money will be part of your recovery.
- If your injuries result in lost earning potential — If you were a construction worker who sustained a back injury in a bicycle accident in O'Fallon, MO and now are not able to safely lift over 50 pounds, you need to know your future is secure after you've healed as much as possible. Your compensation will need to be high enough to make sure your future is secure.
- The amount of insurance coverage available — Different insurance plans have different amounts of coverage. Illinois and Missouri both require $50,000 per accident for bodily injury in car accident policies, while trucking companies may have up to $5 million in coverage. A skilled lawyer for bicycle accidents can help you make an underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company if the coverage available isn't enough to fully compensate you for your injuries.
- Whether you are partially at fault for your bicycle accident — Both Missouri and Illinois are comparative negligence states, meaning that you can still get a recovery if you were partially at fault, but it will be proportionately less based on how much blame you share. Meaning, if it is determined that your economic and noneconomic damages come to $100,000 but you were 30 percent at fault, your compensation would be reduced by $30,000. Missouri is referred to as a "pure" comparative fault state, meaning you can file a claim even if you are 99 percent responsible. Illinois is a "modified" comparative fault state, meaning you would be barred from recovery if more than half the accident is your fault.
At Halvorsen Klote, our O'Fallon, MO bicycle accident lawyers will know exactly how much you are owed. We know that large corporations and insurance companies often try their best to devalue your claim. We do what we do every day because we believe that everyone has should have access to the same expert legal representation as wealthy organizations.
What to Do if You're Injured in a Bicycle Accident in O'Fallon, MO
Getting in a bicycle accident can be terrifying and confusing, but there are several steps you should take to help you get better physically and optimize your compensation.
Stay Calm, Stay Safe and Seek Medical Treatment
If you can, move to the side of the road to get away from oncoming traffic. Leave your bike, as trying to move it could exacerbate your injuries. If your injuries are too severe for you to move safely, wait for emergency medical personnel to get to the scene.
If you don't need to go to the hospital in an ambulance, visit the emergency room or urgent care after law enforcement tell you you can leave the scene. If you didn't go on the same day, schedule a visit to your general practitioner in the days afterward. 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 demonstrating the other party's liability. Police are trained to determine fault in an accident. When talking to police, don't confess fault or over-explain your actions. Be truthful, but don't say anything beyond the facts of the accident and your injuries, and don't give any information they don't explicitly 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 location, any damage to your bicycle and the other vehicle, and your injuries. If there are witnesses present, get their contact information so your city, state bicycle accident lawyer can reach out to them afterwards.
Don't Settle Too Quickly
The insurance companies' first offer will almost always be an inadequate offer. They want you to settle before you discover the full extent of your damages or hire an attorney. They may tell you no more money is available, but that's almost rarely true. The majority of injury attorneys provide free consultations, so it's always worth it to at least speak to a lawyer about your case before accepting a settlement.
Click on the links below to see some of the other cases we take on in O'Fallon, MO:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
- Auto Accident Attorney
- Bike Wreck Lawyer
- What to Do After a Car Accident
- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
- Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Injury Claim Lawyer
Lawyer for Bicycle Accident in O'Fallon, MO | Halvorsen Klote
You did not ask to be put in this situation, and you should not have to pay because someone else did not respect your safety. Our O'Fallon, MO lawyer for bicycle accident team has devoted their profession to standing up for people who have been wronged, and ensuring that they recover all the money they are entitled to. We charge no fees we win your case. Call a bicycle accident lawyer in O'Fallon, MO today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free case review.