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Bicycle Accidents

Bicycling is a common mode of transportation for Iowans. Whether it’s a leisurely ride through one of the state’s vast network of recreation trials, or a simple commute to work—cycling is a popular activity among residents. However, it’s not uncommon for bicyclists to become injured due to the negligent actions of motorists. Motor vehicle drivers must be aware of cyclists who they are obligated to share the road with, and failure to do so could result in a deadly accident.

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a cyclist may retain substantial life-changing injuries if they’re struck by a motor vehicle. The sheer size of a motor vehicle has the capacity to create significant spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, and even death. Injuries such as these often require extensive treatment, which can cost the injured party thousands of dollars in treatment and time away from work.

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident by a negligent motor vehicle operator, contact the legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

Bicycle Accident Attorney, Des Moines IA | Polk County & Dallas County

Gregory Landry and his legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have decades of experience assisting clients with their recovery by advocating for the compensation they deserve. Our team will evaluate the details of your accident and advise the best course of action. We aggressively negotiate with insurance companies to ensure our clients are fully compensated for any financial losses they’ve faced since the injury. If needed, we are also prepared to litigate for you in court.

Schedule your first consultation with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. by calling our offices at (515) 279-9700. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices in West Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Des Moines, De Soto, Ankeny, Miniburn, and Perry.

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Information Center:

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Bicycle Accident Statistics

Bicycle accidents have unfortunately increased in the United States over the years. Listed below are several statistics regarding cycling accidents from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), CDC, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  • In 2018, 857 bicyclists died as a result of traffic accidents
  • That year 306,892 people visited some type of emergency department at a hospital due to a bicycle accident with another motor vehicle
  • 38,000 patients were transferred to another facility or hospitalized due to injuries stemming from a cycling accident
  • During 2018, the cost of bicycle injuries totaled more than $1.6 billion
  • Data revealed that bicycle injuries accounted for more than $4.3 billion in lost work

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What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accident?

The size difference between a motor vehicle and a bicycle is so immense that simply sharing the road with a motor vehicle increases the chances of a cycling accident. Just a slight clip or any small slip up could uproot the bicyclist completely at an incredible force—ultimately ending in serious injury. If a motorist’s negligent actions are the cause of the accident, then they could be held liable in court for damages.

A bicycle accident can be caused by various factors and in a multitude of ways including:

  • Drivers failing to give cyclists enough space on the road
  • Roads with unsafe conditions including ice or potholes
  • Chain reaction car accidents that ultimately hit a bicyclist
  • “Dooring,” which is where a driver opens their car doors in the path of a cyclist and the bicyclist crashes because of it
  • Motor vehicles that make a sudden turn also known as a “left cross” or “right hook”
  • Drivers pulling out of an alley, driveway, or small street without looking
  • Motorists who fail to follow traffic lights or signals

Even if a bicyclist has safety gear equipped, they are vulnerable to serious injury if struck by a motor vehicle. Listed below are several injuries a bicyclist may suffer if they are involved in a cycling accident with another automobile.

  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Road rashes
  • Lacerations
  • Concussions
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Abrasions

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What to Do After a Bike Accident?

If you’ve been struck by a motor vehicle as a cyclist, it’s essential you take the following steps:

  • Call 911 and ask the officer who arrives for a police report. If they are unbale to provide it at that time, you can go to the station 72 hours after the accident for one.
  • Seek immediate medical treatment for any injuries you’ve sustained, even if they don’t seem very “serious.”
  • Ask the driver who struck you for their information including insurance information, address, phone number, and their license plate number
  • Get information from any eye-witnesses and statements if you can
  • Take your bicycle to a shop if there’s significant damage and document the value it would take to repair it with your adjuster
  • Never minimize any damage done to you or your bicycle
  • Secure legal representation before speaking to your insurance company or the driver who struck you insurance company
  • Do not accept any low-ball offers even if you are in desperate need for cash. You could be entitled to a lot more.

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Compensation After a Bicycle Accident

In the event you or someone you love has been involved in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any non-economic and economic damages stemming from your injuries. An experienced Iowa bicycle accident attorney can assess the situation and work tirelessly to secure a monetary award or settlement based on your damages. These damages will be determined based on any financial or emotional losses you’ve endured since the accident.

If you secure an award or settlement, you may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Lost income
  • Medical expenses
  • Disfigurement
  • Therapy expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering

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Additional Resources

Iowa Bicycle Coalition – Visit the official website for the Iowa Bicycle Coalition is an organization that promotes safe and enjoyable bicycling in Iowa through education, better policy, and a growing community of supporters. Access the site to look at their event calendar, bicycle crash reports for the state, resources for cyclists, how to become a member, and more.

IA Rules for Bicyclists – Visit the official website for Iowa’s Department of Transportation to read their pamphlet illustrating the rules of the road for bicyclists. Access the site to learn which side of the road a bicyclist can cycle on, which side to pass, what lights required at night, and more.

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Des Moines Cycling Accident Lawyer, IA

If you have suffered injury or lost a loved one due to a bicycle accident, contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Gregory Landry and his legal team can investigate the cause of injury and prove your claim either to the insurance company or State courts. Attorney Landry has decades of personal injury experience under his belt, so he’s ready to take on any type of challenge your case may encounter.

Call our office today at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. to set up your first consultation or simply submit an online contact form. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has an office in Des Moines, but accepts clients throughout the Polk County and Dallas County Iowa area.

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