The Minneapolis bicycle accident attorneys at Hall Law have extensive experience handling common bicycle accident cases. Our Minneapolis Bicycle accident attorneys understand the issues involved in presenting claims for those injured while riding a bicycle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 783 bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2017, stressing the importance of bicycle safety and driver awareness. If a cyclist is injured while operating a bike, adequate compensation for injuries, medical expenses, and other damages will be required.
Why Choose Us?
- Our Minneapolis personal injury attorneys have recovered millions in compensation for our injured clients.
- We aggressively fight for the compensation bicycle accident victims deserve and prepare every case for the possibility of trial.
- We take bicycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay any money out-of-pocket for our representation, and we only get paid when you do.
What Damages Can I Recover With a Minneapolis Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
It is important to contact a Minneapolis personal injury attorney immediately to ensure that you are receiving complete compensation for your injuries. For example, not only will a person injured in a bicycle/car accident have a potential claim against the at-fault motorist — they also may be entitled to collect no-fault benefits under his or her own automobile policy including benefits for medical expenses, wage loss, and household services.
When pursuing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, a bicycle rider may be able to recover the following types of compensation:
Economic damages reimburse bicyclists for actual financial losses, such as:
- Current and future medical bills related to any treatment you require for your injury, including hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, rehabilitation, prescription medications, home modifications for disability, etc.
- Total lost wages and benefits beyond the portion that PIP covers.
- Diminished earning capacity if you cannot make the same level of income as before the accident.
- Property damage for the repairs or replacement of any property damaged in the collision, such as your bicycle, helmet, cell phone, clothing, etc.
Compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of life if you can no longer enjoy the activities you were able to do before the bicycle accident.
- Loss of consortium is compensation that your spouse or family members can recover if the accident leaves you unable to provide the same love, affection, companionship, sexual relations, etc.
If the at-fault driver exhibited extreme negligence, they may be ordered to pay punitive damages, which are intended as punishment.
What Can Bicyclists Do & Not Do in Minnesota?
When bicycling in Minnesota, it is important to understand what you can and cannot do by law.
What Are Bicyclists in Minnesota Permitted to Do?
Bicyclists have a right to the road just as drivers do. They are able to use a full lane while traveling at the normal speed of traffic, overtaking and passing, preparing for a turn, when traveling in a lane that is too narrow, to avoid unsafe conditions, or to avoid a mandatory turn lane. Riders can also overtake vehicles but must leave a safe distance and exercise due care. With those rights also comes the same responsibilities as motorists. Bicycle riders must:
- Yield the right of way to drivers just as they would if they were driving a car
- Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights
Unlike many states, bicyclists are allowed to ride a bicycle without a helmet in Minnesota.
What Are Bicyclists in Minnesota Forbidden From Doing?
Minnesota law prohibits bicyclists from the following:
- Lane-splitting, which means riding in between lanes
- Holding onto a motor vehicle while cycling
- Carrying packages that prevent them from being able to brake or place both hands on the handlebars
- Allowing more passengers on a bicycle than it is designed for
- Parking on sidewalks
Bicyclists should also refrain from riding while intoxicated. Although they cannot receive a DUI, a police officer may still charge them with reckless endangerment or public intoxication.
What Are Common Injuries Caused From Bicycle Accidents?
Below are some of the most common injuries sustained in a bicycle accident:
Scrapes and Lacerations
Almost any bicycle accident will result in scrapes or lacerations and some bruising. Contusions and scrapes are most common on the knees and elbows. Larger cuts may require stitches if they are deep, longer than a half-inch, or don’t stop bleeding after 10 minutes of firm pressure. However, any skin injury has the potential to cause scarring. Swelling may also occur, but rest and ice can help.
Soft Tissue Injuries
When damage occurs to the body’s connective tissues, such as muscles, ligaments, or tendons, it is known as a soft tissue injury—for example, a strain or sprain. The shoulder is especially prone to injury in a bicycle accident since cyclists are often unable to put up their hands to break their fall. Additionally, when a bicyclist is rear-ended, they commonly suffer whiplash, which happens when the muscles and ligaments in the neck extend beyond their typical range in motion.
Head and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the leading cause of bicycle accident fatalities and long-term disabilities. They are frequently caused by a bicyclist’s head hitting the ground. Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe TBIs that result in permanent cognitive impairment. TBIs occur when a sudden, violent blow or jolt to the head causes the brain to collide into the skull.
Lacerations and other facial injuries, such as fractures can cause lifetime or long-lasting impairments or disfigurement. Bicyclists are often left with scars and require cosmetic surgery.
The impact of a bicycle accident can cause damage to internal organs. These injuries may not be immediately apparent but can quickly become life-threatening if not treated. Any signs of bruising or cuts on the abdomen are worth having evaluated by a medical professional.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The force of the whipping motion caused by a bicycle accident can cause stress to the spine, commonly resulting in a disc herniation or a rupture. Discs in the spine act as the cushion between vertebrae, and when one is herniated or ruptured, it can limit mobility and cause excruciating pain. Surgical intervention and physical therapy are commonly required.
What Risk Factors Contribute to Bicycle Injuries?
Studies have narrowed down the most significant risk factors contributing to bicycle accident-related injuries. Those are as follows:
- When a motor vehicle is involved
- Failing to wear a helmet
- Riding in an unsafe environment
- Riding while intoxicated
- Male cyclists are more prone to injury
- Cycling in the late afternoon or early evening is more dangerous, as well as in summer
- Children between the ages of nine to 14 are at higher risk of injury
- A cyclist who has a pre-existing psychiatric condition
- When a cyclist is from an unstable family environment
- When competing in mountain-bike racing
Cyclists on the road do not have as much protection from traffic. Their entire body is exposed with only a helmet to protect them, so this leaves room for severe injuries to occur.
Contact Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Our firm has handled a wide range of bicycle cases ranging from clients with neck and back injuries to a young boy who suffered severe internal injuries after being run over by a city road-grader while on his bicycle.
We have more than 35 years of experience representing people who have been injured in bicycle accidents in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one have suffered injury in a bicycle accident, call the dedicated attorneys at Hall Law.
Bike Accident Reference Materials