The attorneys of Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. have been fighting for the rights of those injured in bicycle accidents for over 30 years. Our attorneys have experience handling these cases and getting results for our clients. If you have suffered an injury in a bicycle accident, Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. are the attorneys you can trust to aggressively pursue getting you the compensation you need.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, around 2% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involve a bicycle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports over 1,000 bicyclist fatalities and almost half a million injuries. The cost from injuries and deaths of bicyclists is over $10 billion. Montana reported over 150 injuries or fatalities of bicyclists in 2016. Cascade County, which includes Great Falls, was in the top three of bicycle-related crashes in Montana and sixth in the state for fatal bicycle accidents.
What Are General Laws for Bicycling on Roads?
Montana state law expressly gives bicycles the same rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle. Cyclists must ride in the right-hand lane unless preparing to make a left-hand turn or if they are passing a vehicle going in the same direction. Cyclists must likewise use a bright white light in front of their bike when operating at night, with a red light shining on the back.
Laws specifically for cyclists include prohibiting cyclists from riding two abreast except when passing another cyclist or if they are on a shoulder or a lane set aside for cyclists. Unlike automobiles, in some circumstances, a bicyclist may use a sidewalk unless there is a sign prohibiting it.
What to Do Immediately Following an Accident
After any bicycle accident, you will want to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, and a medical professional can give a proper diagnosis. Seeking medical treatment helps reduce the risk of injuries growing more serious and documents the injuries you suffer.
You should exchange information with the driver involved in the accident, including name, address, and phone number, the contact information for his or her insurance company, and the policy number.
It is a good idea to have the police come to make a police report after any accident. This provides an objective report of the accident scene, and the insurance company generally requires it.
If possible, take pictures of your bike, the car that hit you, your injuries, and the accident scene. You should also try to get the contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
Who Is Liable for a Bike Accident?
In many cases, the driver who hits a cyclist fails to observe the cyclist before taking the action that caused the accident. The driver’s negligence makes him or her liable for the injuries of the cyclist who suffers the resulting injury.
Every case is unique, so determining who is liable for the bike accident depends on the case specifics. However, even if you are partly responsible, the driver may be liable for damages you suffer.
Why Do You Need a Montana Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Determining who is liable for compensation and the extent to which the driver is at fault can be complicated. Insurance companies often intimidate victims into quickly accepting a low settlement. A lawyer who has experience handling these cases can effectively gather the evidence that makes your case and stand up to the insurance companies during negotiations.
Call Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. for a free strategy session today. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to fight to see you receive a fair settlement or win a verdict on your behalf. There’s no fee unless you win, so put us to work for you today.