Little Rock Bicycle Accident Lawyer
A Little Rock bicycle accident lawyer may be able to assist those who have been injured or the families of those killed in a bicycle accident. Within the past few years, Little Rock has seen a growing number of people using bicycling to commute, as a form of exercise, or for recreational purposes. As the number of cyclists increases, the potential for accidents involving injuries and fatalities potentially increases as well. When a cyclist is injured or killed due to the fault of another, injured parties may be eligible to pursue compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney.
If you have been injured, or if a loved has been killed, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a bicycle accident lawyer at the Johnson Firm today. You can fill out the form on this page, call us at 501-777-7777 or email us at [email protected].
There is no cost to speak with us. If you choose to pursue a claim, you pay no upfront fees or expenses. Our fees are based solely on the recovery made on your behalf. If there is no recovery, you pay nothing.
Why Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Little Rock?
Successful litigation of a serious or fatal bicycle accident can be a complex process, requiring specialized knowledge, skills and experience. In some cases, more than one party may be held accountable for the injuries sustained by a bicyclist or other type of cyclist, including the driver of the vehicle, the manufacturer of the vehicle or parts responsible for the accident, or a mechanic who failed to ensure safe operation of the vehicle or part.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Serious and/or fatal bicycle accidents can be life-altering and traumatic, often resulting in physical, emotional and financial damage. Those damages can be particularly harmful when the accident was caused by the negligence of another. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a total of 818 cyclists killed in accidents involving motor vehicles in the United States in 2015. Additionally, it is estimated that 45,000 cyclists were injured in crashes in 2015, making up almost 2 percent of the total number of people injured in traffic accidents.
In 2015, three cyclists were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles in Arkansas in 2015, accounting for 0.6 percent of all traffic fatalities statewide. Nationally, fatal cycling accidents accounted for approximately 2.3 percent of all fatalities, placing Arkansas 1.7 percent lower than the national average.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Although bicycle trips reportedly account for only 1 percent of all trips made in the U.S., bicyclists and other pedalcyclists potentially face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than those who occupy motor vehicles.
Types of injuries associated with bicycle accidents include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts, scrapes and bruises
According to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), major risk factors of bicycle accidents include:
- Adults who are aged 50 to 59 years have the highest bicycle death rates.
- Children aged 5 to 14 and adolescents aged 15-19 have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries, which reportedly accounts for over one-third of all bicycle-related injuries in U.S. emergency rooms.
- Males are six percent more likely to be killed and are injured four times more often on bicycles than females.
- Most bicycle deaths occur in urban areas and at non-intersection locations.
- Thirty-seven percent of bicycle deaths involved alcohol in 2015.
Bicycle Accident Causes and Prevention
Common causes of bicycle accidents that include motor vehicles include:
- Failing to check for cyclists when turning
- Failing to check for cyclists in blind spots
- Failing to check for cyclists when opening doors
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances
- Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone
- Failing to adhere to traffic laws and regulations, including traveling at high rates of speed
Bicycle deaths and injuries can be prevented. According to the NHTSA, there are a number of things both cyclists and motorists can do to potentially prevent a serious or fatal bicycle accident.
Bicyclists can prevent accidents by wearing a properly-fitting helmet, preparing before heading out for a ride, staying focused and alert while riding, riding predictably and in the same direction of the flow of traffic, and improving your riding skills. Bicyclists can improve their visibility to other riders and drivers of motor vehicles by wearing fluorescent clothing during the daytime and reflective clothing at night. Lighting, including headlights and rear red lights, can possibly improve a bicyclist’s visibility as well.
Likewise, drivers can help prevent bicycle accidents by:
- Yielding to bicyclists as if they were a motorist
- Searching for other vehicles and bicyclists in parking lots, at stop signs and when parking
- Watching for bicyclists when turning right at a red light
- Obeying the speed limit
- Driving defensively
- Giving cyclists room when passing
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Bicycle Laws in Arkansas and Little Rock
Although Arkansas law does not define a bicycle as a vehicle, statutes in the Arkansas Code of 1987 contain the following language regarding bicyclists:
Every person riding a bicycle or an animal, or driving any animal drawing a vehicle upon a highway, shall have all the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except those provisions of this act which by their nature can have no applicability.
According to the Arkansas State Police and Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, cyclists in Arkansas can use “any public road, street, or highway in Arkansas, with the exception of the freeways and other controlled-access highways.”
Although highly discouraged for safety reasons, bicycles may also be ridden on sidewalks throughout the state of Arkansas. Several cities, including Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs and Maumelle, directly or indirectly prohibit cyclists from riding on the sidewalks.
According to Arkansas State Code (§27-51-311),
The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a roadway shall exercise due care and pass to the left at a safe distance of not less than three feet (3’) and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken bicycle.
Any person who violates the rules of overtaking a bicycle and causes a collision resulting in serious physical injury or death can be potentially subject to a fine in addition to any other penalties under Arkansas law.
What Should You Do After a Bicycle Accident?
- Get medical attention immediately after you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, if those injuries appear to be minor
- Contact law enforcement and attempt to provide the police with as much information as possible
- Gather information from witnesses, if possible
- Take pictures of the bicycle and the accident scene, if possible
What Happens After You Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
If you have been injured, or have lost a loved one, as a result of a serious or fatal bicycle accident, a Little Rock bicycle accident lawyer can help guide you through the legal process. Once an attorney with Johnson Firm has been contacted, you will be asked about the accident and any related injuries.
There is no obligation to hire an attorney. However, if you agree to be represented by an attorney with Johnson Firm, you will be asked to sign a fee agreement that explains the terms and conditions of the representation as well as the fee to be charged in the event of a recovery on your behalf.
In some cases, an attorney may be able to settle a claim with the insurance company without having to go to court. If a case cannot be settled, it will possibly be necessary to file a lawsuit on your behalf in which you will potentially need to provide additional information and testimony in a deposition.
Should your case go to trial, your attorney will appear with you in court to represent you in front of the judge or jury. While the amount of compensation you recover depends on the facts of the case, it is important to remember that compensation is never guaranteed and the results of another bicycle accident lawsuit may not indicate the outcome of a similar case.
How a Little Rock Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
People who are injured in bicycle accidents caused by the negligence of another, whether that driver was speeding or is otherwise at fault, may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from their injuries, including:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income or ability to work
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish resulting from an injury
The families of those killed in a fatal bicycle or other cycling accident may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.