Richmond is a popular place for cyclists of all skill levels, from casual riders to competitive athletes. Downtown and The Fan are perfect for students and commuters alike with everything being a 5 minute bike ride away. There are also plenty of scenic bike trails around the city, like Belle Isle and the Midlothian Mines Park trail.
While it’s fun and healthy to ride your bike everywhere, there’s always the risk of a severe crash when driving through the city. Inattentive drivers are even more dangerous when they’re around cyclists. A simple mistake driving a car could prove fatal for a cyclist.
In the unfortunate case of a bicycle accident or crash, you need an experienced lawyer on your side through every stage of the process. From reporting the accident, seeking proper medical care, or even taking the case to court, you need someone you can trust.
The Injury Team at Cravens and Noll have a significant record of success in personal injury cases, including bicycle accidents. Our goal isn’t simply to give you the monetary compensation you deserve. We want to make sure you are safe, healthy, and ready to get back on your bike again.
Your Rights as a Cyclist in Virginia
Cyclists blur the line between pedestrian and motorist, so it can be difficult to know what laws you need to follow. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), there are few rules that cyclists should be aware of when riding through town.
- Bicycles should ride as close as safely possible to the right edge or curb of the roadway
- Bicycles can be ridden on sidewalks but must yield to pedestrians
- A cyclist can pass another vehicle on either side as long as it is safe to do so.
- Helmets are not required in Richmond, but are in many towns and counties in Virginia
- Cyclists must signal their intentions to turn.
- Other vehicles must give you at least three feet of space
By understanding these laws, you can practice safety while riding your bike through Richmond, Chesterfield, or Midlothian.
Types of Bike Accidents and Crashes
When riding on public roads with other vehicles, there are many ways that a bike accident can occur. In 2019, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) found that 615 cyclists were injured in traffic accidents, 128 seriously.
In most cases, bike crashes occur due to negligent or irresponsible driving. The same DMV study found that 18.6% of bike accidents happened due to a vehicle’s failure to yield. On top of that, there are plenty of other causes for serious biking accidents:
- Reckless driving
- Failure to check mirrors
- Opening a car door
- Turning without signaling
Whenever a driver fails to pay attention to the vehicles around them, they are creating a dangerous situation. Things become even worse once a cyclist is involved, since a collision with a car could prove more deadly than when inside a vehicle.
Some accidents don’t even involve a vehicle. If your bike has a defective part from a manufacturer, or faulty repairs, then you could be injured just from operating the bike.
Common Bicycle Injuries
There are many injuries you can suffer in an accident involving a vehicle or pedestrian.
- Road Rash
- Broken Bones
- Neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
While not all of them are life-threatening, you should still seek medical attention, if only to ensure that you won’t have any long lasting effects that could incapacitate you later in life. If you do suffer a serious injury, you deserve compensation for any monetary losses and emotional or psychological damages, physical pain, suffering and lost wages.
What to do After a Bicycle Accident in Virginia
Once you’re involved in a bicycle accident or crash, you should seek legal advice from an attorney as soon as possible. They will help you navigate through the crucial initial steps to take after an accident so that you can preserve evidence, photos, and testimony to help you receive proper compensation.
Make sure to get the insurance and vehicle information from the other party. Also file a police report and try to establish contact with any witnesses if possible. Take photos of the damage done to your bicycle, the other party’s vehicle, and tire marks or other debris surrounding the accident.
Above all else, do not admit fault or speak to an insurance company before consulting an attorney. Insurance companies do not have your best interest at heart. Their goal is to keep from paying you any compensation for the accident, even if you were not at fault.
Be sure to visit a doctor and keep a record of your visit. This information can be helpful if you decide to pursue a court case. More importantly, you can discover any injuries that could prove debilitating in the future.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at Cravens & Noll
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, or has been killed due to a negligent driver, then you deserve proper compensation. The guilty party should pay for your medical bills and make up for any loss of wages or crucial time with your family.
The attorneys at Cravens and Noll have decades of experience in personal injury law. We understand the special circumstances of bicycle accidents and how intricate the law can be at times. We’re dedicated to protecting you from insurance companies and making sure you are properly compensated for your damages.
Most importantly, we want to make sure you and your family can quickly recover, stay safe, and get back to doing what you love. Schedule a consultation with us to discuss your case with the lawyers at Cravens and Noll. You will not ever regret seeking experienced counsel to guide you through the process.