Bicycle Accident Lawyer St. Paul MN
If you’re a bicyclist who was injured through no fault of your own, contact Johnston | Martineau, PLLP to speak with a top bicycle accident lawyer in St. Paul MN. When you need an experienced personal injury attorney, our legal team may be able to help you protect your rights and you recover your damages.
Bicyclists can be especially vulnerable to serious injuries from bike accidents. Because bicyclists are exposed to the dangers of car traffic without the protection of a vehicle, injuries and their associated medical costs can be astronomical. This is why it may be advantageous to hire a bicycle accident lawyer in St. Paul MN. The attorneys at Johnston | Martineau, PLLP have years of experience helping riders who were injured through no fault of their own.
Being Prepared in the Event of Bicycle Accident
One of the worst things a bicycle rider may endure is painful injuries due to being hit by a vehicle. Depending on the circumstances, a victim can suffer anything from very small cuts and bruises to a traumatic brain injury or fractured skull. Bicycle riders must be extra cautious when voyaging out into the roadways, as car drivers easily forget to watch out for bicyclists. It is important to be prepared and know what to do, just in case it happens to you.
Listed below are a few common questions bicyclists may ask themselves after a collision with a vehicle. Above all else, remember that your health comes first. If ever in doubt, call for an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency room in St. Paul MN.
How should I assess whether I need medical attention?
You can perform a brief body exam by touching your head, neck, chest, abdomen, and extremities. Stretch your body and move around a bit. Observe whether you have any sharp pains, dull aches, bleeding, or numbness. It is very likely that a bicyclist will leave with severe injuries — the human body simply cannot withstand the abrupt force of a vehicle colliding into it without sustaining some injuries. Seeking medical attention promptly is always recommended, even if you believe you’re okay at the time.
Should I find eye witnesses?
After colliding with a car, there may be pedestrians nearby or even other car drivers who stop to help you. Do not be afraid to ask these people for their contact information. Statements from passersby can be incredibly useful if you choose to sue the driver for your injuries and bicycle damages. Having the perspective of a third party witness who supports your story can be very impactful in a civil lawsuit.
Why is a police report so important?
If you are in a state of shock, it can be challenging to give detailed information about the incident to a 9-1-1 operator. Your voice may be cracking and your mind jumbled. Wait until a police officer has arrived and handled the scene, and then he or she can create an official report about what happened. Take down the officer’s name, badge or ID number, police report number, and someone your bicycle accident lawyer can contact to request a copy of the report.
Should I take pictures of the scene?
Yes, take as many pictures as possible. Take photographs of your bike, the car, the driver, the intersection or street you were hit, and any visible injuries. If you can, jot down notes about how you are feeling, what time the crash happened, the weather conditions, traffic conditions, and what kind of car hit you.
Do keep in mind that due to a rush shock and adrenaline, you may not feel the entirety of your injuries while at the scene. Bruises may take a day or two to become visible, and fractures may not be evident until your body has fully calmed down. Take care of yourself immediately following the collision, see your doctor, and be gentle to your body as you heal.
Attorney Advice for What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents can be painful, scary, and cause the victim substantial financial loss. A bicyclist who was hit by a car driver may feel overwhelmed and may be unsure what to do next. Victims of bike accidents must take certain steps after the accident to help prevent themselves from further hardship. We recommend meeting with an attorney at Johnston Martineau, PLLP shortly after the collision, for help seeking compensation from the driver at-fault. Here we have provided advice on what to do if you or someone you love was hit by a car driver while riding on two wheels:
Always Call for Help
Victims of bicycle accidents may be in a state of shock, in which it can be difficult to think clearly in the moments after the accident. The driver who hit you may try to convince you to not call the police, but it is imperative that you always call 911 — both for your health and to prevent further loss down the line. The driver may attempt to flee or provide you with false information. By having an officer arrive at the scene to file a report of what happened, the driver won’t be able to escape responsibility as easily.
Reach Out to Witnesses
After you have exchanged details with the driver, talk with witnesses who saw the accident happen. These people could be bystanders, good samaritans who rushed over to help, shop workers, or residents in nearby apartments. You do not have to ask for a statement from witnesses before leaving the scene, as things may be too chaotic. Your attorney at Johnston Martineau, PLLP can contact your witnesses in the days following for an official statement. It is important to evaluate whether these witness stories may help or hurt your case.
Take Photographs as Evidence
If you aren’t rushed off to the emergency room for life-threatening injuries, use your cell phone to capture pictures of the accident. Photograph damages to your bike, visible injuries, vehicle license plate number, and the driver’s identification card. These photographs can be influential if you take the driver to court for compensation of losses and damages.
Start a Medical File
Seek prompt medical attention for any injuries, even if they seem minor at the time. It may be a good idea to get a doctor’s exam shortly after the accident, just to ensure you have a clean bill of health. Whether you were hospitalized, were treated for a broken bone, and/or prescribed medication to aid healing, start a file for your medical documentation. Receipts for medical expenses can help your attorney at Johnston Martineau, PLLP estimate how much you should fight for in the lawsuit, so that you can recover both financially and physically.
An attorney at Johnston Martineau, PLLP has been dedicated to fighting for those wrongfully injured in accidents for many years. We can understand how much your life may have changed due to the bicycle accident. Call us today for a free consultation.
When to Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
As a bicyclist, you may need to hire the services of a bicycle accident lawyer for any of several reasons. Bike riders can be injured under a variety of circumstances including:
1. A motorist or another bicyclist acted negligently and caused an avoidable accident. Unfortunately, this happens quite frequently. Even if a rider wears protective gear, there is no certainty that they’ll avoid serious injury.
- If a motorist caused the injury, their insurance company will be liable for damages. If they do not have insurance, or a sufficient coverage, your attorney may be able to seize their personal assets.
- If another bicyclist was at fault for the accident, their homeowners’ policy may provide coverage. If not, they may have to pay you out of pocket or liquidate their assets. Wage garnishment is another option.
2. The bicycle may have a defective part, in which case the manufacturer may be held liable for your injury. A bicycle accident lawyer can review your case and determine if it has merit.
- A class-action lawsuit may be appropriate if the defective part has caused a substantial number of serious injuries.
- Even in single-incident personal injury cases, the parts manufacturer can be held responsible for damages.
- In certain cases, the parts distributor and retailer can be held responsible in addition to the manufacturer. Defective product cases can be complicated because they often involve multiple parties and require tremendous resources to pursue. Due to the potential for a substantial settlement, it’s important to hire a bicycle accident lawyer.
3. Unsafe road conditions may have caused your accident. Those responsible for repairing and maintaining the safety of that road might be held accountable for your injuries.
- A bicycle accident lawyer may file a claim against the municipality or state entity responsible.
- If a motorist or commercial trucker dropped debris onto the road, which resulted in your accident, they may be held responsible.
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