How to Determine Liability in a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accident injuries are often much more severe than injuries sustained in a regular car accident and may include burns, broken limbs, head injuries, and life-long disabilities. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Southeast Iowa, you know better than most, the implications a single accident can have on your life. From the inability to work to extensive medical bills to an inability to enjoy life in general, your world has completely changed since that negligent driver ran into you. Though our attorneys cannot help you regain full function of broken limbs or an injured brain, we can help you win the compensation you need for a recovery. If you were injured in a bike accident in Iowa, reach out to Noyes Law Office, P.C., to speak with a skilled bicycle accident lawyer today.
While part of our job as your attorney is to gather as much evidence in your favor as possible, you can help your own case by doing the same on your end. Typically, we like for accident victims to come prepared with the following documents and evidence:
- Photographs of the scene of the accident;
- Contact information of witnesses;
- Police reports;
- Medical reports and bills;
- Journal entries detailing life post-accident;
- Documentation of lost wages (this could be in the form of a note from your doctor and employer); and
- Clothing or attire from the accident, stored in a Ziploc bag.
If you did not take pictures of the accident or preserve the clothing and helmet you were wearing at the time of the accident, do not worry; most people do not know this. However, you should be able to obtain a copy of the police report, medical records, and medical statements from the police station and health center. Additionally, the police report should contain the contact information of witnesses, but if it does not, our bike accident lawyers can work with the station to obtain names and phone numbers.
Even with all the proper evidence, it is not always easy to prove liability in a bicycle accident. For this reason, you should not enter the process with the assumption that just because you are injured means that you automatically win. Nothing involving the law is ever that easy. For the best possible outcome, retain the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Most lawyers know that liability in bicycle accidents is usually determined by who had the right-of-way. Using this method is simple when there is a traffic signal, but not so simple at a point at which no signals are present. For instance, in Iowa, it is legal for bicyclists to pass a moving vehicle. However, they must do so where passing is allowed and they must do so on the left. If a bicyclist is hit by a vehicle coming from the opposite direction when he or she is passing a vehicle moving in the same direction, liability may be tough to prove. On the one hand, the bicyclist should only attempt to pass when the other lane is clear. On the other hand, the lane may have been clear when he or she started to pass and the oncoming driver may have been speeding, or not paying attention.
In another instance, a bicyclist may have used the proper hand signals to indicate he or she was about to turn, but the driver behind him or her may not have been paying attention. In such an instance, liability may hinge on witness accounts.
Knowing Iowa’s rules of the road for bicyclists is tantamount to your success in your bicycle accident case. If you do not understand which laws apply to you and which were broken, you may have a difficult time proving that the other driver is at fault. You may not understand the rules thoroughly, but a skilled Iowa bicycle accident attorney does. Let a lawyer fight for the compensation you need to recover—call Noyes Law Office, P.C., to schedule your free and private consultation today.