In this article, you can learn about:
- How bicycle accidents are different from auto accident claims.
- The different damages you may be able to recover in a bike accident.
- How Indiana’s Comparative Fault Act can affect your cycling accident claim.
What Are My Rights And Responsibilities As A Bicycle Rider In Indiana?
Generally speaking, Indiana cyclists can ride on open roads and have all the rights and duties that apply to someone operating a motor vehicle. However, there are some differences and responsibilities that cyclists must be aware of while riding.
Some of the duties specific to bicyclists include:
- You must be on a permanently secured seat when cycling.
- Your bicycle must be equipped with proper brakes that can create a skid on dry pavement.
- Your bicycle cannot be equipped with a siren or whistle. (Nor can you use a siren or whistle while riding.)
- You may not ride on the road with more than two people abreast. (Side-by-side.)
- You must not carry anything that prevents you from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
- You must not have more riders on the bicycle than it is designed to carry.
- Any passenger must be on a permanently secured seat when riding.
- If riding after sunset and before sunrise, you must have a headlamp on the front and a red light (or reflector) on the back – each visible from 500 feet away.
Any violation of these rules constitutes a Class C infraction and can result in a traffic ticket.
Can I Still Bring A Lawsuit Against A Driver If I Was Not Doing Something I Was Supposed To Do?
Deciding whether to bring a lawsuit when you are partially at fault is a call best made with the help of an experienced bicycle accident attorney.
Under Indiana’s Comparative Fault Act, a jury will allocate fault to each party based on the percentage of their liability. This is typically used for auto accidents, though it also applies to bicyclists. The percentage liability that you will be assigned is determined by a number of factors, including: the nature of your rule violation, the facts surrounding the other driver’s negligent act, and how the two compare.
It should also be noted: Because this determination is made by a jury of your peers, the liability outcome will also depend on people’s attitudes about bicyclists.
Who Can Recover Damages For My Bicycle Accident Injuries?
A bicycle crash is like any other accident claim – If someone else’s negligence caused injuries to you, you may have a right to recovery. In addition, a spouse may have a right to recovery for loss of services. And in the case of a wrongful death claim, the right to recovery is limited to the people listed in the wrongful death act.
How Do I Know When I Should Settle My Bike Accident Claim?
Our firm holds the belief that a settlement generally provides a better outcome than trial. Why? Because if you settle, it means that you’ve found an amount in compensation that meets your goals. What’s more, settlement provides you with the greatest amount of control regarding your case outcome.
If you go to trial, you may get more money than if you had settled, or you may get much less. Once you go to trial, you put the outcome in someone else’s hands – settlement is something you can control and decide whether to accept or reject.
How Are Bicycle Accident Settlement Amounts Calculated?
Settlements are always based on the nature and extent of the injuries sustained. This is true of any type of claim for personal injury. While the amount of medical treatment and expense can be a key factor, the greatest factor is often the seriousness of the injury and the significance of how those injuries will affect your life into the future.
If I Was Partially At Fault For The Bicycle Accident, Will That Reduce Damages I May Recover?
Whenever the injured party is partly at fault for a collision that led to their injuries and damages, the amount they recover will be diminished by the percentage of fault that gets allocated to them.
To illustrate this point, consider the following example:
You are injured in a bicycle accident and have a claim that is worth $10,000. You are found to be partially responsible for the accident, and your liability is 20%. Therefore, you are not entitled to recover 20% of your overall claim. This means that $2,000 (20%) will be subtracted from your total claim value of $10,000, and you will receive $8,000 (the remaining 80%).
Does The Severity Of The Injury I Have Resulting From My Bike Accident Ensure The Likelihood Of A Larger Settlement?
The severity of the injury is the largest driving force in the valuation of an injury claim. The perceived “severity” of the injury involves a number of factors, including:
- The nature of the injury itself,
- The level of pain caused by the injury
- The length of necessary medical treatment
- Any expected future treatment (including therapies)
- The cost of all past treatment
- The amount of lost wages
- The physical limitations imposed by the injuries
- The duration of physical limitations
- Any limitations on future income. (This can be in the form of lost wages or an impairment of your ability to earn wages in the future.)
For more information on Rights & Responsibilities Of Bicycle Rider, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (812) 359-8007 today.
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