If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, you may be wondering whether or not you need a Utah bicycle accident attorney. You may be tempted to take on the insurance all by yourself. After all, the insurance should be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as smoothly as you’d hope. Sometimes insurance companies try to shift the blame to get out of paying you the compensation you’re entitled to.
At Harris, Preston, & Chambers, we can take on the legal burden for you so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. With years of experience serving as Utah bicycle accident attorneys, we’ll fight for you to be fairly compensated.
Utah is known worldwide for its natural beauty, and residents of Utah proudly take advantage of all Utah has to offer. From the Ogden River Scenic Byway to the Jordan River Parkway, the Wasatch Front offers many places for bicyclists to enjoy the outdoors. The 999 ride, which occurs every Thursday night at 9 pm starting at the corner of 9th and 9th, is a community biking event that allows cyclists to enjoy an urban bike ride through the streets of Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, wherever cyclists and cars meet, accidents are bound to happen. Read on to learn how a Utah bicycle attorney can help you should the worst happen.
Bicycle Helmet Laws in Utah
If you, like many other Utahns, like to enjoy cycling through our beautiful state, you may wonder what Utah’s bicycle helmet laws are. Because bicycles offer much less protection than cars in an accident, wearing a helmet is the best thing you can do to protect yourself from serious injury. However, Utah law does not require you to wear a helmet.
Many other states require minors under the age of 18 to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. But Utah has no such law on the books. Still, it’s a good idea to always wear a helmet when riding your bicycle.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Bicycle Accident Claim
When you’re cycling along the streets of Downtown SLC, the last thing you expect to happen is a car-on-bike collision. Wearing a helmet and using proper gear to stay visible can help protect you, but even with the best protective measures, sometimes accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be wondering how a Utah bicycle accident attorney can help you.
The thing is, bicycle accident claims can be complicated. There are a number of Utah laws to be aware of, such as the statute of limitations and comparative negligence. An experienced Utah bicycle accident attorney understands the complexities of the law and can help you receive more compensation than you might on your own. Our Utah bicycle accident attorneys are some of the best in injury lawyers in the state. We’re based in Logan and serve the entire state from St George to Salt Lake and Ogden.
Here are just a few ways the Utah bicycle accident lawyers at Harris, Preston, & Chambers can help you with your claim:
- Offer a free consultation
- Offer legal council and discuss your options
- Investigate the accident
- Document financial and non-economic damages
- Negotiate with the insurance companies for you
- Compile your medical records
- Take your case to court, if necessary
- Work with experts to determine and prove fault
Why You Need a Utah Bicycle Accident Lawyer
So you understand how a Utah bicycle accident attorney can help you, but you’re wondering if you really need to hire one. Legally, you are allowed to handle the case on your own, even if it means taking the claim to court. However, realistically, you will have the better outcome with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. In fact, studies have shown that hiring a lawyer to represent you can increase the value of compensation by up to five times.
Insurance companies are proactive in their efforts to minimize what they pay. They send multiple adjusters to the scene and often pressure victims to make statements and sign documents that can ultimately prevent them from receiving fair compensation. A bicycle accident attorney in Utah understands the unfair tactics insurance companies use and will fight for you.
Another thing to note is that Utah has a comparative negligence law. This means that even if you share some of the fault in the accident, you’re still entitled to partial compensation. If you are 49% at fault or less, your compensation is reduced by the percentage you are at fault. In order to avoid paying on your claim, the insurance company may try to shift all of the blame to you. An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you prove negligence on the part of the driver, even if you are partially at fault, so that you can receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Utah Bicycle Laws
In Utah, bicycles are considered moving vehicles and subject to rules of the road just like cars and other automobiles. Just like a motorist, a cyclist has to signal which way they are intending to turn and is subject to being pulled over by police. Here are a few laws you should know before riding your bicycle in the state of Utah:
- Bicyclists share the same rights and responsibilities on the road as motorists.
- Cyclists have a duty to ride cautiously enough to avoid colliding with pedestrians and other cyclists.
- Bicyclists should yield the right of way to pedestrians.
- Bicycles must travel with the flow of traffic.
- Cyclists must keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Utah
Wherever cars and bikes share the road, there is a chance of collision. Motorists have a duty to watch for bicyclists and give them enough space to keep them safe. However, accidents still happen. Here are some of the most common ways bicycle accidents occur in Utah:
- Vehicles fail to yield right of way to cyclists.
- Cyclist riding on the wrong side of the road.
- Motorists making unsafe turns.
- Bicyclist riding from sidewalk into the path of a car.
- Distracted driving.
- Cyclist riding in the dark without headlights and reflectors.
Common Injuries from Bike Accidents
Car-on-bike accidents are frightening. With so much force from the car and no exterior frame to protect the bicyclist, chances are, the cyclist will be dealing with some serious injuries. Wearing a helmet is the most effective thing you can do to protect yourself while riding your bike. It will protect you from the most severe forms of head injuries.
Some of the most common injuries from bicycle accidents include:
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Ruptured spleen
- Broken teeth
- Fractured facial bones
- Damage to internal organs
Different Types of Bicycle Accident Compensation in Utah
In Utah, personal injury laws exist to protect you in the case of a bicycle accident. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in Utah, you may be entitled to the following types of compensation:
- Medical expenses, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and rehabilitative treatment
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain & suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship (if your loved one passes away as a result of a bicycle accident)
- Pain & suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship (if your loved one passes away as a result of a bicycle accident)
After a bicycle accident, you may feel hesitant to hire a Utah bicycle accident attorney. But hiring an experienced bicycle lawyer can protect you against unfair tactics used by insurance companies. At Harris, Preston, & Chambers, we’ll fight for you to give you the best chance at receiving the compensation you’re entitled to. Call us today for a free consultation. We’ll let you know if you have a case and council you on taking the next step.
Utah Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Hiring a Utah bicycle accident attorney can provide a number of benefits for individuals who have been injured in a bicycle accident. First and foremost, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process of pursuing a personal injury claim, including gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and filing a lawsuit if necessary. This can be especially helpful if you’ve sustained serious injuries and need to focus on your recovery rather than dealing with legal matters.
Utah Bicycle Accident Statistics
Utah has seen an increase in bicycle commuting and recreational riding in recent years, which has led to a corresponding increase in bicycle accidents. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, there were 960 bicycle accidents reported in Utah in 2020, resulting in 799 injuries and 7 fatalities.
The majority of bicycle accidents in Utah occur in urban areas, with Salt Lake City and surrounding counties reporting the highest number of accidents.
The most common causes of bicycle accidents in Utah are:
- Drivers failing to yield to cyclists
- Distracted driving
- Cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road or in unsafe areas Despite these statistics, Utah has taken steps to improve bike safety in recent years. The state has implemented a “Complete Streets“ policy, which requires new road construction and reconstruction projects to consider the needs of all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, the state has launched a public education campaign to promote safe biking practices and encourage drivers to share the road with cyclists.
While the number of bicycle accidents in Utah remains a concern, these initiatives and others like them have the potential to reduce the number of accidents and promote safer, more sustainable transportation options.
How to Avoid Bicycle Accidents in Utah
Bicycle accidents can be serious and even life-threatening, so it’s important for cyclists to take steps to stay safe while riding in Utah. Here are some tips for avoiding bicycle accidents:
- Wear a helmet: Wearing a properly fitted helmet can greatly reduce the risk of head injury in the event of an accident.
- Obey traffic laws: Cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicles, including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, riding with traffic, and using hand signals to indicate turns and stops.
- Be visible: Wear bright or reflective clothing, and use lights and reflectors on your bike to increase your visibility to drivers.
- Stay alert: Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of potential hazards, such as parked cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists.
- Use bike lanes and paths: Whenever possible, ride in designated bike lanes or paths, and avoid riding on busy roads or highways. 6. Avoid distractions: Don’t use your phone or other devices while riding, as this can distract you from potential hazards.
- Check your equipment: Regularly inspect your bike to ensure that it’s in good working order, with properly inflated tires, functioning brakes, and secure handlebars and pedals.
What Should You Do After a Bicycle Accident in Utah?
If you are involved in a bicycle accident in Utah, it’s important to take certain steps to protect your health and legal rights. Here’s what you should do:
- Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as concussions, may not be immediately apparent but can have serious long-term effects if left untreated.
- Contact the police: Call 911 and report the accident to the police. The police report can be an important piece of evidence in any legal proceedings.
- Gather information: Get the name, contact information, and insurance information of the driver involved in the accident, as well as the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Take photos: Use your phone or camera to take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to your bike and any injuries you may have sustained.
- Notify your insurance company: Let your insurance company know about the accident as soon as possible. Even if the accident was not your fault, your insurance company may need to be involved in the claims process.
- Consult with an attorney: If you’ve been injured in the accident, it’s important to consult with an experienced Utah bicycle accident lawyer who can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the claims process.
Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents in Utah
The most common types of bicycle accidents in Utah involve collisions with motor vehicles. These can occur when drivers fail to see or yield to cyclists, or when drivers are distracted, impaired, or otherwise negligent. Other common causes of bicycle accidents include riding at night without proper lighting, riding on the wrong side of the road or against traffic, and riding in areas with poor road conditions or inadequate bike infrastructure. In some cases, cyclists may also be at fault for accidents if they fail to obey traffic laws or ride recklessly. Regardless of the cause, bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries or even death, so it’s important for both cyclists and drivers to take steps to stay safe on the road.