If you were injured in a bicycle accident after being struck by a negligent driver, you should not be forced to shoulder the immense economic burdens alone. Contact the Peterson Law Firm for a free consultation regarding your potential bicycle injury claim.
A practiced Columbia bike accident attorney will be able to help you pursue financial compensation for your hospital bills, lost wages, and more. We make it our goal to obtain maximum damages for each of our clients.
Fill out a free case evaluation today to begin.
Are Bicycle Accidents Common in Columbia, MO?
Columbia is a cyclist-friendly city boasting more miles of designated bike lanes than other major cities such as New York City and Seattle. From 2000 to 2010, the overall mileage traveled by pedestrians and cyclists in Missouri rose by 50%. Each year, state residents undergo roughly 20 million bike rides, and close to 2 million residents are regular riders.
Proportional to its number of cyclists, Columbia also sees more bicycle-involved accidents than anywhere else in the state. In fact, injury-causing and deadly bike accidents are increasing not just in Missouri but throughout the entire United States.
Missouri is fortunate enough to have one of the country’s lowest rates of fatal bicycle accidents, averaging only two bicycle fatalities for every one million residents in 2018. This number reflects a significant decrease from 2016, during which cyclist deaths averaged nine per one million. For the sake of perspective, Florida averaged 161 cyclist deaths per million residents, and California averaged 155 that same year.
From 2010 to 2017, bicycle fatalities rose by 25% nationwide. Despite making up barely 1% of trips made in the United States, they carry an increased risk of severe injury and fatalities than motor vehicle accidents. In 2015, there were more than 468,000 cyclist injuries across the country, almost all of them involving a collision with an automobile.
The deadliest year for pedestrians and cyclists in the US since 1990 was 2018, during which two bicycle riders were killed daily.
How an Attorney Can Help You After a Columbia Bicycle Accident
Following a serious bike accident, you need a Columbia personal injury attorney you can count on to fight for the financial compensation you are entitled to. At the Peterson Law Firm, our goal is to ensure our clients are awarded maximum recovery from all available sources, for all of their damages, to the fullest extent of the law.
One of the advantages of having our decades of experience on your side is that our law firm will:
Offer reliable legal guidance and advice every step of the way
Take care of all administrative details and communications
Complete a full investigation into the cause of your accident
Correctly calculate your total damages
Pursue every available avenue for financial compensation
Work with leading professionals in multiple fields to construct the most robust case possible
Negotiate with insurance companies and defense attorneys on your behalf for a fair settlement
Present a convincing case to a jury to ensure full economic recovery
Call our law office today to schedule a complimentary review of your case.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Columbia, MO.
Bike accidents involving automobiles can occur for many different reasons, but an overwhelming majority are attributed to human error or negligence. It is also possible for both cyclists and drivers to share fault for an accident.
One of the most frequent causes of bike accidents is when a driver simply fails to observe someone on a bike. Cyclists riding in a bike lane or alongside the roadway can easily, and without realizing it, be riding a vehicle’s blind spot. This is especially true with SUVs and other large vehicles.
The National Transportation Safety Board conducted a study that showed midblock collisions, accidents that occur between intersections, are the most likely to cause severe injuries to riders. In most of these incidents, the driver claimed they never even saw the cyclist.
Other common causes of bicycle accidents in Columbia include:
Anytime a motorist is distracted, they might fail to notice a cyclist crossing at an intersection or in the adjacent bicycle lane. Accidents caused by distracted driving are responsible for around 3,500 deaths each year. A bicyclist or motorist who is not paying attention to their surroundings can easily overlook cyclists, pedestrians, street signs and signals, and road hazards
Drivers Under the Influence
Drivers who are drunk or drugged are involved in almost 34% of all fatal Missouri collisions every year
A long-standing, leading cause of all road accidents, including those involving bicyclists, driving too fast decreases reaction times and increases the odds of severe injury and death.
Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate your crash to establish precisely how it happened. We will collect evidence that shows who was to blame for your injuries.Other common causes of bicycle accidents in Columbia include:
What Injuries Are Usually Caused by a Missouri Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists have almost no protection if they are struck by a vehicle. When they collide with a motor vehicle, a cyclist’s body bears the full force of the impact and can be run over or thrown as a result.
At the Peterson Law Firm, we know firsthand the destructive nature of bike crashes and fight aggressively for a full recovery for your damages.
The most common injuries caused by bike collisions are:
Bone fractures and breaks, including those to the rib, skull, are, collarbone, face, and leg
Whiplash/Soft tissue damage to muscles, ligaments, or tendons
Spinal cord damage ranging from lacerations and abrasions to loss of feeling or mobility
Neck and back injuries such as a herniated disc, pinched nerve, or fractured cervical spine
Joint injuries, like shoulder, knee, and hip injuries
Musculoskeletal injuries such as strains and dislocations
Internal bleeding/Perforation, laceration, or rupture of vital internal organs
Head injuries account for over 60% of bicycle accident fatalities and most bicycle accident injuries. Head injuries occur in 23% to 48% of bike accidents, most of them involving automobiles.
The bicycle crash lawyers at Peterson Law Firm will protect your rights as we fight for maximum financial compensation.
How is Negligence Determined in a Columbia Bicycle Accident
Even a bicycle accident case that appears straightforward can become complicated when it comes to establishing fault. Our personal injury attorneys will thoroughly investigate your accident in order to collect every bit of evidence that contributes to your case for negligence.
Evidence that can help show negligence can include:
A copy of the official police report
If any citations were issued or arrests were made
Pictures and videos of the crash scene, road conditions, injuries, and damage to property
The other driver’s cell phone records
Black box data
Where particularly complex accidents are concerned, we often work with professionals, such as accident reconstruction specialists, who can testify exactly how the accident happened, what factors played a role, and who was at fault.
What Forms of Compensation Can Accident Victims Recover?
In Missouri, significantly injured bike accident victims can recover two main kinds of damages. Economic damages, compensate you for objectively verifiable monetary losses, and non-economic damages, compensate you for subjective, non-monetary losses.
As a victim, you could be entitled to recovery for:
Damage to personal property
Current medical costs/Anticipated medical costs
Lost income caused by being unable to work
Lost or diminished earning capacity caused by being permanently disabled
In some cases, you could be eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded for the purpose of punishing the at-fault party for their egregious maliciousness, dereliction, or negligence. These damages are neither economic nor non-economic and are not intended as compensation for any loss.
The personal injury lawyers from Peterson Law Firm will fight for fair financial compensation for all of your economic and personal damages.
Can I Recover Damages if I Am Partly At Fault for the Accident?
Of course, it is not always the case that a negligent driver is the sole cause of a bicycle accident. Bicycle riders commonly share at least a portion of the liability. If you made an unlawful or dangerous turn at an intersection, failed to stop at a traffic light or stop sign, or in any way did not follow the rules of the road, you could be found partly at fault for your accident.
Missouri follows pure comparative negligence rules for accidents involving divided liability. Under these rules, negligence and the subsequent liability for damages in an accident may be shared.
Even if you are as much as 99% at fault for your bicycle accident, you are still eligible to collect financial compensation. Your damages, however, will be proportionally reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
It is essential to remember that insurance providers use the pure comparative negligence rule to their advantage and often attempt to shift as much of the fault as humanly possible to diminish their liability for your losses. An experienced Columbia bike accident attorney will know the most effective methods for combating these blame-shifting tactics.
Bicycle riders found to be 100% at fault are, like anyone else, liable for the accident and resulting damages. However, it is crucial to remember that even if the cyclist is insured, it is doubtful that their insurance will cover vehicle or property damage. The only way to be absolutely sure who is responsible for the accident is with a complete investigation. Liability is often shared, and often, upon comprehensive analysis, the cause of the accident is not what it seemed. This is just one of the compelling reasons you should hire a Columbia bike injury attorney.
How Is My Bicycle Accident Claim Valued?
Each accident claim is different, and their associated damages are extremely personal. There is no reliable way to determine what your case is worth without the meticulous evaluation of an experienced professional.
Our personal injury lawyers will calculate your claim’s potential value by taking into account factors such as:
The insurance policies involved and the amount of coverage available
If you were assigned any portion of the blame
The events leading up to the accident
The total dollar amount of your economic losses
The nature, degree, and longevity of your injuries
The effect your injuries have had on your ability to function independently, your physical abilities, your ability to work, your enjoyment of relationships and hobbies, and the quality of your life in general
If you sustained an injury that left you permanently handicapped, disfigured, or otherwise impaired
Contact the Peterson Law Firm for a no-obligation consultation with a Columbia victim injury attorney. We will review your case and calculate a reasonable estimate of its value.
What is the Statute of Limitations on my Bicycle Accident?
After a bike crash in Missouri, you have five years to file a personal injury suit from the day of the incident. This deadline, known as the statute of limitations, means you will be prohibited from collecting any form of economic recovery should it lapse. If a family member was killed in a bike accident, the statute of limitations in Missouri for a wrongful death claim is only three years.
Reach Out to a Columbia Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
Following a bike accident, you will likely face a long and painful road to recovery, serious financial uncertainty, and a life that is not what you thought it would be. If a negligent driver caused your accident, you deserve the maximum amount of financial compensation available according to the law. The attorneys at Peterson Law Firm will do what it takes to ensure you receive the damages necessary for you to move on with your life.
Reach out to our law offices today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation with a Columbia bike accident attorney. Our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you do not pay for anything out of pocket and pay absolutely nothing at all unless we see a successful resolution to your bicycle accident case. Contact the Peterson Law Firm at 816-888-8888 for a free consultation regarding your bicycle injury claim.