Starkville Bicycle Accidents
Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Starkville
Cycling is a hot trend in physical fitness and transportation, but it does not come risk-free. In 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Administration reported that bike-related deaths on U.S. streets and highways rose over 12% in the previous year. In addition, hospital admissions stemming from bicycle crashes rose by 120%. Ultimately, those riding bicycles share congested roads with larger vehicles such as buses, trucks, cars, and motorcycles. The Starkville bicycle accident lawyers of Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz understand the unique legal issues present in bicycle accident cases. If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, call our office today to consult with an experienced motor vehicle collision attorney.
Establishing Liability for a Bicycle Accident
Mississippi lawmakers have taken a number of steps to reduce collisions between bicyclists and automobiles. The Mississippi State Departments of Health and Transportation, for example, offer bicycle safety classes across the Magnolia State, conducting bicycle rodeos, classroom presentations, and community presentations where bicycle helmets and safety information are distributed. In addition, the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program, administered through the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), helps communities make bicycling to and from school a safe, healthy alternative to taking a car or bus. However, our bicycle accident attorneys know that Starkville residents are subject to certain risks whenever they get on bikes, no matter how many precautions they may take.
In addition to these efforts, the Mississippi State Legislature has enacted the John Paul Frerer Bicycle Safety Act, which requires a motorist, while passing a bicyclist on a roadway, to leave a safe distance of no less than three feet between his or her vehicle and the bicyclist. In addition, the state declares it unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle. This law is codified at Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-1301, et. seq.
Despite the existence of these laws, many drivers in Mississippi fail to safely share the road with those on bicycles. As a result, bicyclists are injured each year in collisions with automobiles. Under Mississippi law, one who was injured in a bicycle accident may recover compensation for his or her injuries and damages. An injured party may need to show that the driver’s negligence resulted in the accident. To prove negligence, an injured party must show the existence of four elements: (1) existence of a duty of care; (2) breach of duty of care; (3) causation of injury; and (4) damages. Consulting with a bicycle accident lawyer in the Starkville area can help ensure these elements are satisfied.
Damages can come in a variety of forms. For example, property damage can include the cost of repairing or replacing a bike, in addition to other personal property injured in the accident, such as a cell phone, sunglasses, or clothing. In addition, bodily injuries are a common result of bicycle accidents, and an injured party may pursue damages in the form of medical expenses, physical therapy, prescriptions, and in-home health care visits, to name a few. An injured party may also pursue more intangible damages, such as loss of consortium, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.