In 2017, a reported 174 accidents occurred in Detroit between a car and a bicyclist. When these accidents happen, it is essential to call upon the help of Detroit bicycle accident lawyers. Injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can range from mild to potentially fatal, depending on the circumstances. Michigan has laws in place for those who choose to ride or commute on bicycles. However, their laws do not require riders to refrain from cellphone use or wear a helmet – both of which are practices that could save a life.
Detroit Bicycle Laws
Bicycle laws are in place for a reason, to help keep riders and those around them safe. In Michigan, bicycles on the roadway are to be treated as vehicles by the roads’ drivers. This means that bicycle riders are also held to the road rules and explicitly for bicycle riders.
Michigan law defines a “bicycle” as a device propelled by human power to ride. It can have two or three wheels arranged in a tandem or tricycle arrangement and are all sized over 14 inches in diameter.
Standard Bicycle Laws in Michigan
- Signals required for stopping or turning – bicycles, especially those on highways, are required to use arm signals and determine that the turn can be executed safely before doing so.
- Keep to the right – a person that is riding a bicycle under a posted speed limit is required to stay as close as possible to the right-hand curb, or edge of the roadway, except:
- When passing or overtaking a vehicle or other rider
- When turning left
- When the right-hand edge of the roadway is not safe or is not conducive to a bicycle rider
- When traffic is turning right, but the rider intends to maintain a straight path
- When riding on the left-hand side of the curb or road on a one-way highway or street
- Multiple riders – unless equipped to do so, a bicycle should not carry more than one rider.
- Riding attached to a vehicle – bicycle riders shall not attach themselves to a vehicle while operating a bicycle.
- Limited access highways – unless paths are designated, bicycles are not permitted on limited-access highways.
- Riding more than two abreast – unless, on a designated path, riders shall not ride more than two abreast on any roadway.
- Operating a bicycle on a sidewalk – unless explicitly prohibited, a rider can use a bicycle on a sidewalk as long as they yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and use noise notification before passing a pedestrian.
- Packages – both hands of the rider must remain on the bicycle handlebars. Packages cannot hinder this.
- Lights and reflectors – any bicycle being operated a half-hour after sundown and a half-hour before sunrise must have a white lamp on the front and a red reflector on the back.
- Brakes – bicycles must be equipped with brakes that enable the rider to skid on the dry, level, and clean pavement.
- Parents or guardians – the parents or guardian of a minor shall not allow a minor to violate the laws applicable to riding a bicycle legally.
Injuries Resulting From a Bicycle Accident
When bicycle riders are injured in an accident, they call upon the expertise of Detroit bicycle accident lawyers. These lawyers are skilled in handling cases where the rider was injured due to negligence – either by another person or an entity tasked with keeping roadways safe.
Bicycles do not offer the same safety to riders as a vehicle does to a driver. There are no actual restraint or safety features on a bicycle, so most injuries in an accident are considered traumatic to the body.
These injuries include:
- Skull fractures
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Brain contusion
- Facial fractures
- Dental injuries
- Broken bones
- Fractured bones
- Internal injuries
- Skin abrasions, scrapes, road rash
Some of these injuries are more serious than others, leaving victims off work and struggling to pay the medical bills and living expenses. When severe injuries occur, people often end up undergoing rehabilitation and therapy to recover.
Compensation in Bicycle Accident Injury Claims
A reason to obtain a lawyer when you are involved in a bicycle accident is to prove that the other party was liable and should pay the damages. Most of the damages sought in a bicycle accident injury claim fall under economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the damages that an amount can be determined—for example, medical bills, lost wages, and living expenses.
Non-economic damages are those damages that cannot be easily measured. The pain and suffering that injury causes, mental anguish, and quality of life are examples of non-economic damages.
In some circumstances, the judge or jury may find it necessary to award punitive damages. These are damages that may be awarded as a way to punish those offenses deemed egregious. For example, drunk drivers, street racers, or frequent offenders may be required to pay out these types of damages.
Why You Need Detroit Bicycle Accident Lawyers
You may feel like you can handle the insurance company on your own. Still, you may not get the full amount of compensation you deserve without a lawyer on your side. TorkLaw has handled many cases, and we know that the insurance company will try to settle with you for an amount lower than your claim is worth.
We advise that you refrain from talking to any insurance company before you speak with us. This includes making any written or recorded statements. Our lawyers help you get the maximum amount, whether through settlement or in the courtroom.
Detroit bicycle accident lawyers help you provide the burden of proof required to find the defendant negligent in your case. Our team of experts looks at the police reports, the extent of your injuries, and demand that the defendant is held responsible for the economic and non-economic damages you have sustained.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Detroit bicycle accident with injury, TorkLaw is available to take your call and begin your free case consultation.