Bicycle Accidents in Nebraska
Bicycle riding is a popular method of exercise and a convenient form of transportation to and from various locations. Unfortunately, the negligence and inattention of drivers can cause bicyclists to suffer severe injuries or even fatality.
Although Nebraska was ranked the least bike-friendly bike state in America, residents still enjoy getting out for a bike ride. Nebraskans need to know that the Rules of the Road protect them from careless drivers cause them or their loved ones serious injuries or death.
The most recent data from the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) reports that bicyclists were in 263 accidents with motor vehicles in 2017, with a handful resulting in fatalities. In some cases, bike riders do cause accidents, but neglectful motor vehicle drivers cause the vast majority of bicycle accidents.
If you or your child spend time cycling in Nebraska, wear a helmet, follow traffic regulations, and remain mindful of your surroundings. In the event that a negligent driver injured you while you or your child rode a bicycle, call an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If you are in the Scottsbluff, Nebraska, area, call the skilled bicycle accident lawyers at The Robert Pahlke Law Group at (308) 633-4444 to discuss the details of your case.
The legal team at Robert Pahlke Law Group has extensive experience negotiating, settling, and litigating personal injury cases, including those that involve bicycle accidents. While representing their clients, our firm has recovered millions of dollars in damages in settlements and verdicts, ranging from six to eight figures. This does not guarantee results in any particular case, but we feel it shows that the lawyers at Robert Pahlke Law group will fight to get the best possible outcome for all of our clients.
What Injuries Might Result From a Bicycle Accident?
Bicycle accidents might lead to multiple injuries depending on the speed at which a collision occurred, whether the rider wore a helmet, and the age of the rider. The lack of bodily protection causes bicycle accidents to often result in severe injuries; those who don’t wear helmets and children are even more at risk for life-altering serious injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries that bicycle accident victims experience:
- Fractured and crushed bones
- Lacerations, scrapes, and road rash
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries including paralysis
- Dislocated joints
The Liable Parties in a Bicycle Accident
Many different situations might lead to a bicycle accident, but often, motor vehicle drivers are at fault for bicycle accidents. Although the same traffic laws apply to bicyclists and drivers, those in motor vehicles must pay particular attention to the risks they pose to cyclists while driving. This is even more true when drivers are near children on bicycles. Drivers need to reduce speed around schools and drive more cautiously around adult and children bicyclists.
Bicycle manufacturers, distributors, and retailers may incur fault if a defective bike or defective bike part caused an accident. The plaintiff must prove that the bicycle was defective when the accident occurred, that the bicycle’s defect made it unreasonably dangerous, and that the defect caused the accident. The same conditions apply to defective bike helmets.
Damages and Compensation for a Bicycle Accident Injuries
When a person sustains an injury after a bike accident caused by another person’s negligence, the victim may recover damages related to the injury. The following are the most common compensatory damages in bicycle accident cases:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance and emergency services, hospital stays, surgery, X-rays and imaging, doctor visits, and prescription medications
- Future medical expenses in the cases of a long-term disability or chronic condition
- Lost income for time missed from work due to the injury
- Future lost income if the injured person cannot return to work
- Rehabilitative services, including physical therapy and assistive devices like prosthetics, wheelchairs, canes, etc.
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Why You Need an Attorney
Nebraska applies a modified comparative negligence rule when awarding damages to a victim in a personal injury case. This means the court assesses the extent to which the injured victim might have contributed to the injuries and reduce any award accordingly. For example, if the court finds a driver 80 percent at fault and a bike rider 20 percent at fault, the court will reduce a $500,000 award by 20 percent to $400,000. A plaintiff must not bear more than 50 percent fault or Nebraska law will prohibit recovering damages.
Modified comparative negligence in Nebraska gives the defense an incentive to shift as much blame as possible to the plaintiff. The defense might use strategies such as claiming that the victim broke traffic regulations, the victim was inattentive, and a wide variety of other possibilities. Regardless of the individual circumstances, an experienced lawyer will anticipate these defense strategies, counter them, and fight to hold liable parties accountable.
Contact a Skilled Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Scottsbluff, Nebraska
The majority of personal injury law firms offer a free consultation where potential clients can discuss and evaluate their cases with a qualified attorney. When a lawyer chooses to represent a client, attorney fees are often handled on a contingent fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay an attorney up front. Instead, your lawyer will recover fees from any settlement or verdict that the court awards you.
Even when bike riders follow traffic regulations and wear a helmet, bike accidents might lead to life-changing injuries because of cyclists lack protection when vehicles strike them. If you or your child sustained a serious injury, this is a difficult time for you and your family. You need to concentrate on healing and recovery, while you let a skilled bicycle accident lawyer guide you through the complex legal process, investigate your accident, interview witnesses, and worry about the details of your case.
Contact one of the experienced attorneys at Robert Pahlke Law Group online, or call our Scottsbluff office at (308) 633-4444, for a free consultation to determine if we can help you recover compensation for your damages.