Riding a bike can be a healthy way to have fun, as well as a cost effective way to get where you need to go. Unfortunately, riding alongside traffic and on busy side streets can put you at risk for bicycle accidents and injuries. At Groth Law, S.C., we understand how serious and potentially life threatening accidents between bicyclists and motorists can be. Our Wauwatosa bicycle accident lawyers work diligently in defending your interests when it comes to holding those responsible for your injuries accountable. While you focus on your recovery, we concentrate on getting you the compensation you deserve.
Facts About Bicycle Accidents In Wisconsin
Bike accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence in Wauwatosa and throughout Wisconsin. The latest statistics from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) indicate that more than 1,000 bike accidents occurred in our area during 2015, 15 of which resulted in bicyclist deaths. This averages two or more bicycle accidents per day, all of which generally involve motor vehicles.
Improved infrastructure in terms of bike lanes and trails and the use of bicycle safety equipment have all gone a long way towards improving overall bicycle safety. At the same time, it is the reckless and dangerous actions of other vehicles on the road that continue put cyclists at the greatest risk. Common factors the DOT states are involved in most bicycle accidents include the following:
- Motorists who fail to provide enough space when passing bicyclists;
- Motorists who fail to yield right of way at intersections or when making right turns;
- Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Distracted driving, such as using cellphones and texting behind the wheel, as well as other reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding or tailgating.
Any of the above behaviors can increase a driver’s risk of being involved in a car accident. When bicyclists are involved, though, the injuries suffered can be particularly severe and deadly.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
At Groth Law, S.C., our Wauwatosa bicycle accident lawyers represent people who have suffered serious injuries as the result of the above types of accidents. We know that these injuries often depend on a variety of factors, such as the size and age of the cyclist, the type of vehicle involved, and the speed at which both were going when the accident occurred. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the following are among the most common types of bicycle accident injuries:
- ‘Road rash’ and severe cuts and abrasions;
- Soft tissue injuries, often involving contusions and muscle strains or tears;
- Multiple fractures and dislocated joints;
- Chest injuries, such as fractured ribs and perforated lungs;
- Abdominal injuries, causing damage to the spleen, kidneys, and other internal organs;
- Head injuries, such as skull fractures and traumatic brain injury (TBI);
- Facial injuries, including facial or dental fractures and damage to the eyes.
While some of these injuries can be prevented by wearing a helmet when riding, not wearing one when an accident occurs does not prevent you from claiming damages for your injuries.
Holding Responsible Drivers Accountable
Under Wisconsin bike laws, bicycles are defined as a vehicle and are entitled to the same rights and privileges on the roads. This also means they have certain responsibilities, such as obeying traffic signs and signaling before making turns.
Regardless of how your accident occurred or whether your own actions contributed to the situation, you still have the right to compensation for the injuries you suffered. Under Wisconsin’s Comparative Negligence Statutes (WI. Stat. 895.045), you may be entitled to damages in a personal injury lawsuit, provided the other driver was 51 percent or more responsible for the accident. Types of compensation you may be able to claim include:
- Current and future medical expenses, including treatments, medication, and physical rehabilitation;
- Lost wages and future losses in earnings due to lingering disabilities;
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish due to your accident or injuries.
In cases where a loved one has died as the result of their injuries, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Our Wauwatosa Bicycle Accident Lawyers Are in Your Corner
When you suffer bicycle injuries that could have a major impact on the rest of your life, our Wauwatosa bicycle accident lawyers are here to help. Call or contact Groth Law S.C. online today to request a face to face consultation to discuss your case and the types of compensation you may be entitled to. We serve clients throughout Wisconsin, and can act as a strong legal advocate to ensure your rights are protected.