Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Lawsuits to recover damages for injuries in bicycle accidents with automobiles involve many of the same issues as any auto accident lawsuit. Liability for bike accident injuries often comes down to negligence whether the car driver’s negligence caused the cyclist’s injuries, and whether any negligence by the cyclist caused or contributed to the accident.

Bicycle Accident Liability Basics

Cyclists and drivers are obligated to obey the rules of the road. These rules include traffic laws, as well as the duty to exercise ordinary care in regards to one’s own safety and that of others on the roadways. Like other vehicle accident lawsuits, bicycle accident lawsuits are governed by state law, and often informed by state and local traffic laws.

Negligence and Bicycle Accidents

When a cyclist sues to recover damages for injuries suffered in an accident with an automobile, the outcome often depends on two questions:
• Did negligence (or recklessness) on the part of the driver cause the accident and resulting injuries to the bicyclist?
• Did any negligence of the bicyclist cause or contribute to the accident?

Driver Negligence or Recklessness

Negligence by a driver can take many forms. For example, speeding, running a stop sign, and drifting into a bike lane all constitute driver negligence, or even recklessness if done with knowing disregard for the safety of others. In a lawsuit alleging negligence by another person, plaintiffs typically must prove that the defendant acted in a way that violated a duty owed to the plaintiff. In auto accident cases, this means violating the basic duty of care owed to everyone else on or near the roadways. Accident lawsuits come down to facts specific to the individual case, and often the ability of the plaintiff to prove negligence through eyewitness testimony or other evidence. In car accident cases, however, behaviors which constitute traffic violations can constitute “negligence per se.” This means that if a driver was cited for a violation such as speeding at the time of the accident, evidence of the speeding violation counts as evidence of negligence. The burden then shifts to the defendant to prove that he or she didn’t cause the plaintiff’s injuries. Whether a cyclist sues a driver, or a cyclist is sued for causing someone else injury, cyclist negligence can determine the outcome of the lawsuit. Examples of biker negligence include riding the wrong way on a one-way street, running a stop sign, and turning abruptly into traffic. Negligent cyclists may be unable to recover damages for injuries they suffer in accidents involving cars.

Such negligence is called contributory or comparative negligence, meaning that the cyclist’s negligence, at least in part, caused the accident to happen, and thus caused at least some of the cyclist’s injuries. If a cyclist rode negligently, and that negligence caused injury to someone else, the cyclist may be held liable for that person’s injuries. In accident cases involving children on bicycles, courts hold drivers to a higher standard.

Get Your Legal Claim Evaluated

Accidents involving automobiles and bicycles can involve serious injuries and large liabilities. Bicycle accident lawsuits often come down to whether the driver or the cyclist negligently caused or contributed to the accident. This negligence determination can be a complex and require in-depth analysis. If you or a loved one has been in a bike accident, you should consult with an attorney to best protect your rights. You can have an experienced law firm evaluate the merits of your claim.

Things To Do If You’re Involved In A Utah Bike Accident

• Contact the Police Immediately
• Document the Bicycle Accident Scene
• Seek Medical Attention As Soon as Possible
• Avoid Discussing Your Utah Bike Accident
• Contact a Utah Personal Injury Lawyer

The steps that you take after being injured in a Utah bike accident can significantly impact your rights to receive compensation for your personal injury and damages.

Contact the Police Immediately

After all traffic accidents, including a bicycle accident, you need to contact law enforcement to report the bicycle crash. Calling 911 is typically the quickest and easiest way to report a bike accident in Utah. The 911 operator can quickly dispatch emergency medical services and a police officer from the correct law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the crash scene. When a police officer arrives, provide a short statement regarding the facts that lead to the bicycle accident without accepting any fault for the bike crash. Until an injury attorney investigates the auto accident, it is impossible to know for sure whether you were partially to blame for the cause of the bicycle accident.

Document the Bicycle Accident Scene

While waiting for the police and EMS to arrive at the accident scene, try to document the accident scene, if you can do so safely. Take photographs and record video of the bicycle accident scene immediately after the bike crash. This can provide crucial evidence for proving fault and liability. Try to capture all the details of the accident, including the position of the motor vehicle, your bicycle, and the surrounding area. Also, ask bystanders and eyewitnesses if they are willing to provide a statement. If you can record the statement on your cell phone, that could be helpful. Always make sure that you ask witnesses for their names and contact information. The police officer may not speak with everyone at the accident scene, and some witnesses leave the scene of a vehicle accident before police officers arrive.

Seek Medical Attention As Soon as Possible

Receiving prompt medical attention is important for your health and your personal injury case. Because you cannot be 100 percent sure that you did not sustain serious injuries, it may be best to allow yourself to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Refusing medical treatment or transportation to the emergency room is typically noted in the police officer’s accident report. If you do not go directly to the hospital after a bicycle accident, see a doctor as soon as possible. To recover compensation for a Utah bicycle accident claim, you must prove that the driver of the motor vehicle was responsible for causing the bike accident. You must also provide medically verifiable proof that you sustained injuries as a result of the bicycle crash with a motor vehicle. Insurance companies like to use your actions against you. If you experience any delay in seeking medical treatment, fail to follow up with doctors, or fail to follow a medical treatment plan, they will use that as an excuse to deny or undervalue your claim. The insurance company will allege that the personal injury case is not valid or strong because a victim would have sought medical treatment if he or she were truly injured in a Utah bike accident. That’s why you should always visit a health care provider immediately after a bike accident. Follow through with your medical treatment until your doctor releases you from care. Failure to follow through with medical care could result in a lower settlement amount for your personal injury claim.

How much is my bicycle accident case worth?

Working with an injury attorney can help you receive the maximum compensation available by law for your personal injury claim. However, the value of insurance claims depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
• Whether you are partially at fault for the cause of the accident
• The severity and type of your injuries
• The amount of your financial losses and expenses
• How long it took you to recover from your bicycle injuries
• Whether you sustained permanent impairments or disabilities because of the crash
• The availability of insurance coverage for your accident claim
In most bike crash cases, when the driver of a motor vehicle is at fault for the collision, the bicyclist is entitled to receive compensation for economic losses and noneconomic losses (pain and suffering).

Examples of economic or financial losses include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash or the rider’s injuries. Noneconomic or pain and suffering damages refer to your physical pain, scarring, emotional distress, disabilities, permanent impairments, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.

What Are My Rights as a Bicyclist in the Event of an Accident?

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, you might be entitled to compensation under Utah personal injury laws. The same laws that protect accident victims in traffic accidents protect cyclists who are injured by a car, truck, or motorcycle. If the driver of the motor vehicle caused the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries, financial losses, and emotional distress. You are also entitled to compensation for property damage to your bicycle, which could total thousands of dollars for some riders, and any other personal property damaged in the accident. However, you must prove that the driver’s actions, omissions, or other wrongdoing was the cause of the bicycle accident. A Utah bicycle injury attorney takes several steps to protect your legal rights after a bicycle accident including but not limited to:
• Investigating the bicycle accident, including gathering evidence from the accident scene; searching for videos (i.e. traffic cameras, surveillance cameras, etc.) and interviewing eyewitnesses
• Working with your medical providers and doctors to determine the extent of your injuries, including permanent impairments
• Documenting financial and noneconomic damages
• Filing an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance provider
• Researching applicable Utah bicycle laws, personal injury statutes, and traffic laws to prove fault
• Working with experts and accident re-constructionists, when necessary, to prove fault
• Protecting you from insurance tactics used to lower the value of your bicycle accident claim, such as pressuring victims to provide statements, sign medical release forms, and accept settlements that are much lower than the value of your claim.

Drivers owe a duty of care to bicyclists to avoid causing accidents. For example, motorists should avoid dangerous driving behaviors, such as distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and drowsy driving, which can increase the risk of a traffic accident. However, bicyclists must obey Utah traffic laws and Utah bicycle laws. A favorite insurance tactic used by many insurance companies is to blame the rider for the accident. If the insurance company can blame the rider for any portion of the bike crash, Utah’s comparative negligence laws allow the bicyclist’s compensation for the accident to be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the cyclist. A personal injury attorney can help you fight these allegations to protect your legal rights after a bicycle accident in Utah.

When Can You Seek Legal Compensation for A Bicycle Accident?

You have the right to seek legal compensation for a bicycle accident whenever you sustain injuries or damages in a bicycle crash caused by another party. A Utah bike accident attorney can provide the legal advice, support, and guidance you need after being injured in a bicycle accident.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists crashing into automobiles are a common cause of bike accidents. Each year in Utah, on average, nearly a thousand cyclists are injured and seven are killed. Most states with high motor vehicle/bicycle fatality rates are in the Sun Belt – Florida, Arizona, and Nevada are all ranked highly. Utah, with its plenitude of days with sunshine and avid outdoors enthusiasts, is ranked #10. Children and teens make up by far the largest proportion of victims of vehicle/bike crashes – those age 10 to 14 are the most likely to be hit by a large margin. Unfortunately, reported rates of helmet use are particularly low among young bicyclists. In 2003, adults wore helmets at eight times the rate of secondary school students. Certain risk factors make it less likely that a teen will wear a helmet: use is significantly lower among males, in rural areas, and in neighborhoods and at schools with a lower socioeconomic status. However, adult men are more likely to wear a helmet than adult women. Utah has no legislation requiring the use of helmets. Laws and education are significant in promoting proper helmet use.

What Causes Bikers to Crash?

• Bicycle rider using the wrong side of road
• Auto driver making unsafe left or right turn
• Bicyclist riding from driveway or sidewalk into path of car
• Auto driver opening door as bicycle passes
• Bicycle rider weaving, leaving edge of road or bike lane
• Bicyclist making unsafe left turn
• Bicycle without headlight or reflectors

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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ATV Accident Lawyer Provo Utah

ATV Accident Lawyer Provo Utah

Just an hour south of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15 there is a section of the state called Utah Valley. Although the Ute Indians anciently inhabited this area, today the valley is home to Provo, Utah’s second largest city. To the west of Provo lies Utah Lake and to the east of the city stand a towering range of mountains called the Wasatch Front. The history of Provo is an interesting page in the history of the Beehive State. Visitors who come to Provo will find several historic sites.

These historic sites are cultural resources worthy of preservation as landmarks of the community. Utah Valley was the traditional home of the Ute Indians. This people were known also as the Yutan Indians, or the Utah Indians. Looking at the names of the native people of the state, it becomes obvious from whence Utah got its name. These Indians called Utah Valley home because Utah Lake was full of fish that kept the tribe fed and they were protected from bellicose groups of Indians that lived to the Northeast. The Wasatch Front acted as a natural barrier to the enemies of the Ute Indians. They kept an excellent written record of their journey and the places that they visited. This group came from Santa Fe, New Mexico along a route that was called The Old Spanish Trail. They came to this area to meet with the Ute Indians. They had been doing business with the Ute’s for some time. In their written record, the Franciscan monks recorded that they were so impressed with the beautiful, green valley that they made plans to set up a settlement in Utah Valley as soon as possible. However, there was a retrenchment in Spanish new-world colonization; this kept the Franciscans from setting up their settlement in Utah Valley. All that remains of their visits to the area are their written records. Utah County Courthouse Caucasian fur trappers were familiar with central Utah and specifically Utah Valley. They frequented the area through the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In fact, the city Provo was given its name in honor of an early trapper, Etienne Provost. Provost was a well-known fur trader and explorer from Quebec. In historical documents his name is recorded in different ways. He is mentioned under the name Provost, Proveau, and Provo. All three are variations of the same name. Provost was a well-known and respected mountain man. Many records have him recorded as the first white man to go far enough norths to see the Great Salt Lake. He established a trading post on the shores of Utah Lake. The Provo River and the city of Provo were both named after this man. Provo was settling by Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) in 1849.

It was the first Mormon colony in Utah outside of the Salt Lake Valley. The Mormon settlers had problems with the Indians that lived in the area. The Ute Indians were very aggressive toward groups of people who tried to move in and take over their land. The new settlers built the town into a defensive fort called Fort Utah. It was built as a stockade with exterior walls that were fourteen feet high. They had to live in a manner that was close to a state of war from the time that the settlers first came to Provo. Peace came slowly between the Mormons and the Ute Indians, but after the first year, the settlers had to set up homes outside of Fort Utah and make Provo a more comfortable city in which they could live. Provo was built up quickly as many members of the Mormon Church moved there from different parts of the world. They set up farms and industrial centers. Provo soon became known as the “Garden City” because of its extensive fruit orchards, trees, and gardens. In the late 1860s, industrialization began with the creation of The Provo Woolen Mills. In the 1920s, the Ironton Steel Mill was established, and later the much larger Geneva Steel Plant was built in the city. These industries were a success. Provo quickly became the second largest city in Utah. The Brigham Young Academy was founded in Provo in 1875. This school grew into what is now Brigham Young University (BYU). It is the largest church-affiliated university in the United States. BYU’s students quickly outgrew the Brigham Young Academy Building, and the campus moved to its present location. The Academy today stands restored in its original location, but now as a beautiful public city library. In 1919 the citizens of Utah County and of Provo City voted bonds for the erection of a new joint building. The cornerstone was laid December 14, 1920. On December 15, 1926, the building was dedicated with prayer, speeches and music. Although most Utah buildings carry very little sculpture of any kind, the Utah County Building pediment is decorated with sculpture designed by the architect and sculpted by Joseph Conradi. The Utah County Building, formerly known as the Provo City and County Building, is located in the center of town at the intersection of University Avenue and Center Street. The building has octagonal towers at each of its four corners. When it was first constructed, it had a central tower rising 147 feet into the air from the roof. Unfortunately, the roof was not able to support the weight of the central tower; the building was partly condemned in 1918 because the roof was under such great stress. The Tabernacle was renovated at this time, but the tower was allowed to stay until 1949 when the building was again condemned for the same problem. The weight of the tower was causing the roof to sag. At that time, a local carpenter and contractor named Charles Miller designed a method to remove the central tower. He was hired and completed the project in 1950. The renovated tabernacle is located on University Avenue between Center Street and First South. It is used for church meetings and cultural events, such as staging Handel’s Messiah each year at Christmas Time.

Insurance Coverage for Accidents On Land You Own

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the “insured premise,” as defined within insurance policies, typically refers to the parcel of land or structure and the surrounding area that is listed within an insurance policy. For homeowner’s insurance, the insured premise is the land specified in the deed. Because homeowner’s insurance policies cover accidents that occur on the insured premise, as defined by the policy, an ATV accident on the premise will be covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. However, you should check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if the policy covers all accidents or accidents caused by “the insured” or the “insured family members.” At least one court determined this exception barred non-related individuals from being covered under by the homeowner’s insurance policy for an accident that occurred on the insured premise.
Insurance Coverage For Accidents On Land You Don’t Own
A standard homeowner’s insurance policy provides some liability coverage for the insured of the policy when an accident does not occur on the insured premise, however, there are exceptions. One exception comes from the phrase arises out of the premise. When the injury occurs off the premise, the critical question for the courts becomes: what caused the accident? For example, if you are riding an ATV in your neighbor’s field with permission and you drive over a large hole, which causes the ATV to flip over resulting in personal injury, law have ruled this accident “arises out of the premise” and your homeowner’s insurance could deny you coverage. However, the same courts have ruled that the phrase “arises out on the premise” does not apply to accidents involving negligence. For example, if your neighbor and you are riding ATVs in your neighbor’s field and your neighbor drives too close and hits your ATV, which causes the ATV to flip over resulting in personal injury, Law have ruled this accident does not “arises out of the premise” and your homeowner’s insurance would provide coverage. The courts distinguish the two incidents by defining the phrase “arises out on the premise” as requiring the land be “casually related to the occurrence.” Meaning, if the land is defective, and you do not own the land, then your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the accident.

What Permission Do You Need to Ride an ATV on Someone’s Land?

ATV accidents occur regularly throughout the United States, many of them leaving riders with severe and often life-changing injuries. These consequences can frequently be caused due to a defect in the land that ATV is being driven on. But let’s face it: sometimes people ride ATVs on property when they don’t have permission to do so. What does this mean for the injured person? The law looks at these injuries differently depending on whether permission was given, whether the property owner knew the ATV rider was on the property, and other situations. When a person is invited to use personal property to ride an ATV, that person is considered an “invitee.” This is most common on ATV courses, where people pay money to ride on the course. In a situation like this, the property owner is responsible for making sure there are no defects in the property, like holes or ditches that aren’t clearly marked, or making the rider aware of any potentially dangerous areas that they should avoid. A licensee has permission to use a landowner’s property for his own convenience, curiosity or entertainment. There is usually no business transaction, simply permission granted by the owner to ride on the land. The important detail here is that the landowner is aware that the ATV riders are using their land and allow them to do so. When a landowner gives permission to a licensee to use the land, they become responsible for any defects in the land that could cause an accident. If they allow a licensee to use their land knowing that there are defects that can cause accidents, like large holes in the ground, they may be responsible for damages. If an ATV rider is riding on someone else’s property, and the landowner doesn’t know they’re on the property, then the ATV rider is considered a trespasser. Whether or not a landowner knows the person is riding there is very important. If a landowner knows people are on the property without permission, they’re still responsible for taking care of the defects or at least making the riders aware of them. Trespassers are responsible for any accidents or injuries caused by land defects. This is because the owner isn’t aware of their presence, and never gave them permission to use the land. When a landowner isn’t aware, they aren’t able to properly take care of or warn about any land defects.

ATV Accident Scenarios

One of the most likely scenarios is for a rider to unknowingly cross a property line, and then perhaps hit a stump from a freshly cut tree. For the average citizen, it’s difficult to assess just who is responsible for that accident. Although you may not have permission to be on the land, there may not be clear markers to let you know. The existence of the stump may have left the area unsafe as far as the court is concerned. Because there is no external protection on some ATVs and only limited external protection on others, there is every potential to develop long-term issues as a result of an accident on an ATV. This is especially true if you weren’t wearing safety gear or your safety gear wasn’t able to cover some vulnerable areas, like your vertebrae. Again, it’s difficult for the average citizen to assess who is responsible for such injuries, much less enforce that responsibility. Short-term injuries don’t sound threatening because they may not last as long as other injuries. At the same time, they may cause you to miss work, and can limit your day-to-day responsibilities. It’s important that you don’t have to risk losing anything if you aren’t the one ultimately responsible for the injury in the first place. For some people, losing a day’s pay doesn’t mean a lot, but for the majority of the country, it could mean the loss of services or even healthcare. This is not even including medical bills and the cost of other expenses necessary in getting you back on your feet.

Provo Utah ATV Accident Lawyer

When you need help with an ATV Accident in Provo Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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