Bicycle Accident Attorney in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is a city with more than 100 miles of trails and bike paths and thousands of miles of roads popular with cyclists.
Some popular areas include City View Park, Lake Lawson and Lake Smith Natural Area, Mount Trashmore Park, Pleasure House Point Natural Area, Providence Park, Stumpy Lake Natural Area, West Neck Creek Natural Area, and Williams Farm Park.
If you are injured in a collision with a motor vehicle while riding your bike, you may be able to recover compensation if the driver was at fault. Even in a hit-and-run situation, you may be able to receive benefits under your auto policy’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a bicycle accident in Virginia Beach or a surrounding community? The bike accident lawyers of Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Common Types of Bike Accidents
Bike accidents happen every day. Injuries can range from minor bumps, bruises, and scrapes to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and even death. The majority of severe injury accidents occur when a cyclist is involved in a collision with a car or truck. In many cases, the motorist is at fault for the crash.
Some of the most common kinds of bicycle accidents involving cars and trucks include:
- Sideswipe Accidents
- Left-Turn or Right-Turn Accidents
- Head-On Collisions
- Rear-End Collisions
- Dooring Accidents
- Failure-to-Yield Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Drunk or Drugged Driving Accidents
It’s also possible that a cyclist could be injured in a collision with a pedestrian or another cyclist. Some bike crashes do not involve any other people or vehicles. If a bike accident was the result of an improperly repaired bicycle, then the company that performed the repairs could be considered negligent. An accident caused by a defective part could make the part manufacturer liable, and an accident is caused by certain hazardous roadway conditions could make governmental entities responsible in some cases.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Virginia law does not require riders to wear bicycle helmets, but Virginia Beach City Code § 7-50 establishes that children 14 years of age and younger are required to wear helmets when riding bicycles. While they are not required for other ages, the city highly recommends all cyclists wear helmets.
Bicycle helmets can help minimize the chances of serious head injuries when bicyclists are involved in accidents, but they cannot protect the entire body of a bicyclist. As a result, bicyclists are usually left susceptible to a number of potentially catastrophic injuries when they are involved in crashes.
Some of these injuries could include:
- Nerve Damage
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Neck Injuries
- Road Rash
- Muscle Strains
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Joint Damage
- Internal Organ Injuries
Some bicycle accident injuries prove to be fatal. Family members of a person killed in a bicycle accident may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against any negligent parties. This action usually must be taken within two years of a person’s death.
UM/UIM Coverage for Bicycle Injuries
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage are two types of automobile insurance that provide additional coverage when an at-fault driver does have insurance or has very low policy limits that do not fully cover your damages.
All automobile insurance policies in Virginia must contain UM/UIM coverage, and Virginia Code § 38.2-2206 establishes that the limits of such policies must equal but cannot exceed the limits of the policy’s liability insurance.
Your auto policy’s UM/UIM coverage may protect you against uninsured drivers, hit-and-run drivers, and drivers with minimum policies, even if you are injured while riding a bicycle. The coverage may also extend to your children and other household members who are hurt in bicycle collisions.
However, do not think that just because you are filing a claim with your own insurance company that they will not still try to settle your claim for as little as possible or outright deny it. You need an attorney to stand up for your rights even when dealing with “your” insurance company.
Bicycle Riding Safety Tips
Bicyclists in Virginia generally have the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles. Bicyclists should generally operate with the flow of traffic as close as possible to the right-hand side of the road.
All people should be sure to wear a helmet whenever they ride a bicycle in Virginia. State law prohibits people from wearing headphones covering both ears while riding, and you also cannot carry anything that prevents you from keeping at least one hand on your handlebars.
When to Contact a Lawyer After a Bike Accident in Virginia Beach
You need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Make sure you have a lawyer before you speak to any insurance company representatives. Many insurers will take steps to try and convince you that they will take care of you without the need for a lawyer, but you must know that these are empty promises.
Insurance companies will inevitably try to find a way to use your words against you to deny your claim, or they may offer you a quick lump-sum settlement that is far less than what you are entitled to. An attorney can immediately conduct an independent investigation and secure all of the important evidence while identifying every potentially liable party and source of insurance coverage.
How Can Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C.Help Me After a Virginia Beach Bicycle Accident?
If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a bicycle crash in the greater Virginia Beach area, take the action you need to preserve your legal rights to compensation. Contact Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. right now.
Our firm has received the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory as well as recognition in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers for both civil and criminal trial work. Call us or contact us online now to take advantage of a free consultation.