Snellings Law PLLC Attorneys are Personal Injury Trial Lawyers
Bicycle Accidents - Does It Matter Whether The Vehicle Actually Hits You?
When I was a kid, we rode our bikes everywhere, even where we may not should have been riding them. On Saturday mornings, I would get up and head straight out the back door to grab my bike and head out to find my friends…that is unless I had to mow the lawn first. I recall one day when we were all riding down the street on our way to the park when a car of teenagers coming the opposite direction swerved over toward us like they were going to run us over. All of us swerved to our right and up onto the curb and/or grass. Thankfully, none of us crashed, but each of our hearts was pounding!
Bicycle Crashes With No Contact
What if one of us had crashed and been injured? Does it matter that the car full of teenagers did not actually hit anyone? We have had numerous instances where vehicles have caused injuries to bicyclists with no contact. When this has happened, 100% of the time the at-fault vehicle’s insurance adjuster has stated – “there was no contact, so we are not at fault.” The worst part is that they state it with such confidence as if there were some statute or Supreme Court holding that they could cite to if needed. Our response, 100% of the time, to this assertion is, “SO WHAT!”
Adjustors Will Fight
It is maddening to us that many adjusters will tell this directly to victims with such authority that the victim assumes they are correct! Are there circumstances when the driver may not be at fault? Absolutely. I am not discussing those circumstances – only the ones where the adjusters take a 100% resolute stance that it CAN’T be their insureds fault because there was not contact. That is simply false.
Another issue injured cyclists may also confront when there is no vehicle contact comes from a police report. Most times, when a bicyclist is injured and the police respond to the scene, they fill out a crash report. As with many motorcycle crashes, the officer will sometimes assume that since there was no contact, the rider must have taken “faulty evasive action.” How that could possibly be determined without video evidence or a full-on crash reconstruction, I have no idea. Bicyclists are at a total disadvantage in terms of speed, maneuverability, mass, etc. when matched up with any type of moving vehicle.
When a vehicle pulls in front of, moves over into, or takes another action impeding the bicyclist, reflexes take over. Stating a bicycle crash was caused by faulty evasive action, barring some complete boneheaded move, is about as “hindsight is 20/20” as it gets. A bicyclist essentially has two options – brake and/or swerve. Superman couldn’t accelerate fast enough to get through a dangerous situation on a bicycle. While employing one or both of these maneuvers, there is a possibility of crashing no matter how good of a cyclist you are (see Day 1 of the Tour De France this year).
We Can Help
The main point here is that the bicyclist would not have had to take emergency maneuvers if the at fault vehicle had not created an emergency with his/her negligent driving! If you, a friend, or loved one have been involved in a bicycle accident, we can help.
Download Our Free Guide
We created a free guide, “A Personal Injury Survival Guide,” to answer frequently asked questions about personal injury claims, should ask questions, and an outline of how the process works. We are happy to provide that free of charge, and you can download it here. As well, we have a bicycle safety checklist that you can download for free, just click here. Please also reach out to us at our office as we would be happy to set up a free consultation to discuss your claim at 214-387-0387. You take care of healing, while we take care of everything else.