Virginia Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Residents and visitors alike in Virginia frequently use bicycles to get to and from destinations. Whether bikes are used for regular transportation or leisure, bicyclists can be exposed to possibly serious injuries when they are involved in accidents because of their inherent lack of protection.
While certain parts of Virginia have paths specifically limited to bicycles, bicyclists often share roadways with motor vehicles. Both automobiles and bicycles must obey the rules of the road, and several crashes involving bicycles are the result of motorist negligence in which drivers fail to respect the rights of the bicyclists.
Virginia Bicycle Laws
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) states that bicyclists and motorists basically have the same rights and duties. State and local laws governing traffic regulation typically apply equally to both. The state has passed some laws specifically for the protection of bicyclists.
For example, beginning in July 2016, Virginia Code § 46.2-818.1 made opening the door of a parked motor vehicle on the side adjacent to moving vehicular traffic (the practice commonly referred to as “dooring”) punishable by a fine of up to $50. A motorist ticketed for dooring could also theoretically be proven negligent and liable for damages caused as the result of injuries suffered in a dooring accident.
Bicycle Accident Injuries in Virginia
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says bicycle trips only account for 1 percent of all trips in the nation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that bicyclists accounted for 2 percent of all traffic deaths and 2 percent of all crash-related injuries in 2014. The CDC reported there were nearly 467,000 bicycle-related injuries in 2015.
Bicyclists face an increased likelihood of sustaining fatal injuries in collisions with motor vehicles, but even those who survive crashes can still suffer severe injuries that result in overwhelming medical expenses, lost wages, and tremendous pain and suffering. Some of the most common injuries stemming from bicycle accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Broken Bones
- Herniated Discs
- Internal Organ Damage
- Road Rash
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer
People who are injured in bicycle crashes can often be extraordinarily confused about how to obtain compensation from negligent drivers. In some cases, drivers may have been uninsured or have policy limits insufficient to cover the full cost of care for victims. People in such cases are often able to file claims with their own insurance companies under uninsured motorist policies, although even an individual’s own insurer may attempt to lowball a potential settlement.
Need an Injury Lawyer Virginia can represent you in dealing with any insurance company— whether it is the negligent driver’s insurer or your own. Our lawyers offer free, no obligation consultations to discuss the specifics of your case, and we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer all of your questions. We represent clients in communities throughout Prince William County, Loudoun County, Chesterfield County, Henrico County, Arlington County, Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, Albemarle County, Hanover County, and Fairfax County.