Madison Bicycle Accidents

Bicycles offer many benefits. These include reducing your carbon footprint, saving you money at the gas pump, and improving your physical and mental health as you get where you need to go. Those benefits are especially appreciated in Madison, which was recently recognized as one of the most bikeable cities in the United States. However, cycling can also be dangerous. Compared to car drivers who have seatbelts and the car’s outer frame to keep them safe, bicycle riders don’t have much protection. This puts bicyclists at an increased risk of severe injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle. The result can be excruciating pain, financial turmoil, and emotional trauma.

If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you may be eligible to claim significant compensation for your losses. Working with a Madison bicycle accident lawyer at LawtonCates can help you demand the full amount you deserve as you hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence.

Our firm has fought for the rights of injured Wisconsinites for nearly 70 years. Let us put our experience, skills, and knowledge to work for you. Contact LawtonCates today for a free case review with a bicycle accident lawyer in Madison.

Benefits of Hiring a Madison, WI, Bicycle Accident Attorney

Seeking bicycle accident compensation should be a straightforward process. If a careless driver caused your injuries, recovering money for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses should not be the cause of additional stress. However, many people involved in a bicycle accident in Madison find the insurance claims process confusing, overwhelming, and frustrating. Insurance adjusters employ tactics to delay paying out claims, reduce settlement figures, or deny compensation altogether.

When you work with an experienced bicycle accident attorney, you have someone on your side who understands how insurance adjusters work — and how to beat them at their game. The skilled lawyers at LatwonCates refuse to be intimidated by greedy insurance companies, and we are prepared to fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Our bicycle accident law firm can help by:

  • Investigating the accident to determine its causes
  • Identifying all liable parties
  • Calculating the total value of your losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering
  • Negotiating aggressively with the insurance company for a fair settlement
  • Filing a bike accident lawsuit against the at-fault party if the insurer refuses to offer you the compensation you deserve

Our team will handle all aspects of your case from start to finish so that you do not have an additional source of stress. Let us do the legal heavy lifting so you can focus on your healing process.

What to Do After a Bike Accident

The days and weeks following a bicycle accident can be filled with challenges, from managing injuries to initiating insurance claims. Here are some valuable steps to take after a bicycle crash:

  • Seek medical attention, even for minor injuries. Adrenaline can mask pain, and getting checked out can uncover hidden injuries. Follow all doctor’s orders, attend follow-ups, and keep notes of your progress.
  • Report the accident to the police and request an incident report. The report can help show fault and facilitate an insurance claim. Get contact details of witnesses if possible.
  • Document the scene with photos and videos if you can. Capture images of vehicle damage, road hazards, and weather conditions that may have contributed. Photos of your injuries can also help demonstrate the validity of your claim.
  • Keep records of all accident-related costs like medical bills, property damage, and lost income to document your losses for a claim.
  • Consult an experienced bicycle accident attorney. They can handle the insurance claim process for you while investigating liability and advocating for maximum compensation.

What Compensation Can I Recover After a Bicycle Accident?

The compensation you are eligible to recover in a bicycle accident case will depend on many factors. These include the severity of the accident and your injuries, as well as the accident’s impact on your ability to earn money and participate in the activities you enjoyed before the crash.

A Madison bicycle accident attorney from LawtonCates can help you recover compensation for losses such as:

  • Medical expenses, such as ambulance rides, E.R. visits, doctor’s appointments, surgical procedures, medications, and assistive devices
  • Lost income due to missed time at work
  • Reduced earning capacity if you are unable to return to your previous job
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damage

After you consult with a seasoned bike accident attorney from LawtonCates they will investigate the incident and calculate the value of your losses to determine what your claim is worth.

How Long Do I Have to File a Bicycle Accident Claim in Wisconsin?

If you’ve suffered a bicycle accident injury, Wisconsin law generally gives you a maximum of three years from the date of the incident to file legal action against the party at fault for your injuries. You should contact a LawtonCates lawyer for the filing date specific to your case. If you do not begin your bicycle accident lawsuit before the filing window closes, you may be prevented from recovering compensation for your losses.

While you may think you have enough time, evidence can disappear, and eyewitness memories can fade faster than many realize. By retaining the services of a bicycle injury attorney from LawtonCates as soon as possible, you can optimize your chances of building a solid case while ensuring that you do not miss any statutory deadlines.

What Are the Wisconsin Bicycle Laws?

Wisconsin has enacted several laws intended to protect bicyclists from motor vehicle operators. These include the following:

  • Three-Foot Rule – Motorists must ensure that there is at least three feet of space between their vehicle and any bicycle they pass. If they cannot do so, they must refrain from overtaking the bicyclist ( Stat. §346.075).
  • Dooring Rule – When a vehicle occupant causes a bicycle accident by opening a vehicle door into the path of a cyclist, the person who opened the door is liable for any resulting injuries and losses ( Stat. §346.94 [20]).
  • Right of Way on Crosswalks – Motor vehicle operators must yield the right of way to bicyclists on crosswalks ( Stat. §346.24).
  • Right of Way in Bicycle Lanes – Motor vehicle operators must yield the right of way to bicyclists in bicycle lanes ( Stat. §346.94 [12]).

Furthermore, the following laws apply to bicyclists:

  • All bicycles on the road must be equipped with brakes in good working condition (Wis. §347.489[1]).
  • When riding at night, all bicycles must be equipped with a front light that is visible from a distance of at least 500 feet. The bike must also have a red rear reflector or a steady or flashing red light visible from all distances between 50 and 500 feet ( Stat. §347.489).
  • Bicyclists must give appropriate hand signals when other traffic will be affected by their maneuvers ( Stat. §346.35).
  • When riding at a slower speed than surrounding traffic, bicyclists should ride as close to the right-hand edge of the road as safely possible (Wis. §346.80 [2][a]).

It is worth noting that Wisconsin does not require bicyclists to wear helmets while riding.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Many of the most serious bicycle accidents are caused not by cyclists themselves but by motorists who fail to take appropriate care when driving alongside them. Motorists are at a higher risk of colliding with a cyclist when they:

  • Distracted driving, such as texting, cell phone use, and GPS adjusting
  • Fail to yield right-of-way to bicyclists when turning or at intersections
  • Pass bicyclists unsafely without giving ample space
  • Open vehicle doors into the path of oncoming bicyclists (“dooring”)
  • Engage in speeding or distracted driving that prevents motorists from seeing and reacting to cyclists
  • Drive while intoxicated, which impairs motorists’ abilities to share roads safely

Unsafe road conditions, such as potholes, debris, or a lack of bicycle lanes, also lead to many preventable collisions, as does poor visibility of bicyclists due to a lack of lights, dark conditions, or obstructions.

Common Types of Injuries from Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists lack the protection of a motor vehicle, so accidents often result in traumatic injuries:

  • Head and brain injuries like concussions or traumatic brain injuries, which can be particularly severe when riders do not wear helmets
  • Spinal cord and neck injuries ranging from strains to paralysis if the spinal column suffers damage
  • Broken bones and fractures, especially in the arms, shoulders, wrists, legs, and ankles, which absorb impact during and after a crash
  • Road rash or skin abrasions from sliding on pavement
  • Internal organ damage caused by blunt force to the abdomen or chest
  • Emotional trauma like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic crash

These injuries can require intensive and costly medical interventions. If another person was responsible for the crash, you should not have to shoulder the burden for these losses. Instead, get legal help from LawtonCates to hold them accountable for what they’ve done.

Contact a Madison, WI, Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today

Life after a serious bicycle accident can be overwhelming, and you might feel as though you have nowhere to turn for help. The experienced Madison bicycle accident attorneys at LawtonCates understand the challenges you are facing, and we want to do everything we can to support you.

Turn to us to give you the support, advocacy, and compassion you need during this difficult time. Contact LawtonCates today for a free case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you with a bicycle accident claim.