Bicycling is a popular mode of transportation and recreation in Utah. While riding a bicycle can be an enjoyable activity, it can also be dangerous, especially when motorists fail to exercise caution around cyclists. Bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries and even death, leaving victims and their families struggling to cope with the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in Utah, it is essential to understand your legal options. Here are some important things to know:
Utah Law and Bicycle Accidents
Under Utah law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. This means that motorists must exercise caution when driving near cyclists and give them enough space to safely maneuver. Bicyclists, in turn, must follow the same traffic laws as motorists, including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, and signaling when turning.
If a motorist hits a bicyclist, the driver may be held liable for any injuries or damages that result. However, Utah is a “modified comparative negligence” state, which means that if a bicyclist is found to be partially at fault for an accident, their compensation may be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
If a motorist is found to be at fault for a bicycle accident, their insurance company may be responsible for paying damages to the victim. Utah law requires motorists to carry liability insurance, which covers bodily injury and property damage caused by the insured driver.
In addition, bicyclists may be covered under their own insurance policies. For example, if the bicyclist has health insurance, their policy may cover medical expenses resulting from the accident. Some bicyclists also have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which can provide additional compensation if the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to cover the damages.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Utah, you may be able to seek compensation for a variety of damages, including:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, doctor’s visits, and physical therapy
- Lost wages, if you are unable to work due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage, including damage to your bicycle and any other property that was damaged in the accident
To seek compensation, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. An attorney can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If necessary, an attorney can also file a lawsuit to pursue compensation through the court system.
Statute of Limitations
It’s important to note that Utah has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which means that you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a bicycle accident. In Utah, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally four years from the date of the accident. However, there may be exceptions that can either shorten or lengthen this timeframe, depending on the circumstances of the case. It’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that you don’t miss any important deadlines.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, there are several important steps you should take to protect your health and legal rights:
- Seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t think you are seriously injured.
- Contact the police to report the accident and request a copy of the accident report.
- Collect contact and insurance information from the driver(s) involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses.
- Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damage to your bicycle or other property.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in Utah, it’s important to understand your legal options and seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. With the right legal representation, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and damages and hold negligent motorists accountable for their actions. Remember to take the appropriate steps after an accident to protect your health and legal rights.
Brad DeBry Law Firm is a personal injury law firm that has extensive experience representing clients who have been injured in bicycle accidents in Utah. Here’s how our firm can help:
- Investigate the Accident: We will investigate the accident and gather evidence to determine who was at fault for the accident. This may involve obtaining witness statements, reviewing police reports, and working with accident reconstruction experts to reconstruct the accident scene.
- Determine Liability: Once we have gathered evidence, we will determine who is liable for your injuries and damages. This may involve filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or filing a lawsuit if necessary.
- Calculate Damages: We will work with you to understand the full extent of your injuries and damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. We will use this information to calculate the full value of your claim.
- Negotiate with Insurance Companies: We will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement that covers all of your damages. If necessary, we will litigate the case in court to pursue the compensation you deserve.
- Provide Legal Guidance: Throughout the legal process, we will provide you with guidance and support to ensure that you understand your legal rights and options. We will also keep you informed of any updates or developments in your case.
At Brad DeBry Law Firm, our goal is to help you obtain the compensation you deserve after a bicycle accident. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a serious injury can have on your life, and we are committed to providing you with the legal representation you need to move forward. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.