Utah is a premier destination for cyclists across the United States and from around the world.
Our state is filled with great places for recreational cyclists to cycle on bike paths, road cyclists to cycle on our streets, mountain bikers to cycle through our mountain ranges, and competitive extreme sport cyclists to cycle down mountain ranges and over rocks while performing aerial stunts.
Regardless of your preference in cycling, we all want cycling to be made as safe as possible. Unfortunately, each year, there are hundreds of cyclists killed in the United States. For example, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 846 cycling deaths and 49,000 cycling injuries in 2019 as the result of motor vehicle crashes. Bicycling injuries reported by a 2004 study amount to a cost of $64,425 per death and $32,300 per incident for those that survive. In Utah, it is estimated there are approximately 463 cyclist involved crashes in 2020, which resulted in eight deaths.
The Types of Bicycle Accident Cases that We Handle
We only handle cycling cases involving severe injury or death. Our practice is centered on representing clients and their families in complex cases involving significant injuries that will impact a victim for years to come, and the families who have lost a loved one.
In cases involving significant injury, we are experienced in identifying, quantifying, and demanding full compensation for all of the anticipated expenses to be incurred throughout the life of an injury victim, as well as future pain and suffering. Our personal injury practice is set up to establish an individualized team of attorneys, accident reconstructionists, vocational experts, and wage loss experts to work with the physicians and medical care providers of a victim in order to understand the medical prognosis for the injuries sustained, the long-term care that may be required, and the extent of financial damages suffered as the result of lost wages.
Frequent Factors in Motorist/Cyclist Deaths and Injuries
Factors involving motorist/cyclist deaths and injuries include the following:
Driver distraction/inattention. Unfortunately, many drivers today engage in texting, other cell phone usage, and other behaviors that cause significant distraction. In the time that it takes to read even a short message, a vehicle may travel 100 feet or more. During this time a driver’s attention will be totally taken away from focusing on the road, making it easy to inadvertently hit a cyclist.
Poor lighting. In many areas, such as downtown areas and areas in or near colleges and universities, bicyclists will often ride at all hours of the night. While cyclists may try to ride safely, often road lights will be poor or even non-existent, which can contribute to crashes with cars and other motor vehicles.
Driver fatigue. Many Americans now are chronically sleep deprived. As a result, sleep deprived drivers often fail (or are slow) to recognize and react to situations around them, and may in fact develop a type of tunnel vision. Sleep deprivation thus can increase the odds that a driver will cause a crash.
How Our Trial and Litigation Experience Can Benefit You
We are meticulous in making the case for our clients and seeking full compensation from all those responsible for their injuries and damages. We approach every case as though it will go to trial. As a result, we are tenacious in demanding full and fair compensation for our clients, and if the defendants are not willing to pay a fair settlement, we take them to trial and let a jury determine fault and damages.
Who May Be Responsible for Bicycle-Vehicle Accidents and Crashes?
In addition to the driver of the vehicle crashing into a cyclist, others may also be responsible, including:
Other Drivers. Other drivers may engage in erratic driving which may contribute to the crash.
Cities, Towns, and Municipalities. Cities, towns, and municipalities may be in part responsible for a cycling crash in some circumstances such as if they failed to adequately maintain roadside vegetation (resulting in obstructed views that may lead to a crash), if nighttime lighting was not sufficient, if traffic control devices were not properly working, or if bike lanes were not properly maintained.
Construction companies. If the crash occurred in a construction zone and was due in part to a lack of or confusing lane matters, the construction company may also be responsible for the crash.
Our role as bicycle accident attorneys is to thoroughly investigate all aspects of a cycling crash to determine all parties at fault. Then, we can seek full compensation from all such parties for their share of the damages that resulted.
Common Injuries Sustained in Cycling Crashes
Cyclists have little protection (other than perhaps a helmet) in crashes. As a result, in a crash with a vehicle, injuries are typically sustained from coming into contact with the vehicle, as well as coming into contact with the road and other vehicles after being struck.
Unfortunately, cyclists often sustain severe injuries in motor vehicle crashes including:
Bicycle Accident Statistics in the United States
In a recent article, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimated that the comprehensive cost for each bicyclist killed was approximately $4,500,000, which equates to approximately $400 million annually based on 818 deaths. Bicycling injuries reported by a 2004 study amount to a cost of $64,425 per death and $32,300 per incident for those that survive. Additionally, in 2010, all crash related injuries equated to an approximate loss of $10 billion. No amount of money, however, can rectify the damages and loss of life that result.
Making Your Case – Why Retaining Experienced Trial Lawyers Matters
We are trial lawyers. We have successfully recovered more than $200 million for clients in personal injury and business litigation matters. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as the result of the negligence of someone else, it is important understand the benefits of retaining attorneys with significant trial experience.
Today, the vast majority of personal injury cases are settled prior to trial. As a result, even personal injury attorneys who have practiced for years may have little or no experience actually trying a case in front of a jury.
This is not the case for our firm. We have tried dozens of cases in front of juries, and have an enviable record of success. As the result of our experience, defendants, insurance companies, and their attorneys know that we will not hesitate to take a case to trial if a full and fair settlement acceptable to our client is not reached. They also know that if the case does go to trial, we have a very good record of achieving a very favorable outcome for our clients.
We believe that this knowledge, as well as our meticulous preparation of cases in the pretrial stages, benefits our clients as it puts them in an optimal position to achieve a full and fair settlement prior to trial. Nonetheless, if such an acceptable settlement is not received, we and our clients will be fully prepared for trial. Defendants, insurance companies, and their legal counsel can then choose to either pay our clients a fair and acceptable settlement, or potentially risk even higher damages at trial.