Falls Church, VA has quite a few bike trails, paths, and routes. Their number is increasing as the city’s Bicycle Master Plan advances. In theory, this should mean increased safety for bicyclists and fewer bicycle accidents. In practice, more and more Falls Church residents end up needing a bicycle accident attorney.
Most accidents occur at intersections and in areas where bicyclists don’t have their own lane. They involve cars or trucks and obviously, the bicyclists incur the most serious injuries.
Why So Many People Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Falls Church
Most bicycle accidents have one or more of the following:
- Failure to yield right of way. Most of the time, drivers do not notice bicyclists in traffic and cut across their path. However, there are also cases when bicyclists overtake stopped cars without taking the necessary care.
- Failure to signal traffic maneuvers. Many drivers and bicyclists fail to indicate their intention to turn or overtake in traffic. They take other road users by surprise, leaving them no time to stop safely.
- Car doors open suddenly. Drivers and passengers often open car doors without checking the rearview mirror. If a bicyclist is misfortunate enough to ride behind them, the accident is a given. The impact with the door will most likely throw them off their bike and cause serious injuries.
- Drunk driving. Many drivers and bicyclists hit the roads after drinking. They do not realize that the alcohol slows down their reactions and impairs them. As a result, they fail to notice road obstacles or they cannot avoid them in time. The sad part is that others get hurt as well in the accidents they cause.
- Distracted driving. Some drivers and bicyclists pay more attention to their mobile phones than to the traffic. They fail to notice dangers, and they cause or cannot avoid accidents.
- Speeding. You would think only drivers speed. They do, and their speed often makes it impossible to avoid accidents. Unfortunately, bicyclists speed as well, and the newer bike models can reach impressive speeds. The higher the speed, the more difficult avoiding road obstacles and accidents becomes.
There are many other reasons why Falls Church, VA residents end up needing a bike accident attorney. These reasons matter when it comes to establishing fault for the accident. Under Virginia laws, accident victims have the right to seek compensation for their losses.
In order to obtain it, they have to file a claim with the insurer of the party at fault. Virginia laws accept the possibility for all the parties involved in an accident to share fault. However, those who share fault for their accident lose their right to compensation.
For bicyclists, bike law violations at the time of the accident qualify as contributory negligence. Bike laws are among the first things a Falls Church bicycle accident lawyer reviews with clients. We will review the most important of them in the following lines.
Laws a Falls Church Bicycle Accident Attorney Will Review with Clients
Falls Church bicyclists have to obey both Virginia laws and local ordinances. Most applicable state laws refer to vehicles in general. Only a few of them contain references to bicycles in particular. Local ordinances, on the other hand, are very specific. They are the first thing a bike accident attorney will cover. According to the Falls Church Code of Ordinances Chapter 26, Article IV:
- Bicycles should have functional handbrakes or coaster breaks.
- Front white lights visible from 500m at night are mandatory.
- Bikes need approved red reflectors for the rear, visible from 50 feet to 300 feet at night.
- Bicyclists must observe traffic signs, signals, and controls, including stop and turn signs.
- Bicyclists must ride as close to the right as possible, in the same direction as the traffic flow.
- Riding on the handlebars is prohibited.
- Bicyclists cannot carry packages, bundles or anything that may impede control of the bike.
- Bicyclists shall not attach themselves or their bike to other vehicles on the roadway.
- Riding abreast is an option only on bikeways.
- Bicyclists must yield right of way to pedestrians and use audible signals when overpassing them on sidewalks.
- Motor vehicles can only cross bike lanes, not drive on them.
- Bicycles cannot impede traffic when parked.
- Bicyclists must use bike lanes or paths where they are available instead of the roadway.
- Bicyclists up to 14 years of age have to wear approved helmets.
If you were violating these laws at the time of the accident, contact a bicycle accident lawyer. Even if you are not at fault for your accident, the defendant will probably claim you were. If they succeed in proving contributory negligence, they will not have to pay compensation. An experienced bike accident attorney will not allow that to happen. They will prove liability and recover all your losses.
Types of Losses a Falls Church Bike Accident Attorney May Recover for Their Clients
In Virginia, compensable bike accident losses include any or all of the following:
- Bike repairs or replacement
- Repairs or replacement of other assets damaged in the accident (watch, smartphone, clothes, jewelry)
- Medical expenses (consultations, exams, blood tests, imaging tests, surgery, treatment, medical devices)
- Rehabilitation costs (home care, physical and psychological therapy)
- Disability adjustment investments (wheelchair, access ramps, support bars, elevator)
- Financial losses (previous and future lost income, loss of earning capacity)
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium and of ability to enjoy life
It goes without saying that any of these losses will need thorough supporting evidence. This is easier to obtain for an experienced bicycle accident attorney. A discussion with the latter can also help assign a value to the bike accident claim.
If you are not sure how much your case is worth, a lawyer can help. They will review your case and tell you exactly where you stand. If they manage to gain your trust, you can leave your case in their hands. They will take over all formalities and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a Consultation with a Falls Church Bicycle Accident Attorney
Are you still recovering from your injuries and not sure how to handle your compensation claim? At Commonwealth Accident Injury Law, we are always happy to help. From reviewing your case and assessing your claim to taking over all formalities, you can count on us. All you have to do is schedule a consultation with our Falls Church, VA bike accident attorney. You can do it by calling 1-800-HURT-123!
I was very pleased with Big Al and his staff