Car Accidents with Bicycles in Virginia
Skilled VA Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyers Can Help
Every year, hundreds of Virginia bicyclists are injured and killed by distracted drivers and motorists who fail to yield the right of way. In many cases, these crashes involve school-aged children. Any time a car collides with an unprotected bicyclist, serious personal injury can occur. These accidents occur with an alarming regularity in cities such as Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton and Newport News, VA which are not cyclist-friendly and lack multi-use paths. In 2015, 15 cyclists were killed in Virginia, amounting to 2 percent of fatalities in the Commonwealth, and 661 bicyclists were injured, according to Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (VDOT).
6 Common Causes of Crashes Between Cars and Bicyclists
There can be many reasons a motor vehicle and bicycle are involved in an incident which creates injury. Below are some of the most common causes:
- Left Turns by Vehicles - Cyclists and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable when cars are turning left. Often they fail to see a bicyclist and cut across the rider’s path, causing a collision.
- The Right Crossing - One of the most common causes of injury and death to bicyclists is when a vehicle pulls out from the right side of the road and cuts in front of the bike. The car either hits the cyclist from the side or it pulls out in front of the rider who hits the car door.
- Car Door Collisions - Even a stationary car can be a big danger to a cyclist. People who open car doors often fail to look behind them. A car door that’s suddenly flung open can be very dangerous to a passing cyclist. Even if the rider isn’t hit by the door he or she may swerve into the road to avoid it and be struck by another vehicle.
- Wrong Way Accidents - A lot of cyclists are injured or killed in wrong way accidents. In many cases, this is the fault of a rider. It’s the law in Virginia and many other states that cyclists should always ride with the traffic. However, we often see cyclists heading into the traffic. In some cases, drivers have crossed a central line or ended up on the wrong side of the road, where they have hit riders.
- Passing Accidents - Virginia has a three-foot passing rule that means drivers should give cyclists a three-foot berth when they are passing them. Some states require more space. This doesn’t always stop drivers getting too close to bicyclists and hitting them. In 2016, a pickup truck driver hit a group of riders and killed five in Kalamazoo in Michigan. He was later charged with being under the influence of drugs.
- Red Light Accidents - Intersections are common places for accidents involving cyclists. Most vehicles have blind spots and the drivers can miss a cyclist who pulls up next to them. The car may veer into the lane of the bicyclist or hit the rider while turning.
Common Injuries in Car-Bicycle Accidents
Broken bones are one of the most common injuries suffered in car accidents with pedestrians or bicycles. Some of these bones may be easy to set and require very little additional medical attention. Others, such as hip and leg bones, may permanently alter your mobility, resulting in rehabilitation expenses in addition to an impacted quality of life. Other injuries that often from these types of accidents include:
These injuries often have far-reaching financial, emotional, and physical consequences, and they demand swift justice against the at-fault motorist.
Virginia Cycling Helmet Laws
Some studies estimate wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 85 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Young bicyclists must wear helmets in 21 states and the District of Columbia. None of these laws applies to all riders. Many cities in Hampton Roads including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News and Williamsburg, make it mandatory for riders 14 and under to wear helmets.
How Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Cycling Crash
With over 40 years of combined experience in Virginia personal injury law, John Cooper and Jim Hurley know exactly what needs to be done in these cases to get you the compensation you deserve. By working with you on an individual basis and remaining available 24/7 during every stage of your lawsuit, we will determine the full extent of damages caused by your injuries, and fight tooth and nail to ensure you are provided with the compensation you need to recover from your losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, please contact our experienced injury lawyers today to schedule a free initial consultation with John Cooper, Jim Hurley, Griff O’Hanlon or Bill O’Mara. If your injuries have made travel impossible, we will come to you. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has offices in Norfolk and client meeting locations in Virginia Beach and Hampton, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Newport News, Suffolk, and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. (Please be sure to schedule an appointment before visiting our locations other than Norfolk). Attorney John Cooper also represents clients in North Eastern North Carolina.