Cycling is becoming one of the most popular recreational pastimes in the United States. The number of cyclists has increased in recent years to become a favorite outdoor activity for many adults and children in Virginia. More people than ever are cycling to work as an alternative and environmentally-friendly form of transportation. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities continue to occur. Even when bicyclists carefully follow Virginia laws that enforce traffic regulations and bicycling guidelines, a bicycle accident can still happen.
Have you been severely injured in a Virginia bicycle accident? If so, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC have helped many bicyclists obtain the compensation they deserve. We will advise you as to the best path forward. Whether you file a claim for compensation with an insurance company or plan to bring a personal injury lawsuit, we will advocate for your interests. Contact our Virginia personal injury law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
Is a Bicycle Accident Common in Fairfax County, Virginia?
Bicycle accidents are far too common, despite efforts made by local and state governments to make Virginia roads safer for bicyclists. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 651 bicycle crashes occurred in 2019. That year, 614 people became injured, and bicycle accidents and 13 bicyclists were killed. In 2019, 128 bicyclists became seriously injured, accounting for 1.8% of all serious traffic injuries in Virginia that year.
Of these bicycle accidents, 24 were labeled as property damage crashes. Failure to yield was the most common cause of bicycle accidents. Not passing bicyclists safely and improper lane change has also contributed to a significant number of bicycle accidents. In 26 bicycle accidents, the bicyclist had consumed alcohol.
Bicycle Accidents Can Result in Serious Injury
Bicyclists are not protected by the hard outer shell of passenger vehicles. As a result, bicycle accidents can result in severe injuries, especially when they involve a motor vehicle. The following serious injuries often result from Virginia bicycle accidents:
- Bone fractures
- Lacerations, scrapes, cuts, and road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries, especially when bicyclists are not wearing helmets
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries, including cracked vertebrae, and herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries that result in full or partial paralysis
- Dislocated joints
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue injuries
The Benefits of Hiring a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Under Virginia law, victims of a personal injury accident can hold the at-fault individual or company financially responsible for their injuries. The process of obtaining compensation is often challenging, however. The sooner you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, the better chance you have of recovering the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies often begin contacting victims of bicycle accidents immediately after the accident.
When you speak to the insurance company, you will likely still be dealing with the shock and pain of your injuries. Sometimes insurance companies ask victims to provide a recorded statement about what happened during the accident. They may even ask you to accept a settlement agreement soon after your accident. We recommend speaking to one of the experienced lawyers at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC before providing a statement or accepting a settlement agreement.
We have experience dealing with insurance companies and know that they will often try to take advantage of bicycle accident victims. Our law firm will thoroughly review your case and determine an accurate amount of compensation for you through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. We believe bicycle accident victims should be fully compensated for the injuries and harm they’ve suffered, both physically and mentally. Our experienced team will negotiate directly with the insurance company and seek compensation for:
- All of your past and future medical expenses
- All of your past and future lost income
- Compensation for the physical pain and suffering you sustain due to your injuries
Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents
Leaving the scene after a bicycle accident is illegal in Virginia. However, drivers have been known to flee the scene of the accident after colliding with a bicyclist. If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run bicycle accident, we can help you submit an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance companies.
Insurance companies operate on a for-profit basis and frequently try to blame the bicyclist for the accident. Virginia is one of only a few states that still follow the legal doctrine of pure contributory negligence. When a bicyclist is 1% at fault for the accident or more, he or she will be barred from recovering any compensation. Insurance companies know that if they can prove that you were even 1% at fault for the accident, they won’t have to pay you compensation.
Defendants in personal injury lawsuits will also attempt to claim that the victim was at fault, so they don’t have to pay the victim compensation. Our assertive attorneys will stand up for your rights and challenge claims made by the defendant and the insurance company. We will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence showing that you were not at fault for the injury.
Virginia Bicycle Laws
The Virginia Department of Transportation provides specific guidelines for the legal rights and duties of bicyclists in Virginia. Bicyclists who bike on Virginia highways must follow all of Virginia’s motor vehicle laws. Additionally, bicyclists have the same duties and rights as motor vehicle drivers unless otherwise indicated. When bicyclists bike on a public sidewalk, or a shared-use path, or in a crosswalk, they have the same duties and rights as a pedestrian, with a few exceptions. First, bicyclists must yield to oncoming traffic. Second, bicyclists are not required to come to a complete stop when they cross highways without stop signs or traffic signals.
Contact a Virginia Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you or your loved one have become injured in a Virginia bicycle accident, Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC is here for you. We provide potential clients with a free consultation. We have a proven track record of advocating vigorously for our clients and obtaining the compensation they deserve. Whether you plan to file a claim with an insurance company or you would like to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, we can help. Contact us today to learn how we can advocate for you.