Bicycle Accidents

Noblesville Bicycle Accidents Lawyer

Bicycling is growing in popularity, with the number of bikes on Indiana roads having more than doubled over the past twenty years. More bike riders means money saved on gas, cleaner air, and more physical exercise. Unfortunately, it also means more crashes involving bikes. With the rights of cyclists not always clearly understood, a Noblesville bicycle accidents lawyer can help riders fight for the fair settlement they need and deserve.

A thorough knowledge of the rights and responsibilities bikers have under the law is essential to winning a bike accident lawsuit. Dollard Whalin LLP brings both knowledge and a fighting spirit when we represent our clients. Call our Noblesville office today at (317) 854-5877 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Indiana Bicycling Laws

A necessary element in a personal injury lawsuit of any kind is proving that the defendant breached the duty of care that was owed to the plaintiff–in this case, the plaintiff being the cyclist. To understand breach in this context, it’s important to understand the specifics of Indiana law.

An entire chapter of the state code is devoted to outlining what’s expected of bike riders and what rights they enjoy in return. 

A sampling of the rights and responsibilities include the following:

  • A cyclist must ride on the seat of the bike and not some other attached object
  • A cyclist may not use a siren or whistle
  • A cyclist that goes on a highway must have a lamp in front and a red light in back, in both cases visible from at least 500 feet away
  • A bike must have functioning brakes
  • A cyclist must follow all rules of the road that apply to cars (stoplights, allowing pedestrians to use the crosswalk, etc.)
  • When riding on a public road used by cars (i.e., something other than a bike path), cyclists should allow at least the width of a car as space between themselves and traffic)
  • A cyclist must have both hands on the handlebars

It’s worth noting that the state of Indiana does not require cyclists to wear a helmet. We strongly encourage all cyclists to enhance their safety by wearing one, but it is not strictly required by law.

When a cyclist is following the law, they enjoy all the same rights to the road that cars, trucks, or motorcycles do. Drivers, motorcyclists, other bike riders, and pedestrians owe them a reasonable duty of care. When a cyclist stays in line with basic regulations, their chances of proving a breach of duty on the part of someone else in an accident are improved.

Winning a bike accident lawsuit and getting a fair settlement hinges on identifying the right target, and that might be murkier than it appears. Dollard Whalin LLP provides sound strategic planning and determined legal advocacy for all our clients. 

Call our Noblesville office today at (317) 854-5877 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Who Is Liable in a Bike Accident?

Drivers, pedestrians, and other riders are the most likely sources of liability if a bike rider is injured through no fault of their own. 

But there are other possible targets:

  • Was an accident caused by a roadway marker carelessly placed? If so, then whatever government agency or construction subcontractor placed it there might be liable.
  • Were the roads or paths poorly maintained? In cases like these, a municipal or state government agency might be the guilty party.
  • Was the accident caused by a defect in the bike itself? Now the focus shifts to the manufacturer.

Any of these parties can end up as the defendant in a lawsuit. The job of a Noblesville bicycle accidents lawyer is to demonstrate that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care.

The law and the courts understand that some accidents are just that–accidents–where no one is at fault. If this is the case, the injured rider can only be compensated by their own insurance coverage. But a court might also find that the defendant fell short in the duty of acting as a reasonable person would. Then we have a breach of duty.

Proving breach requires diligent legal footwork. Testimony of what would be expected of a reasonable person in the situation of the defendant may be required, and the plaintiff’s lawyer will then need to demonstrate how the defendant’s actions fell short of the mark. Further work is needed to show how that breach was in fact the cause of the accident, and to then demonstrate the scope of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.

Dollard Whalin LLP takes pride in our meticulous approach to the law, to the investigation of a case and in our vigorous advocacy efforts on behalf of our clients. Both traits–studious work and a fierce will–are necessary when going up against the insurance carrier of the defendant. We aim to bring that kind of effort for each and every one of our clients.

Call the Noblesville office of Dollard Whalin LLP today at (317) 854-5877 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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