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Accidents and injuries can unexpectedly derail lives. In these difficult moments, Sioux City personal injury lawyers become invaluable allies. They specialize in advocating for individuals harmed by the negligence of others, ensuring they obtain fair compensation. This article explores the essential role Sioux City personal injury lawyers play, navigating individuals through the intricacies of their claims and helping them rebuild their lives.

Bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles can lead to severe, often fatal injuries, resulting in extensive damages. The cost of pedestrian and cyclist injuries in such accidents totals approximately $55 billion in lifetime expenses for victims, as reported by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. Understanding the defenses drivers may use, how to avoid accidents, and the process of filing a claim for injuries, especially head injuries, is crucial for affected bicyclists in Iowa.

Common Defenses Drivers Use in Bicycle Accident Claims

When a bicyclist files a claim or lawsuit against a driver, the driver’s insurer or attorney may use various defenses to refute liability. These defenses can significantly impact the compensation the injured cyclist receives. Here are some common defenses:

Helmet Use
Drivers often claim that the cyclist was partly at fault for their injuries if they were not wearing a helmet. This defense aims to reduce the driver’s liability by attributing some responsibility to the cyclist.

Not Obeying Traffic Rules
Drivers may argue that the cyclist was at fault for not following traffic rules, such as speeding, not stopping at signals, or riding against traffic.

A driver may claim that the cyclist was distracted, for example, by wearing headphones, talking on the phone, or daydreaming, which contributed to the accident.

Lack of Visibility
Drivers might argue they couldn’t see the cyclist due to a lack of rear lights or the cyclist wearing dark clothing at night. This defense is often used to suggest that the driver could not have avoided the accident.

How to Avoid Common Bicycle Accidents in Iowa

Reducing the number of bicycle accidents is a priority. Here are some common accident types and tips to avoid them:

Right Hook Accidents
These occur when a car making a right-hand turn cuts off a cyclist. To avoid this, cyclists should position themselves slightly in front of vehicles at red lights or stop signs, ensuring they are visible to drivers. Additionally, never pass a vehicle on the right; always pass on the left.

Dooring Accidents
A "dooring" accident happens when a cyclist is struck by a suddenly opened car door. Cyclists should ride in designated bike lanes when available and stay alert when riding next to parked cars. Slowing down and being cautious around parked vehicles can help avoid these accidents.

Vehicle Turning Left
Accidents often occur when a vehicle turning left fails to see an oncoming cyclist. Cyclists should ensure their bikes have lights and wear bright colors to improve visibility. Making eye contact with drivers before crossing intersections can also help prevent collisions.

Failure to Yield
Cyclists must be cautious when entering intersections and ensure they yield appropriately. Double-checking for oncoming traffic, even when having the right of way, can prevent accidents.

Filing a Claim for a Head Injury from a Bicycle Accident

Bicyclists, especially those without helmets, are at significant risk of head injuries in accidents with motor vehicles. Here’s a guide to understanding the claims process in Iowa:

Determining Liability
The first step is identifying who is responsible for the accident. In Iowa, the at-fault party is liable for damages. Typically, the motor vehicle driver involved in the accident is at fault, making their insurance responsible for damages.

Proving Liability
To substantiate your claim, you need evidence such as police reports, physical evidence from the scene, and witness testimony. It’s also crucial to prove that your head injury was directly caused by the accident.

Calculating Compensation
The amount of compensation depends on various factors, including the extent of injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and whether the bicycle needs replacement. If you were partially at fault, your compensation might be reduced accordingly.

Negotiating Settlements
If the initial settlement offer is insufficient, you have the right to negotiate for a higher amount. If necessary, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court, ensuring you do so within the two-year statute of limitations.

We Are Here To Help

Remember, you are not alone in recovering from your injuries. We have helped thousands of Iowans through their physical, emotional, and financial recoveries. If you have questions about what you are going through, feel free to call our office for your confidential injury conference. We will take the time to listen to you and give you our advice concerning your injury matter at no cost or risk to you.

Free Book at No Cost 

If you are not ready to speak with an attorney yet but would like to learn more about Iowa injury cases including tips about how you can avoid making common costly mistakes request a copy of our Iowa Personal Injury book which includes 14 myths about Iowa injury cases and 5 things to know before hiring an attorney.

If you have specific questions about your injury matter feel free to call our office to speak with our Injury team at 641-792-3595 or use our Chat feature by clicking here 24 hours a day/7 days per week. Your information will remain confidential and there is no cost or obligation.