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What Are The Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents In Arkansas?

Key Takeaways:

  • Many bicycle accidents in Arkansas are caused by drivers simply not knowing to look out for them, or for other visibility issues.
  • Bicycle accidents are more common around schools, as well as areas and neighborhoods where there tend to be more bikers. One example is Bentonville.
  • In Arkansas, bicyclists are allowed to use any road except for a freeway or an interstate (unless local laws prohibit this). Bicyclists can also ride on sidewalks (unless local laws prohibit this).
  • Insurance companies are aware that juries tend to favor severely injured bicycle accident victims versus car drivers, so they are more likely to pay on these cases.

 That the main cause of bicycle accidents in Arkansas is that riders are just not visible. I don’t think people really think to look for a bicycle. If a bicyclist is not using proper road paths that are designed for bicycles and are simply on the road, I don’t think motorists are trained to see them. So if they’re using the roadway as a bicycle path, then that obviously increases their chances of being hit. Just like in any other personal injury case, an inattentive driver may hit a bike if he isn’t looking out for it. It doesn’t matter how visible a bicyclist is. There’s a higher likelihood of an accident taking place if it’s not something the driver is used to looking out for.

What Type Of Injuries Are Commonly Sustained In Bicycle Accidents Involving Motor Vehicles?

Unfortunately, bicycle/car injuries can be rather harsh on bicycle riders, since they aren’t protected by anything like a car driver is. Hopefully, at the very least, the bicycle rider is wearing a helmet, but still—accidents between cars and bicycles are often catastrophic, if not fatal, for the bicycle rider. I’ve had bicycle cases with massive head injuries, broken bones, serious road rash—you name it. There’s no car to protect you like there is in a normal car accident. If you have a helmet, good, but that’s usually going to be all you have on in the way of protective gear.  Usually, people aren’t wearing pads or protective vests, since that’s just not something that is expected or really even normal. So, the injuries are usually much worse in car-on-bicycle cases compared to fender bender car-on-car accidents.

Where So Bicycle Accidents Generally Take Place On Arkansas Roadways?

I would say bicycle accidents could happen anywhere—on Arkansas roadways or anywhere else. We have inattentive drivers everywhere. It could happen in a school zone. Just kids riding their bikes to school, and a driver could easily clip one of those bicycles and not even know it. Also, anywhere there is a high population of bicyclists. In our area, Bentonville, we have a huge biking community, so there are going to be more bicycle accidents in Bentonville. They’ve got lots of trails, they’ve got lots of bike shops, and they’ve got lots of bike accidents. So, in Bentonville, or anywhere there’s a school, a farmers’ market, anything that’s conducive to outdoor living: bicyclists are going to come, and there will be more accidents.

What Are The Rights and Responsibilities Of A Bicycle Rider On Arkansas Roadways?

The rules of the road apply to bicyclists just like they do to an operator of a car. Bicyclists are legally allowed to use any road in Arkansas except a freeway or an interstate, unless it’s locally prohibited. In that case, bicyclists have to follow the rules just as if they were in a car. That includes using signals, hand signals—or if you’ve got lights on your bike, turn signals—to indicate your intentions. If you are riding a bike, you’ve got to have a white headlight at the front and a red tail light in the back. You can ride on sidewalks unless it’s locally prohibited. Bicyclists are allowed to treat stop signs as yield signs—and they must yield to immediate oncoming hazards.

How Will It Impact My Damages In A Personal Injury Claim if I Was Partially At Fault for A Bicycle Accident?

Each case is fact-specific, so we’d need to know more of the facts of what happened—but generally, even if a bicyclists has some fault in an accident, that may not impact damages in personal injury bicycle claims as much, due to the higher level of damages and potential insurance limits. Usually, in a bicycle versus car accident, there is a reason that the bicyclist was hit—which is often no fault of the bicyclist. But even if they were a percentage at fault—say they were on the street instead of the sidewalk—the driver of the car still has a duty to drive safely and operate his vehicle in a safe manner. This comes into play when you’re looking at the fact patterns of these situations. If the bicyclist is still recovering, they need to talk to a lawyer. Like we always say, the severity of an accident or a collision always comes into the factor of how big of a settlement you are going to get. An insurance company is always going to pay what they think a jury is going to make them pay. If you’ve got a severely injured person who was injured in a bicycle accident versus a car, a jury is not going to like that. They are going to punish the driver of the car, who had an unfair advantage, and the insurance companies know that.

What Steps Should I Take If A Motorist Hits And Injures Me On A Bicycle In Arkansas?

If a motorist hits you with their car and injures you while you are riding a bike, there are a few steps to take. First, you should immediately call an ambulance and get help on the way. Ensure that you are physically safe and can move around safely. If not, wait for EMTs to arrive with medical care. If you are ambulatory (i.e., able to move around), get as much documentation of the scene as possible. Take pictures of the scene, the vehicle, your bike, and your injuries. If there were witnesses, find them and get their contact information, as well as witness statements (if possible). File a police report.  Do not talk to anyone at the scene except the police about the facts of the accident.  Get the treatment that you need.

For more information on Bicycle Accident Injury Claims In Arkansas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (479) 337-7077 today.

Mullins & Blake Attorneys

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(479) 337-7077