What Are the Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents?

25 July, 2023 | By Redemption Law
What Are the Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents?

As more people take to their bikes, whether for commuting, exercise, or leisure, more accidents occur.  If someone else's negligence caused injuries in any type of bicycle accident, the law might entitle you to significant compensation.

Knowing the most common types of bicycle accidents informs cyclists about potential dangers and helps victims figure out whether they qualify to recover damages. Let's take a closer look at common bicycle accidents, their consequences, and how a bicycle accident lawyer can help you recover compensation.

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Collisions With Motor Vehicles

Deaths in bicycle accidents account for 2 percent of all deaths involving motor vehicles. Since bicycle riders don't have as much protection as the other traffic participants, they often sustain severe and fatal injuries. Common collisions that lead to these injuries include:

Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents

Intersection Incidents

One of the most common types of bicycle accidents involves collisions with motor vehicles at intersections. This problem can occur when a motorist fails to yield the right-of-way to a cyclist, runs a stop sign or red light, or makes a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming cyclist. In these situations, your attorney can help establish fault by analyzing traffic laws and the actions of the involved parties.


Dooring refers to when a parked motorist opens their door into the path of an oncoming cyclist, causing the cyclist to collide with the door. Your attorney can examine the incident to establish whether a negligent motorist’s actions injured you.

Bike-on-Bike Collisions

Bicycle accidents can also occur between cyclists, particularly when one rider disobeys traffic rules. Your attorney can analyze the actions of both riders to establish fault and pursue compensation on your behalf.

Similar to motor vehicle rear-end collisions, bike-on-bike collisions can happen when cyclists ride too close to the bicycle in front of them and fail to stop in time. Your attorney can investigate the accident details to determine if the at-fault cyclist was negligent in their riding habits.

Cyclists are responsible for riding safely and with reasonable care for the safety of others on the road. Suppose another cyclist’s negligent actions, such as reckless riding or weaving in and out of traffic, lead to a collision. In that case, your attorney can establish liability and pursue justice for your injuries.

Single-Bike Accidents

You can seek compensation after a bicycle accident even when other vehicles did not crash into you.

Road Hazards

Potholes, debris, or uneven road surfaces can lead to single-bike accidents. In these cases, your attorney can investigate whether a property owner, municipality, or construction company responsible for maintaining the road bears liability to you.

Pedestrian Negligence

Jaywalking pedestrians could cause the rider to swerve and hit an obstacle on the road or go off the road. You may hold the negligent pedestrian responsible for the crash in such a situation.

Determining Liability in Bicycle Accidents

Determining the party responsible for your accident is the key to seeking compensation for damages related to your injury. To do that, your attorney examines the applicable traffic laws and regulations. These laws can include speed limits, right-of-way rules, and any specific bicycle regulations in your jurisdiction.

In Florida, for example, drivers need to keep at least a three-feet distance between their car and a bicycle. Local authorities in many states can set their own rules. In California, for instance, you may not ride a bicycle on freeways.

After examining the applicable laws and right-of-way rules, your attorney can review the actions of all parties involved in the accident. This process can include determining if any party violated traffic laws, was negligent in their actions, or otherwise contributed to the accident.

In some cases, more than one party can be involved. Determining who they are can dictate the course of legal action.

Evidence in a Bicycle Accident Case

In a bicycle accident case, you must demonstrate the at-fault party's negligence to prove your right to compensation.

Negligence is a legal term that refers to a person's failure to exercise the appropriate level of care in a given situation. In a bicycle accident, negligence can involve failing to yield the right-of-way, not paying attention to the road, or failing to maintain proper control of a vehicle or bicycle.

The burden of proving negligence lies on the victim's shoulders. This process involves gathering strong evidence to support your claim.  A skilled bicycle accident attorney can gather and organize the necessary evidence to build a compelling case for you.

Evidence that can play a major role in proving your case includes:

Accident Scene Photographs and Videos

After a bicycle accident, photographs of the road and its surroundings, skid marks, road signs, and traffic signals can help your case. If you hire an attorney right after the crash, they can return to the accident scene and take photos. Your bicycle accident lawyer can also subpoena traffic camera footage and ask nearby property owners for their security camera recordings.

Witness Statements

Witnesses can provide valuable information about the events that transpired during the accident. Your attorney can interview these witnesses and gather their statements to support your claim, especially when the facts are in dispute.

Since witness memories tend to fade with time, talking to them as soon as possible is the best way to get the necessary information.

Police Report

If police officers had worked the accident scene, they might have compiled a police report. This report can contain crucial information, such as the officer's observations, statements from both parties and witnesses, and any citations. Your attorney can obtain a copy of the police report and use it as evidence for your case.

Medical Records

Medical records can show the extent of your injuries. They also demonstrate the treatment you received in the past and the future care you may need.

These records include documentation of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, medical treatments, rehabilitation services, prescriptions, and a description of future medical care required because of the accident.

Damages in a Bicycle Accident Case

If the negligent behavior of one or several parties caused the bicycle crash, you could seek compensation for damages. Strong evidence supports these damages as integral elements of a fair payout.

Medical Expenses

One primary category of damages that you can recover in a bicycle accident case is compensation for your medical expenses. These include the cost of hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, and any other medical treatment necessary to address your injuries resulting from the accident.

Lost Income

Bicycle accidents often result in injuries that force individuals to miss work temporarily or permanently. Your attorney can help you recover compensation for any lost earnings due to your inability to work following the accident and any potential loss of future earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

In addition to your economic losses, you may also receive compensation for your physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish because of the accident. Your attorney can quantify these non-economic damages and ensure your claim reflects these adequately.

Factors Affecting the Amount of Your Payout

The damages you may recover in a bicycle accident case can vary depending on:

  • The severity of your injuries.
  • The extent of your medical treatment.
  • The impact of the accident on your ability to work.

The bicycle accident attorney's expertise also plays a major role in the size of your payout. Their ability to collect evidence, arrange investigations, file documents, conduct negotiations, and represent you in court directly impacts your chances of recovering a fair settlement.

Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accident Claims

The statute of limitations is a legal time limit for filing a personal injury claim, such as those resulting from bicycle accidents.

If the statute of limitations expires, so does your legal right to compensation.

Statutes of limitations for personal injury claims vary from state to state and can range from one year to several years. For example, in Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is five years, while in Kentucky, it's only one year.

An experienced bicycle accident attorney familiar with your jurisdiction's specific laws and regulations can tell you the timeframe that applies to your case.

If you fail to file your bicycle accident claim within the applicable statute of limitations, the court may bar you from pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages. Some exceptions to the statutes of limitations exist. Consult your attorney to find out if your circumstances warrant tolling the statute.

Settlement Negotiation and Litigation

In many bicycle accident cases, a settlement between the injured and at-fault parties is possible without trial. This process typically involves negotiations between your attorney and the at-fault party's insurance company or lawyers to agree on a fair compensation amount. Settlement negotiations can save time, money, and stress for both parties. They may result in the most desirable outcome for your case.

Several factors can determine the possibility of settlement in your case, including:

  • The strength of your evidence.
  • The clarity of fault and liability.
  • The severity of your injuries.
  • The willingness of the insurance company or at-fault party lawyers to negotiate in good faith.

Your attorney can assess the likelihood of reaching a settlement and advise you on the best course of action for your case.

Taking Your Bicycle Accident Case to Court

If settlement negotiations fail, your bicycle accident attorney can file a lawsuit and represent you in court.

Why Do I Need to Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?

An experienced personal injury lawyer can navigate the challenging and overwhelming bicycle accident legal process for you and make a significant difference in the size of the compensation you receive.

Christopher D. Alas, Miami Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Christopher D. Alas, Bicycle Accident Attorney in Miami

A knowledgeable attorney can:

  • Assess the merits of your case and determine the best course of action.
  • Collect and organize crucial evidence to support your claim.
  • Handle communication and negotiation with the at-fault party's insurance company or lawyers.
  • Ensure compliance with all deadlines and requirements for filing a lawsuit.
  • Represent you in court should litigation become necessary.
  • Advocate for you and seek the maximum compensation you deserve.

Besides handling all of the legal aspects of your case, the attorney can provide much-needed support and consultations while recovering from your injuries' physical and emotional tolls.

Navigating Your Bicycle Accident Claim

Bicycle accidents often lead to severe injuries that require long-term treatment and recovery. If you can prove the at-fault party's negligence, you can obtain significant compensation that may ease the financial burdens. A skilled bicycle accident attorney's expertise can significantly improve your case's outcome and the compensation you may receive.