Bicycles are increasingly popular, but these riders face a difficult choice. They must ride on the sidewalk and risk injuring pedestrians or ride on the road and risk injuring themselves. If you made the right choice and paid a high price, let our Michigan bicycle accident lawyers help you obtain the compensation and justice you need and deserve.
At Buchanan Firm, our bicycle accident attorneys in Michigan work hard to obtain both these things. Bicycle crash victims need money to put their lives back together, and they deserve recognition for their safety sacrifice. So, we collect evidence to support your claim, refute insurance company defenses, and stand up for you.
Typically, the police accident report and the medical records are the backbone of a personal injury claim. But both these sources may not tell the whole story.
Police reports may be incomplete or inaccurate. In many bicycle crash claims, victims sustain catastrophic injuries. Since they are unable to give statements to first responders, the police accident report often contains only one side of the story.
Somewhat similarly, medical bills and clinical records effectively convey important diagnostic and treatment information. But they sometimes do not convey intangible elements, such as how a victim’s injuries affect everyday life. This data is critical in light of Michigan’s complex no-fault insurance law.
To better establish liability, cycling attorneys in Michigan often use electronic evidence, like a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder. Almost every vehicle on the road has an EDR. These devices capture and record information like:
Bike crash attorneys must act quickly to preserve EDR information before the insurance company “accidentally” destroys the device.
When it comes to medical records, we have that covered as well. The Buchanan Firm team includes on-staff medical professionals. These individuals know the everyday effects of injuries, and they know how to convey these effects to jurors.
Bicycle crash injuries are often extremely severe. Even if the victim wears a helmet, this headgear protects people from fall injuries but offers little protection in vehicle collisions.
As a result, the damages in these cases are usually high as well. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, as well as noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Contributory negligence is the most common defense in any vehicle collision matter. Especially on uphill side streets, many bicyclists do not completely stop at stop signs. Insurance company lawyers often pounce on this fact and use it as a way to shift blame from the tortfeasor (negligent driver) to the victim.
But in most cases, bicycles move so slowly and the violation is so slight that the rider’s behavior had little or nothing to do with the crash. So, a Michigan bicycle collision lawyer can often prevent the insurance company from raising the defense. Alternatively, it’s usually possible to convince a jury that contributory negligence should not be a compelling consideration.
Michigan is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent bar. So, as long as the tortfeasor was at least 51 percent responsible for the crash, the victim still receives a proportionate allotment of damages.
The last clear chance defense sometimes comes up in bicycle crash claims as well. The insurance company claims the rider could have avoided an oncoming car by suddenly changing directions or speeds.
But bicycles are much harder to control than four-wheel vehicles. So, these kinds of emergency maneuvers are usually impossible. Therefore, this defense rarely survives additional scrutiny.
Bicycle collisions are usually the tortfeasor’s fault. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Michigan, call Buchanan Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence matters. Contact us today.