02

Cambio Corsa: The Bike Law Blog

7 Things You Should Know About a Cycling Lawyer – by Fred Sexton

by AG: After a coffee one morning and a great talk about cycling advocacy, my friend and fellow cyclist Fred Sexton asked me to post this.  Thanks Fred!

As a cyclist, you are part of a greater community of (greater J )people who have a similar set of interests and values. You should know that as a member of that community you have rights and resources that are meant to help and protect you while you are riding. In the case of an accident here are some things you should know about cycling and the law, and the attorneys who relentlessly work to protect cyclists.

1. First and foremost, cycling attorneys are advocates for all cyclists. That means: commuters, racers, beginners, and advanced riders. If you ride a bicycle for any reason, for pleasure, for transportation, for sport, you should know these attorneys are looking out for your best interests.

 2. Cycling Lawyers will always recommend getting more UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance). Every cyclist should increase his or her UM/UIM coverage so if an uninsured or underinsured motorist hits you on your bike you are covered. (talk to your cycling attorney about the laws that apply in each state!)

3. Cycling Lawyers are here to protect you on the road. By going after the texting teenagers or the speeding sports car driver who hits you, you are sending a message to other drivers and also insurance companies. You are saying we aren’t going to take it anymore! Drivers and cyclists need to be mindful, drive carefully, and share the road. We both pay for it with tax dollars and we both need to obey the rules established on the road.

4. Lawyers that specialize in representing cyclists are probably cyclists too—and probably really nice! They understand the joys of cycling and the dangers as well. If you ride a lot, it is probably not a bad idea to get to know one. You may even be lucky and find one to ride with!

5. Did you know you may have rights against a homeowner whose dog bites you or knocks you off your bike? I’m not suggesting you ride around with kibbles and bits in your jersey, (certainly avoid attracting attention of our four-legged friends when cycling if possible), but I’ve heard of a number of people getting bit or crashing to avoid getting bit (then, all-too-often getting bit) without any recourse to the dog’s homeowner. You do have rights!

6. You should know that NC is one of only 4 states that follows the principle of contributory negligence. Meaning, if you are even just 1% at fault in an accident, (yeah, I know) then the driver’s insurance will try to avoid responsibility for your damages. But even if you think this could be your situation, if you are in NC (or any State) and get hit by a motorist, talk with a cycling attorney to see what your options might be.

7. Writing down license plate numbers for drive-by swooshes can be helpful in ID-ing aggressive drivers, (always carry at least a marker with you while cycling). As a community of cyclists if we are able to better police the streets if someone does plow you over when you are on your bike. If this driver has been reported before for erratic driving around cyclist; it makes the case much easier for you and your cyclist attorney. (There is a guy that rides around Charlotte with a video camera mounted on his bike at all times for this reason. Someone is in jail due to his video evidence. Without it, the defendant most likely would have gotten away.) If you are interested in installing a bike camera I recommend you look at getting a cycling camera mount to use with your existing video camera (like a flip) or get a whole new cycling camera system.  You can report aggressive drivers at: http://www.charmeck.org/city/charlotte/Transportation/CDOTrequests/Pages/BicyclistReportonAggressiveDrivers.aspx

Cycling attorneys can be an enormous benefit to you as a rider and you should be aware that you have that resource at your disposal should you need it. Not only are these great lawyers required when an accident happens, they continue to advocate for cyclists and their rights when it comes to the road.

Comments

Oct 30, 2014

Understanding trends in helpful in deciding where to focus safety efforts and crash prevention. According to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways is trending upward. The report finds that yearly bicyclist deaths increased 16 percent between 2010 and 2012, while overall motor vehicle […]

Read More
Oct 28, 2014

Sometimes a wayward comment by a Court can wreak all manner of havoc.  Recently, I came across such a remark in a federal case from the Northern District of Illinois which I fear could have a negative impact on bicycle crash cases filed in Illinois state court. The issue which the federal court stepped in […]

Read More
Oct 27, 2014

Bicycle lawyers are frequently asked for advice about the bicycle insurance coverages cyclists should consider. The answer to this question is complicated and usually requires an analysis of a cyclist’s unique circumstances and existing insurance policies. However, virtually all bicycle attorneys recommend that all cyclists purchase “uninsured motorist insurance” and “underinsured motorist insurance.” The importance […]

Read More
Oct 27, 2014

In some countries, comprehensive insurance policies are available for cyclists; like their counterparts for motorists, these policies cover cyclists for risks such as liability, personal injury, uninsured motorists, and theft. Until recently, comprehensive insurance policies for cyclists were not available in the United States; however, comprehensive bicycle insurance policies are now available in the United […]

Read More
Oct 24, 2014

A local cyclist narrowly avoided tragedy at the hands of a road-raging driver in suburban Olathe, Kansas, on Monday Oct 20. While on a public road, near a well-used public park, the cyclist rode past a driver who was pulling to a stop sign. For no good reason, the driver became engaged, gunned his engine and veered the […]

Read More
Oct 22, 2014

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Bike Law CX team participated in the Tailwind Veterans Memorial Park Cyclocross Race. Bike Law teammates Amy Meldrum and Wade Burch rode their way to the podium with Amy taking the top spot in the Women’s Category 3-4 race and Wade riding to 2nd place in a very fast and […]

Read More
Oct 17, 2014

  At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 56 year-old Bobby Brooks pedaled his bicycle down Hansen Road in Houston, Texas. This stretch of Hansen is primarily light-industrial and only blocks from the end of Runway 22 at Houston’s William Hobby Airport. As Mr. Brooks rode down Hansen and into the intersection with […]

Read More
Oct 16, 2014

Yesterday (10/15), Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 317, the Nathan Bower Act, in Lansing, Michigan. It is now mandated that in addition to the standard driver’s education curriculum currently taught to future Michigan drivers, information about motorcycle and bicycle awareness and safety must be included. Students will be taught the importance of motorists being […]

Read More
Oct 13, 2014

It was a great weekend for bikes, at least in my (Ann’s) world. Thursday was the start of the 3rd annual North Carolina Bicycle Summit, this year in Greensboro. Work kept me away until Saturday, when I drove up to deliver a presentation, along with Jeff Viscount and Steven Goodridge, and introduce the Bike Law […]

Read More
Oct 10, 2014

  A Manhattan woman is suing our client, a Brooklyn Cyclist, for $ 2000 for damaged to her car after she mowed him down on a Brooklyn street. In May of 2014 cyclist John Roemer, just days before his college graduation, was seriously injured in a bike crash when he was struck from behind while […]

Read More
Oct 10, 2014

This past Sunday (10/5/14), dozens of Michigan bicyclists rode 16 miles, paying tribute to Jill Byelich, a young mother of two killed by a car while riding near DeWitt, Michigan. The cyclists paid their respects at a memorial that included a photo of Jill as well as a ghost bike representing both her and others […]

Read More
Oct 09, 2014

The upswell in bike commuting we have experienced the last few years continues to roll on. Thanks to the public advocacy work of BikeDenver, a concerted effort is now being made to increase cycle and pedestrian multi-modal transportation among students, staff and faculty at the Auraria campus. As this large educational complex abuts both the I-25 […]

Read More
Load More