Bicycle Accident LawyerSt. Louis, MO
When you’re injured while riding your bike, you need a dedicated personal injury lawyer to fight for you.
Motorists are legally required to share the road with bicyclists, and in many areas, citizens have access to lanes devoted solely to bicycles. Unfortunately, laws and lanes cannot stop irresponsible drivers who risk the lives and well-being of others from causing bicycle accidents.
Accident injuries can be very painful, and if they leave you unable to work and provide for yourself, you will end up having to deal with the emotional pain of financial distress. If you or someone you care about was injured in a bicycle accident, a bicycle accident lawyer in St. Louis may be able to help you better understand your legal options. Work with an adept personal injury attorney that can evaluate your claim, and determine what legal steps you should take next. Call our Personal Injury Lawyers in St. Louis now at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. We don’t charge any fees for our consultations, and we never ask for any attorneys fees unless we win your bicycle accident claim.
Motorists and the Role of Designated Bike Lanes
As most responsible and safe drivers know, many highways and streets have designated bicycle lanes that are solely for bicyclists, typically marked off with paint and symbols of bicycles. Drivers should avoid driving in this lane, and they are expected to maintain a safe distance from bicyclists at all times.
These lanes are meant to keep both drivers and bicyclists safe, but unfortunately, some drivers do not pay attention and accidentally veer into bicycle lanes. This is immensely dangerous. If a person hits a bicyclist while using a designated bicycle lane, they should be held accountable for their actions in a civil court.
Here is a comprehensive list of the laws governing bicycles and the use of bicycles in Missouri:
- Bicycles have the same right-of-use of the road as cars, and are designated the same rights and duties as other vehicle drivers – Missouri Bicycle Law 307.188
- If you’re riding a bike, you have to ride as far as you safely can to the right. You can ride two abreast as long as you aren’t impeding any other vehicles – Missouri Bicycle Law 307.190
- Bicyclists can ride on the shoulder of the road, but aren’t required to. They can fill a car lane if they choose to bike in the car lane. In the car lane, they have to follow all of the laws a vehicular driver would have to – Missouri Bicycle Law 307.191
- If you’re passing someone on a bike while driving, you have to pass them with a safe amount of distance between you and the bike – Missouri Bicycle Law 300.411
- The bike lane is only for bicycles, not cars. You can’t park there, linger there, or take any action besides driving over one if your route takes you over the bike lane – Missouri Bicycle Law 300.330
Here are a few resources regarding the bicycle laws in Illinois:
- Here is a great PDF about the biking laws, as well as safety tips and what your bike needs to be street legal – Bicycle Rules of the Road
- Here is a comprehensive list of the Illinois bike laws – Illinois Statues regarding Bicycles
Establishing Liability in Court
When evaluating a personal claim involving a bicycle accident, most courts will examine the actions of both the driver and the bicyclist extensively. Both drivers and bicyclists have a legal obligation to exercise a reasonable degree of care, and as long as the bicyclist was following traffic laws at the time of the accident, a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer may be able to prove the driver engaged in negligent behavior.
Drivers are legally required to share the roadways with bicyclists, and if speeding or reckless driving is a factor in the accident, it will be taken into consideration by the court. However, if the bicyclist is believed to have engaged in the dangerous or reckless behavior, the court may decide that both parties bear a certain degree of responsibility.
Bicycle Laws Protecting Children
In many areas across the state, bicycle accidents often involve children in residential neighborhoods. Children are significantly more impulsive than adults, and their inability to reason at an adult level may cause them to make irrational decisions. To prevent accidents involving minors, lawmakers require motorists to exercise a higher degree of care when driving through areas where children may be bicycling.
This does not mean that every driver who collides with a child will be automatically found guilty of negligence. However, if the driver hits a child in a residential area or an area where there are schools, playgrounds or daycares, they may be held to a higher standard legally. Many courts have even ruled that extremely young children are incapable of exercising a reasonable degree of care when riding a bicycle.
Speaking with a St. Louis Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you are currently recovering from accident injuries, the idea of filing a civil suit may sound unappealing at this moment. However, without financial compensation, you will likely end up paying for your own medical expenses out of pocket even though the incident was not your fault. To potentially avoid such a scenario, a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help. Call today to discuss the details of your case.