Even when riding a bike, you have a responsibility to keep the roadway safe by following laws and safety practices. But if you’re following all posted signage and rules for riding a bike in Indiana and a car hits you, know that you can pursue damages from the driver.
Indiana law sets forth clear guidelines for how to ride a bike safely and outlines the responsibilities that cyclists have in keeping others safe. But even if you follow these laws, you might experience a collision with a motor vehicle. You are protected and can sue the driver or file a claim against their insurance policy for coverage for your injuries and damage to your bike.
Here’s what you need to know about Indiana bike accidents and when to hire an attorney to protect your rights.
Commonly Violated Bike Laws
Whether you’re riding on the sidewalk or the road, you must follow these Indiana laws for biking.
- Bikers must not ride more than two abreast when on the roadway
- Bikers must keep two hands on the handlebars and no package or bundle should prevent that
- When riding a half-hour after sunset or a half-hour before sunrise, your bike must be equipped with lights visible for at least 500 feet in the front and rear
- The bike must be equipped with brakes
- When riding on the road, bikers must adhere to all stoplights, signs, etc.
- When riding on the sidewalk, bikers must use crosswalks when available
- When using the roadway, bikers should bike in the same direction as vehicles and not against traffic
Despite adherence to these laws, bikers still get in accidents with motor vehicles. Whether it’s a car that turns into the biker at an intersection or a vehicle that fails to give the biker three feet of space when passing as the law designates, these accidents can be severe since the biker has little to protect them when riding on the roadway.
Damages You Can Pursue in a Bike Accident
Injury victims in bike accidents can suffer serious injuries and financial damages due to someone else’s negligence. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your bike accident and your injuries, you might be eligible to pursue the following damages:
- Medical expenses: you should seek medical attention immediately after a bike accident even if you think you feel fine. You might have late on-set injuries that could cause problems later if you don’t attend to them immediately. Or, you might ride away from the accident in an ambulance and face hospital bills to recover. No matter your experience, you can seek compensation for your medical expenses, both existing and future after a bike accident.
- Lost wages: your bike accident injuries might prevent you from completing your regular work. If so, you can seek lost wages or reduced ability to work in the case of long-term ailments.
- Property damage: many bikers forget that they can pursue property damage coverage in bike accidents because they don’t have enormous expenses, such as a car. But you can seek coverage for your bike, smartphone, watch, helmet, glasses, and any other property that gets damaged as a result of the accident.
- Pain and suffering: bike accident injuries are often severe and lead to enormous pain and suffering for the victim. You can pursue these damages in your claim as well.
- Punitive damages: these are not regularly rewarded to accident victims, but they can be in the case of malicious intent on behalf of the other driver. Your attorney can guide you in knowing whether your case might qualify for punitive damages.
This year, Stewart & Stewart proudly celebrates our 40th anniversary of treating clients like family. Contact Stewart & Stewart for a free consultation to discuss your bike accident and learn if you might be eligible for compensation from the motorist who hit you.