Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Las Vegas Seeking Justice for You
If you or someone you love was injured while riding a bike, contact Las Vegas bicycle accident lawyer Craig Murphy for a free one-on-one consultation.
Every May in the United States is National Bike Month, and the celebration serves both to encourage bicycle use and to raise awareness of bicycle safety. Opting for this mode of transportation over a car vastly reduces a rider’s carbon footprint and provides a wealth of health benefits, but bicycles do have a concerning disadvantage: they can be much less safe than motor vehicles.
The Las Vegas metro area has warm weather almost all year long, and while this may make Clark County seem to be a haven for bicyclists, statistics tell a different story. In fact, the numbers show why bike accident law is so important in The Silver State.
Bike Accident Statistics
The Nevada Department of Transportation tracks all bicycle accidents that occur within the state’s borders, and the DOT has found that no year within the past decade has been accident-free. Despite the state government’s measures to keep Las Vegas and the whole of Nevada as safe as possible for bicyclists, the Silver State is still the home of at least a dozen bicycle accidents each year that end in serious injury, if not death.
Even though a bike accident is far from uncommon in the city, they are not excusable. If you or your loved ones were injured in a bicycle accident, you have the right to pursue legal action against the person responsible for the tragedy. If you have any questions about how to begin the process of filing a lawsuit, Craig Murphy is an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Las Vegas, NV who is ready to help you now.
How Common Are Bike Accident Injuries in Las Vegas?
Though bicycle accidents represent a mere two percent of all vehicular accidents in the Silver State, the five-year period from 2010 to 2014 saw 28 bicycle accidents that ended in death. The total number of bicycle accidents from 2011 to 2015 that resulted in serious injuries was almost twice the fatality rate, at 65 accidents. Clark County, home to Las Vegas and Henderson, was the county with the most bicycle accident injuries and fatalities due to its higher population and urban sprawl. In the year 2015 alone, Las Vegas and its suburbs were the home to eight of Nevada’s ten bicycle accident-related deaths.
The number of bicycle accident fatalities across the state of Nevada varies from year to year, most recently from a minimum of three deaths in 2012 to a high of ten in 2015. Fatal and non-fatal bicycle accidents alike affect individuals of all demographics in Nevada, but male cyclists are far more likely than female cyclists to die in these accidents. Riders who are children, young teenagers, or middle-aged account for the majority of fatalities. Proportionately, August is the deadliest month for cyclists in the state of Nevada, and while Sunday is the day with the fewest bicycle rider fatalities, a plurality of deaths have occurred on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you’re one of Nevada’s many bicycle accident victims, you are more than just a statistic. A bicycle accident attorney can help you understand your rights and fight for fair compensation. If you need a bicycle accident lawyer in Las Vegas, NV, Murphy & Murphy Law Offices are ready to help.
Do I Need a Las Vegas Bicycle Accident Attorney?
If you found this page while looking for a bicycle accident attorney, you may be wondering whether you even need legal representation. After all, cyclists typically have the right of way when traveling in a lane with other vehicles. And even if the rider was partially at fault for the incident, it doesn’t mean their personal injury claim won’t be successful. It sounds like the deck is stacked in the cyclist’s favor on the surface, so can’t they handle everything on their own?
Unfortunately, this typically ends up helping the insurance company. No matter what adjusters might tell you, their main goal is to pay out as little as possible. It’s all about profit. Even if an insurer promises to pay your medical bills, you may still not be getting all the compensation you’re entitled to. A negligent driver does more than just make your healthcare expenses rise. You may also encounter:
- Lost time at work resulting in lost wages
- Loss of consortium or lost support due to wrongful death
- Potential ongoing medical costs (e.g., physical therapy)
- Pain and suffering — including mental anguish
- Medical equipment costs (e.g., wheelchairs, specialty items)
These are just a few of the issues bike accident victims encounter due to the injuries sustained in a collision with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, there are many other difficulties they may face as well. An insurance company isn’t going to offer up compensation for these losses on its own. Even in the case of catastrophic injuries, they’ll try their best to pay out as little as possible.
In fact, it can be damaging to even speak with an adjuster without contacting a bicycle accident lawyer in Las Vegas, NV. That’s because these individuals are trained to ask questions in such a way that you may unknowingly admit negligence even when you’re not at fault. Insurance adjusters are skilled at what they do, so having an experienced bicycle accident attorney on your side is imperative.
Why Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
The Nevada Department of Transportation has found that the most frequent element of bicycle accidents is improper crossing, which refers to a bicyclist not observing standard safety protocols when riding across a lane or intersection. The second greatest factor is failure to yield — that is when either the bicyclist or the driver of a nearby car neglects to let the other vehicle pass.
Though it may seem paradoxical, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is often riskier than cycling in a roadway — and bicycle accidents regularly occur when a cyclist on a sidewalk swerves to avoid something and suddenly crosses into the street. Many bicycle accidents happen due to the negligence of those driving motor vehicles, but that does not mean that cyclists never contribute to these accidents. In fact, the DOT reports that a majority of bike riders who seek medical attention after accidents are intoxicated — having consumed alcohol or taken drugs in the hours before heading out on the road.
It is cases such as these that weaken cyclists’ legal claims. If a Las Vegas bicycle accident lawyer is pressured to admit that their client violated traffic laws by riding while intoxicated, the cyclist may recover less or even none of the damages they’d otherwise be entitled to. For this reason, it is critical that survivors of bicycle accidents talk with their California & Nevada personal injury lawyers as soon as possible to discuss any elements that may weaken their case.
What Should Victims Do After Bike Accidents?
Your journey to fair compensation doesn’t start with a free consultation at a law firm. In reality, it starts at the accident scene. Following a bike crash, you need as much information as possible about what happened. The most important thing to do here is to contact the police if you’re able to. Even if you don’t think you suffered injuries, it’s possible that some physical damage may not become apparent until later.
In addition to contacting the police, make sure you do all of the following at the scene. These are the things that can make or break a personal injury case, and these simple steps will make it easier for your bicycle accident lawyer in Las Vegas, NV, to get you a fair settlement or court award:
- Make sure the police include your version of events in the report
- Take pictures of the accident scene (e.g., designated bike lanes, damage to your bicycle, etc.)
- Get the contact information of the motor vehicle driver and any witnesses
- Document everything — from how the accident happened to the injuries sustained — and write this information down as soon as possible
- Preserve any evidence. Leave your clothes, bicycle, and other items in the same state. No repair shops!
- Seek medical treatment! We cannot reiterate enough that many injuries do not become apparent until days or even weeks later
Of course, these steps won’t always be possible for those injured due to a negligent motorist. Any bicycle accident lawyer in Las Vegas, NV, can attest to the fact that these accidents are often serious. Physical damage such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, open wounds, neck injuries, and even some minor injuries can make it difficult to follow these steps. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that Nevada bicycle laws don’t still protect you.
Personal injury attorneys have experience in uncovering the facts of an incident — even if you or an injured family member is in no condition to assist in your case. At Murphy & Murphy Law Offices, our personal injury lawyers are ready to help. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.
Has the Nevada Department of Transportation Done Anything to Prevent These Accidents?
The Nevada DOT has striven for years to put measures in place that limit the incidence of minor and severe bicycle accidents. One of its best-known tactics has been the creation of bike lanes, which are reserved almost exclusively for bicyclists. Motor vehicle drivers are prohibited from stopping in, crossing, or driving in bike lanes unless the drivers are entering or exiting a driveway, ordered by a police officer to do so, or facing an imminent emergency. A fair share of bicycle accidents stem from motor vehicle drivers failing to observe this rule — or failing to yield to bicyclists who have the right-of-way in intersections just as pedestrians do.
Drivers in the Las Vegas area should also know the Nevada Department of Transportation’s recommendations, collectively known as “Zero Fatalities.” These explain how bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers should work together and independently to better ensure road safety. Bicyclists should opt for riding in bicycle lanes or even roadway shoulders if either is available. Even if cyclists ride in bicycle lanes, they are required to equip their bikes with red reflectors and white headlights while riding at night.
Reciprocally, cars must maintain a distance of at least three feet from cyclists in bike lanes or on shoulders. When neither of those two features is present, and cyclists must use the main roadway, drivers should change lanes in order to better share the limited space. Both drivers and cyclists should also obey traffic signs to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.
Contact An Experienced Las Vegas Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Though the state of Nevada is taking steps to reduce the incidence of bicycle accidents, the Las Vegas area remains a hotspot for fatal and non-fatal accidents for cyclists. After an accident has taken place, especially if injuries or damage occur, a cyclist can help themselves by contacting a dedicated Las Vegas bicycle accident lawyer for support in the personal injury case that will follow.
Experienced attorney Craig Murphy is well versed in both Nevada state law and local ordinances, and if you or your loved ones have been injured in a bicycle accident in the Las Vegas area, we will make every effort to obtain the compensation that you deserve. Personal injury law is meant to hold negligent parties accountable, so let us help you today.