According to the Department of Transportation, in 2012, there were 1,146 crashes involving bicyclists in Wisconsin. This figure means “one bicyclist was injured or killed every 8.3 hours.” With this astounding number of injuries and deaths to bicyclists, the attorneys at Murphy & Prachthauser have gained extensive experience over the years helping bicyclists and their families recover.
Bicycle accidents can take a variety of forms. To name a few examples, bikes can collide with joggers, bikes can strike pedestrians or walkers, bikes can collide with open car doors, and bikes can collide with other bikes or motor vehicles. Each accident is unique and the attorneys at Murphy & Prachthauser collectively have decades of experience handling bicycle accident cases.
After a serious bicycle accident, the last thing on your mind is probably talking to an attorney. But, after an injury, many victims are confronted with large medical bills, calls from insurance adjusters, time off of work, and a damaged bicycle. Calling an attorney does not mean you are filing a claim or a lawsuit. When you call Murphy & Prachthauser, our bicycle accident attorneys are here to help you.
Our Milwaukee bike accident attorneys know that accident victims and their families are confronted with numerous questions and we can answer them. Some of these questions might be about what to do in the immediate future such as: Who will pay for my medical bills? Will somebody pay for my damaged bicycle? What do I do if the accident was partially my fault? Do I have insurance for my bicycle? Can I be at fault for just being there? The Milwaukee bicycle accident attorneys at Murphy & Prachthauser answer these types of questions on a daily basis. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and you are looking for answers, call one of our attorneys. At Murphy & Prachthauser, each bicycle accident attorney can answer your questions and there is no charge for calling or meeting with one of our attorneys.
Another area of confusion for many injured bicyclists and their families is what it means to file a claim or a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. Our bicycle accident lawyers have legal training and years of experience dealing with bicycle accidents in Wisconsin.
Our attorneys will explain to you that in Wisconsin, a bicycle is defined as a vehicle. Therefore, bicycle accidents involve the same rules of the road that apply to auto accidents, with a few exceptions. Some additional rules that relate specifically to bicyclists are that bicyclists have to ride in the same direction as other traffic, have to ride as close as practicable to the right hand edge, and have to keep three feet between their bike and traffic or parked cars.
Additionally, there are specific laws that relate to bicycle lanes or bicycle ways. Bicyclists are afforded some protection when there are bicycle lanes on the road. No mopeds or motor bicycles with power units are allowed to operate in bike ways. Wis. Stat. § 346.79(5). Furthermore, no operators of motor vehicles are allowed to drive in bike lanes. Operators of motor vehicles are only allowed to be in the bike lane when entering or exiting a driveway, merging into the bike lane before making a turn, or while attempting to park. Wis. Stat. § 346.94(12). When a vehicle operator has to cross over the bicycle lane, the operator must yield the right-of-way to the bicyclist or any person using an electric personal assistive mobility device. Id.
In general, bicycle accidents are similar to other personal injury negligence cases and involve issues of liability and damages. Liability refers to which parties were at fault or contributed to causing the accident. Some cases present easy questions of liability. For example, if a bicyclist was stopped at an intersection in a bicycle lane and a motor vehicle approaching from behind rear-ended the bicyclist and caused injury. The party at fault was the operator of the motor vehicle. However, in many cases liability is not clear cut. In many cases, the injured person also contributed to causing the accident. It is possible that the bicyclist forgot to use hand signals or did not have the proper equipment on his or her bike. Because all persons are required to use reasonable care when driving a motor vehicle or riding a bicycle, at trial the jurors compare the actions of all the parties involved to see whose conduct fell below the requirement of using reasonable care.
The second aspect of a bicycle accident case involves the damages. In order to have a claim for negligence in a bike accident case, there must be an injury. In most cases, the bicyclist is injured and the injuries can be severe.
These are only a few of the laws relating to bicycle use on the road. The attorneys at Murphy & Prachthauser are available by phone, email, or through the website to listen to the facts of your bike accident and provide more information on the relevant law.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, the Milwaukee bike accident attorneys at Murphy & Prachthauser can help. If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment with an attorney, call 414-271-1011 for a free evaluation of your case.
OTHER MILWAUKEE PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY ARTICLES ON BICYCLE LAW:
Do You Still Have a Case if a Bicycle Accident Was Your Fault?
Do I have insurance for my bicycle?
Traffic Collisions Involving Bicycles and Accident Prevention
Bay View Bicycle Club Classic Ride
Where can you lawfully ride your bike in Wisconsin? Discussion of Bike Lanes.
Were You Biking Recklessly?
Riverwest 24 Hour Bike Race and the Three Foot Rule in Wisconsin -