Jackson, MS Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Have you been involved in a bicycle collision while riding in Jackson, Mississippi? Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common occurrence. Motor vehicles are expected to share the road with cyclists and pedestrians, but this does not always occur. Such carelessness can result in severe injuries, leaving you in physical and emotional pain.
If you have experienced such a misfortune, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver for compensation. In such situations, the legal professionals at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can be of invaluable assistance. Our committed Jackson bicycle accident lawyer will work diligently to ensure that you receive the highest possible compensation for your injuries.
What Are the Common Causes of a Bicycle Accident in Jackson?
Like car and truck accidents, the common causes of a bicycle accident in Jackson, MS include:
Jackson, MS drivers texting, fiddling with the radio, or trying to map out a route on a GPS can easily miss seeing a cyclist on the road. But distracted driving isn’t only a driving issue but a bicycling problem as well. A bicyclist may be more concerned about playing the next song on their phone than paying attention to the road.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that alcohol was involved in 34% of all fatal bicycle accidents in 2020. Although drunk driving is illegal, it is still a major problem in the United States today. Driving while impaired can lower a person’s reaction time in a time of emergency. If a bicyclist rides in front of a drunk driver, the driver may not have the sense to stop in time.
Failure to Yield
Bicyclists have the right of way on Jackson MS roadways, but many drivers ignore this fact, causing bicycle accident numbers to rise. They try to either cut off the bicyclist or speed around them. In turn, the bike rider may not be able to stop and hit the car head-on. You need to remember that bicyclists have the same rights and privileges as those driving a vehicle and when a driver fails to yield to a cyclist, a dangerous situation occurs.
When vehicles in Jackson try to pass a bicyclist on the road around Mississippi, they may not realize how close their vehicle may be to the cyclist. The law states that drivers must give at least three feet of space when passing a cyclist but not all drivers follow this law. This results in a catastrophic accident.
Sometimes the driver just doesn’t see the bicyclist until it’s too late. If a cyclist is riding along a line of parallel-parked cars, a motorist may open their door in front of the cyclist’s path. The bicyclist may not be able to avoid striking the door, being thrown over the open door, and sustaining serious injuries.
Speeding Related Bicycle Accident
We’re all in a hurry to get where we need to go and sometimes, we go faster than we should. Depending on the weather conditions, road hazards, and the amount of traffic, speeding can put everyone on the road at risk. The faster you go, the harder it will be to stop if something gets in your path, like a bicyclist turning in front of you.
How Often Do Bike Accidents Occur in Mississippi?
Bike riding is a great outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy. But unfortunately, it can also be dangerous, especially when sharing the road with cars and other vehicles.
According to the NHTSA, there were 938 cyclist fatalities across the United States in 2020. Bike accidents accounted for 2.4% of all traffic fatalities for that year. In addition, 38,886 bicyclists were injured in a traffic accident. The majority of these accidents occurred in urban areas. And in Mississippi, there is one particular place where many accidents occur – the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Why is the Trace so Dangerous?
Affectionately known as “The Trace,” this 440-mile trail has become one of the South’s most popular spots for bicyclists, thanks to the hundreds of miles of beautiful scenery and the excellent condition of the asphalt. Bikers come from all over the world come to our beautiful state to enjoy this stretch of federal land.
However, bikers should use extreme caution when riding on The Trace. Natchez Trace is narrow, offers no bike lane and people on The Trace are not always using good judgment and occasionally hit these bikers causing a bicycle accident. The combination of the narrow roadway and the scenic views make for a dangerous and sometimes deadly combination. Often drivers of motorcycles, cars, and RVs are not always looking where they are going, or are driving when fatigued or distracted by a cell phone.
There have been several serious injuries and some deaths due to these factors along the Natchez Trace Parkway. In November of 2017, a bicyclist riding on the Natchez Trace Parkway was struck by a car in Nashville, Tennessee. The accident, which was caught on camera, later died from his injuries. And just recently, a bicyclist was hit by a car along the Trace in Jackson, Mississippi, which resulted in serious injuries.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bike Accident in Jackson, MS?
Many people believe that when there’s a bike accident in Mississippi, the at-fault party is usually the driver. And while that is usually the case for lawyers, there may be additional parties responsible for the accident. Even the biker themselves may be partially to blame.
For example, if you cut off a car that was unable to stop in time in Mississippi, you may be found 25% at fault for the crash. If your settlement claim is over $150,000, you would see it reduced to $125,000 since you were found partially at fault. This is called pure comparative fault.
That’s why if you were found partially at fault for a Mississippi bicycle accident, it’s important to speak with a Bicycle injury attorney right away to learn what options are available for your bicycle accident claim.
How Can Giddens Law Firm Help You With Your Claim in Mississippi
For over two decades, the Jackson bike accident lawyers at Giddens Law Firm have been helping injury victims throughout the state. With a thorough investigation, we’ll learn who is responsible for your accident and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to make sure you get the full amount of damages you may have suffered.
With years of attorney experience, a successful track record, and a wealth of resources available, Mississippi bicycle accident lawyer John Giddens is ready to take on the insurance company. Contact our lawyers today for a free consultation.
Questions Frequently Asked About Bicycle Accidents in Mississippi
What Bicycle Laws Apply in Mississippi?
Bicyclists have the right-of-way according to Mississippi law. The John Frerer Bicycle Safety Act, which Mississippi passed in 2010, aims to protect bicyclists in the following ways:
- When passing a bicyclist on the road, a driver must maintain a secure distance of at least three feet between their vehicle and the bicycle until passing.
- Motorists may not hurl objects at or harass bicycle riders.
- Motorists may not obstruct the bicycle lane.
- Before opening a vehicle’s door, drivers must determine if they can do so safely.
In addition, the motorist is required to remain at the accident scene until emergency personnel arrive.
What Should You Do Following a Bicycle Crash?
If you were involved in a bicycle collision in Mississippi, you must first ensure that everyone is okay. Get to a secure location and call 911 immediately.
While waiting for emergency services to arrive, attempt to collect as much evidence as possible from the bicycle accident scene. Take photographs of the scene, record the contact information of any witnesses, and exchange information with the driver.
As soon as the authorities arrive, provide a brief account of the bicycle accident. Please do not acknowledge guilt. Remember that anything you say now can be used against you in the future.
Even if you don’t believe you’re gravely injured, you should immediately seek medical attention after speaking with Mississippi police. Injuries may not manifest for hours or even days after an accident, so it is always advisable to be examined by a medical professional.
Remember to report the accident to your Mississippi insurance company. Your auto insurance policy is where you will file your initial claim.
Contact a knowledgeable Jackson bicycle accident attorney at Giddens Law Firm. Our attorneys can guide you through the claim process and ensure you receive an equitable settlement sufficient to cover all of your injuries. Our bike accident attorneys have been assisting Mississippi clients with accident claims for more than two decades. Contact our Bicycle personal injury attorney immediately for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
What are the Most Frequent Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Bicycles can sustain life-threatening injuries if they are involved in an accident with a vehicle or truck, as you might expect. Typical bicycle-related injuries include the following:
- Trauma to the head, such as a traumatic brain injury, concussion, or cerebral hemorrhage
- Combined neck and spinal injuries that cause whiplash or paralysis
- Back discomfort caused by a ruptured disc or muscle spasms.
- Internal hemorrhage and injury to soft tissues
- Broken bones
- Bruises, cuts, and road rash
What Compensation Is Available Following a Bicycle Accident?
Following a bicycle accident, the injured party may be eligible for both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are intended to compensate you for any financial losses incurred as a result of your accident. This includes, but is not limited to, medical expenses, property damage, wage loss, and loss of potential earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are more subjective because they are intended to compensate for non-monetary losses. The most prevalent illustration is agony and suffering. There is no monetary value that can be assigned to the frustration and agony you have experienced as a result of your injuries. This is what suffering and pain are endeavoring to accomplish. Loss of enjoyment, loss of companionship, and mental anguish are additional examples of damages.
What Should I Do If I Don’t Have Auto Insurance?
In Mississippi, it is unlawful for motorists to operate vehicles without insurance. However, if you are a bicyclist involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you can submit a claim with your own insurance company to have your medical expenses covered. This route may be necessary if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
But what happens if you do not have your own auto insurance? If so, it may be possible to register a claim with the driver’s insurance company.
A claim against an uninsured driver can be difficult to adjudicate. Therefore, it is essential to seek the counsel of an experienced car accident attorney who can explain your best options for obtaining maximal compensation for your injuries.
How Much Does It Cost to Retain a Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident?
Our legal practice operates on a contingency basis. This means that you do not owe us a fee until we have successfully resolved your case. After resolving your claim, we will receive a small percentage of the recovery. If we are unsuccessful, however, you owe us no fee.
However, keep in mind that the longer you wait to submit a claim, the more difficult it will be to obtain the compensation you deserve. You have three years from the date of your accident to file a claim in Mississippi. Contact our bike injury law firm in Jackson, Mississippi immediately for a free consultation.
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