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Frequently Asked Questions

Contrary to popular belief and unlike pedestrians, bicyclists do not have the right of way at an intersection. Like motorists, bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road. If the light is red, a bicyclist must stop and wait for the light to turn green. If turning, hand signals are required, just as a turn signal would be required on a motorized vehicle. Prior to riding a bicycle, it is important to know that the same rules of the road must be followed. It is important not only for your safety but for the safety of those around you, too.

Even if you were partly at fault for the accident, you can still pursue compensation for the losses you sustained as a result of the accident. Missouri recognizes the legal “comparative negligence” practice which means that if you are 10% liable for an accident, you can still receive compensation minus the 10% you were at fault. It is important to contact a bicycle accident attorney St. Louis immediately to discuss your options further.

Bicycles are non-motorized vehicles meaning they do not qualify under current drinking and driving laws. However, we strongly recommended you do not ride a bike while drinking as you could seriously yourself and others in the process. It is also possible to receive a public intoxication ticket from local law enforcement.

Bicycle Accidents in St. Louis, MO

Bike trips account for less than 1% of all trips in the United States, yet bicyclists are at a greater risk of injury than drivers of motor vehicles, according to the CDC.

Bicycle accidents, especially collisions with vehicles, are common in metropolitan St. Louis and the surrounding areas. The highest concentration of St. Louis bicycle accidents occurs in the downtown area, although a large frequency also occurs near Saint Louis University’s campus and Forest Park.

The high occurrence of bicycle accidents in these areas is likely due to 2 things.

  1. In the downtown area, roadways are often busy with traffic and there is little room for bicyclists to safely ride on the streets and/or sidewalks.
  2. Around the areas of SLU and Forest Park, the sheer number bike riders is higher – a college campus and park offer ample opportunity for bike riding and subsequently more opportunity for bike accidents to occur.

 

Unlike other major cities, St. Louis does not offer an abundance of bicycle lanes, which can be incredibly dangerous for bicyclists. Due to the lack of bike lanes, St. Louis bicyclists are forced to share the road with automobiles, thus causing more collisions with vehicles.

 

St. Louis Bike Accident Statistics

The statistics do not lie – bicycle accidents can be harmful, and potentially fatal, for riders. If you or loved one suffered any personal injuries from a bicycle accident, it is important to contact a St. Louis bicycle accident attorney immediately. The legal team at TorHoerman Law offers a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your options.

Bicycle accident statistics:

  • 818 bike accident deaths occurred in 2014 as a result of a collision with a vehicle.
  • 88% of those killed in bicycle collisions with vehicles are men.
  • $4 billion in an estimated cost of bicycle injuries and deaths occur each year.
  •  In the United States in 2015, there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries.

 

St. Louis Bicycle Laws

To alleviate the risk of danger, it is important to be aware of and follow all guidelines established to keep you safe. State law in Missouri states that bicyclists are not required to wear helmets, but most cities within the state have laws established saying otherwise. In St. Louis County, as well as St. Charles County, anyone under the age of 16 is required to wear a helmet.

The U.S. Government has established safety standards for helmets. A helmet should be certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The most common injury sustained in a bike accident is head trauma, but a helmet could potentially save you from life-threatening head injuries.

While this might be surprising to most motorists, Missouri’s safe passing law states that cyclists can use the road. Bicycles may also ride on sideways unless in a business district or in a busy area, such as downtown St. Louis. However, there are exceptions to the law – cyclists are not permitted to occupy travel lanes of interstate highways and specific areas designated as prohibited by local law.

Bicyclists must stop at red lights, yield to pedestrians, use a turn signal, or in this case, hand signal, when turning, and ride on the right-hand side of the road. Any rules followed by a vehicle should also be followed by a bicyclist. Additionally, brakes are required on all bicycles and reflective lights are required if biking between dusk and dawn. Failure to have either of those can result in fines.

The laws designated by the State of Missouri and the City of St. Louis are designed to keep cyclists safe. As a cyclist, it is important to familiarize yourself with all laws and guidelines prior to riding. The knowledge could potentially save you from a serious St. Louis bike accident.

 

About the Bike St. Louis Organization

Since 2000, the City of St. Louis has been committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for bicyclists. Bike St. Louis is a grassroots organization created to tackle that initiative. Since its inception, Bike St. Louis has worked to accomplish the goal through various “phases” designed to bring more biking resources to the area.

In April 2014, the City of St. Louis voted to enact Phase III of Bike St. Louis. Per the ordinance, approximately 56 miles of existing Bike St. Louis routes were updated and approximately 52 miles of new Bike St. Louis route were created. This was the most recent push to create a safe, reliable city for bicyclists. However, there are more initiatives in the works as the organization is always striving for a safe environment for bicyclists.

For a list of bicycle routes and greenways, visit the Bike St. Louis map.

 

Bicycle Accident Injuries

Injuries are often more substantial when a cyclist is involved because there is less material to protect the cyclist from injury. Unlike a car accident, there is no protective barrier. Typically, the liability of the accident falls on the motor vehicle.

Bicyclists have just as much right to the road as motorists and even must follow the same rules of the road as described above. However, many motorists are either unaware or ignore this fact which can lead to serious St. Louis bike accidents. Accidents involving cyclists often are a result of three things.

  1. The driver of a motor vehicle failed to pay attention to their surroundings, including bicyclists on the road.
  2. Often, motorists think bicyclists are “in their way” rather than realizing that they have to share the road.
  3. Distracted or impaired driving – If a driver is texting while driving or drinking while driving, their inability to drive safely puts cyclists and pedestrians at extreme risk.

 

According to the CDC, most bicyclist deaths occur in urban areas and at non-intersection locations. As a bicyclist, it is important to research the best routes to take and the most dangerous stretches to avoid.

If an accident does occur, it is likely that substantial injuries or death will occur.

 

Common St. Louis Bike Accident Injuries

As mentioned before, accidents involving bicycles often result in serious injuries because the bicyclist is unprotected from the elements. Specific injuries that can be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit can include, but are not limited to:

  • Head and Brain Injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Joint dislocation
  • Severe road rash
  • Spinal cord injuries

 

It is important to call 911 and seek medical attention right away if any injuries do occur. Going to the hospital and seeing a doctor immediately can help to diagnose and treat your injuries. Your well-being and recovery are the most important things after an accident.

 

What to Do After a Bike Accident

Bicycle accidents can be complicated and stressful situations to deal with if you are not prepared. By following a series of steps, you will ensure everything is handled properly and efficiently.

  1. Most importantly, call 911. Medical and law enforcement personnel will arrive on the scene to provide treatment and secure the scene of the accident. Mitigation of your injuries is an early step toward strengthening a potential St. Louis bike accident lawsuit.
  2. Document all evidence. This often includes the names of any individuals involved, insurance information, pictures of the scene, and a timely description of what happened. Pictures and videos are ideal. A police report is often used as evidence, but this can be obtained at a later date, and usually, with the help of your attorney.
  3. Do not admit fault under any circumstance. You will need to provide a description of the accident to any responding law enforcement officers, but it is important to not admit fault as this can later be used against you in a lawsuit. Proving liability is a crucial part of determining the amount of compensation will be awarded.
  4. Call a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You should be assured that your legal representative has your best interest in mind. At TorHoerman Law, our legal team can help you from this step forward.

 

St. Louis Bicycle Accident Lawsuit

Once discovery has concluded and all evidence has been collected, the claim will proceed by filing a lawsuit and negotiating with the other parties involved.

In this case, the St. Louis bike accident lawyer will act on your behalf and communicate with the other parties involved in hopes of agreeing to a settlement. The civil lawsuit process is lengthy and detailed. Most personal injury cases result in settlements as it is often the most efficient way of resolving a lawsuit. If a settlement cannot be agreed on, the case will proceed to trial where a judge or jury will decide the outcome. Trials are less likely to occur, but it is important to note that either is possible in a lawsuit.

 

Hiring a St. Louis Bicycle Accident Lawyer

The decision to hire an attorney to represent you is an important one and should not be taken lightly.

You should seek representation from an experienced St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer with the resources and commitment necessary to ensure the best outcome for your case.

You should feel comfortable asking your potential St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer any questions you deem necessary before hiring them to represent you. Some questions you consider asking can include:

  • What is their experience in bicycle accident litigation?
  • How familiar are they with the St. Louis judicial system?
  • Do they have the firm and resources to represent you?
  • How can they ensure that they are committed to your case?

 

St. Louis Bike Injury Law Firm

The lawyers at TorHoerman Law passionately represent Missouri, specifically, St. Louis and St. Charles County, cyclists who suffered personal injuries. At TorHoerman Law, we operate on a contingency fee basis. Thus, you do not owe any payment until you are compensated. Our St. Louis bike accident law firm specializes in bicycle accident injuries. Bicycle accidents can be harmful to the rider, and as injury advocates, it is our goal to help you recover any damages – physical, emotional, or economic. We help people, and we may be able to help you.

If you were you involved in a bicycle accident, an experienced bicycle accident attorney St. Louis from TorHoerman Law may be able to assist you in your case. Contact our firm today.

 

“Bicycle Safety.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 June 2017, www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/bicycle/index.html.

“Bicycling Safety in St. Louis.” St. Louis MO GOV, Mayor Lyda Krewson, www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/street/streets-sidewalks-traffic/bicycling/biking-basics-in-st-louis.cfm.

“Drivers Guide to Bicycling.” Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, mobikefed.org/sites/default/files/drivers-guide-to-bicycling.pdf.

Hugh, Brent. “Missouri Cities/Counties with Bicycle Helmet Laws.” Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, 28 June 2011, mobikefed.org/2011/06/missouri-citiescounties-bicycle-helmet-laws.

“Missouri State Statutes Regarding Bicycles.” Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, mobikefed.org/files/bicycle-statutes-flyer.pdf.

“Ordinance 69700 Bike St. Louis Phase 3.” St. Louis MO GOV, Mayor Lyda Krewson, www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/city-laws/ordinances/ordinance.cfm?ord=69700.

“Why Is Bicycle Safety so Important?” Hamlin Insurance Agency, 8 Feb. 2016, hamlinagency.com/2016/02/08/bicycle-safety/.

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When I wanted to join the Xarelto class action lawsuit, I chose TorrHoerman Law from a search of a dozen or so law firm websites. I was impressed with the clarity of the information they presented. I gave them a call, and was again impressed, this time with the quality of our interactions.

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