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Denver Bicyclists Should Be Aware of the Risk of “Right Hook” Accidents

by | Jan 18, 2022 | Bicycle Accidents

Experienced  COlorado Bicycle Accident Law Firm

Residents of Denver may expect to encounter several bicycles on our roads on any given day, doing so both for exercise and as a mode of transportation. Even though riding bikes and other pedal-powered vehicles is unquestionably healthful, fuel-efficient, and cost-effective, it exposes riders to a great danger of physical damage, which is particularly true for children.

A bicycle accident involving a motor car might result in potentially severe injuries to the biker involved. To prevent being involved in an accident, cyclists should take all reasonable precautions to avoid being engaged in an accident. If they are involved in an accident, they should do all they can to compensate for their injuries.

Several bicycle accidents may occur when automobiles make right turns at junctions, all of which are preventable. It may manifest itself in a variety of ways, as detailed below:

When a biker passes a slower car on the right, the slower car makes a right turn into the bicyclist. Another kind of car collision involving bicyclists occurs on what is known as the “right hook,” which is when a car makes a right turn at an intersection. This occurs regularly!

The car and the motorcycle are both stopped at a red light. When the light changes, the car makes a right turn, cutting off or maybe striking the cyclist (similar to what happens in number 1 above).

The driver of a car passes a bicycle as the two of them approach a junction, and then the driver of the car turns right at the crossroads, cutting the cyclist out of the picture. As a result, while there was more significant space between the car driver and the bike rider, an accident nevertheless occurred.

In most of the three scenarios described above, the car will be at blame or legally culpable for the accident. However, regardless of who is to blame, a rider may take steps to lessen the likelihood of being involved in a bike accident. As you approach the crossing, you may alter your lane position by riding closer to the car lane or by occupying the whole right lane as you cross it. Because the car driver is in a better position to negotiate the right turn, the load is transferred to them.

You should always be prepared to stop immediately if a car cuts you off when bicycling; this is particularly true near junctions! Even while this may anger car drivers behind you, it is legal, and it may help you stand out so you can be seen! When approaching an intersection, use a mirror to maintain a good lookout, swivel your head often, and check your mirror as you approach it.

At crossroads and driveways, you should never pass another car on the right. This is a major no- no since it may be quite risky for you, the biker, to do so. Either slow down to match the car’s speed or move to the left lane and pass on the left side of the highway. When approaching a car from behind or while waiting at a traffic signal, you should avoid being in the car’s blind area.

It would help if you also considered crossing at a crosswalk — but keep in mind that riding into the crosswalk from the sidewalk puts you at danger of getting struck by automobiles turning left or right, who will not be expecting a bicycle to enter the crosswalk from the sidewalk abruptly. Make use of your common sense in this situation. By walking your bike across the crosswalk as if you were a pedestrian, you may lessen your chances of getting stuck in the crosswalk.

I have seen bikers doing this when I am driving, and I feel it is safer for them.

Warrior Bicycle Accident Lawyers, may be reached at 719-300-1100 if you need to speak with a Denver bicycle accident attorney right now.

What is a right hook accident, and how does it happen?

According to the National Highway Road Safety Administration (NHTSA),[1] 48,000 pedal cyclists were wounded in traffic accidents in 2013. Specifically, right hook accidents occur when a car driving in the same direction as a bike turns right at an intersection and collides with the bicyclist.

These accidents may occur when a car directly strikes a bicycle or when a car drives into the cyclist’s path in such a manner that the cyclist is struck by the car. Typically, right hook accidents occur when a bike is going in the far right section of the right lane and goes unobserved by other automobiles utilizing the same lane as the bicyclist.

Who is to blame when a right hook accident occurs?

A right hook injury may be quite intricate, which is one of the reasons why victims should always employ the services of an expert attorney. Assuming the car that made the right turn did not see the bike and drove straight into them, the motorist would certainly have some responsibility. Similarly, if the car were to turn so that it was impossible to prevent a collision, the same would apply.

As an alternative, if the driver turned with plenty of space and the biker failed to detect the car, the person riding the bike may be held responsible. In many circumstances, the most important consideration is the length of time that elapsed between the car overtaking the bike and making the right turn that resulted in the collision.

What kind of injuries may develop as a result of a right hook collision?

Bicyclists may experience life-threatening injuries in right hook accidents, which can result in paralysis. These injuries may result in medical consequences that might last for many years after the accident in certain situations. When a biker is struck by a car and falls to the pavement on the other side of the road, this holds in particular. The following are some of the most prevalent injuries that occur as a result of right hook accidents:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) — TBIs are a significant sort of damage that may have long-term consequences for the brain’s ability to function. In difficult situations, victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI) might suffer long-term impairments, including difficulties speaking and comprehending, coordination, emotional disorders, and memory problems.

Spinal cord injuries – Spinal cord injuries, also known as SCIs, occur when trauma damages the spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body.

Traumatic brain injury – Traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, occurs when trauma damages the brain. In difficult situations, a spinal cord injury (SCI) may result in full paralysis below the point of damage.

Broken bones – Bone fractures have the potential to be highly painful and to result in disfigurement as well as other significant medical problems, including amputation.

The Importance of Liability

The ultimate objective of safe riding is to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. On the other hand, cyclists who break right-of-way regulations may suffer an additional hardship if an accident happens, in which case they may be held to be at blame.

This implies that if the driver is injured or the car is damaged, the biker may be subject to a personal injury claim. In addition, if the cyclist is injured, they may be unable to obtain damages for injuries, medical bills, lost income, or pain and suffering if the accident occurs.

Make contact with a Denver bicycle accident attorney now to arrange for a free consultation and case review.

The immediate consultation with an attorney should be sought by anybody involved in a right hook accident or any other form of a bicycle accident. The majority of the time, persons injured in bicycle accidents are entitled to considerable financial compensation for the losses they experience, which may include medical expenditures, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and mental pain and suffering, among other things.

The help of an expert attorney may often have a significant influence on the amount of compensation that victims collect. Therefore it is critical to get legal advice as quickly as possible after suffering a personal injury.

Because of the negligence and recklessness of others, the Colorado bicycle accident attorneys at Warrior Bicycle Accident Lawyers, have been representing victims who have been harmed in bicycle accidents since 2014. To set up a free consultation with one of our lawyers, please call our office at 719-300-1100 or submit an email using our online contact form.

Introduction

Bicycling is thriving—both as a recreational activity and, more lately, as a mode of transportation. According to the League of American Bicyclists, the number of persons in the United States who commonly travel by bicycle climbed 39 percent between 2000 and 2010. In the 70 major cities in the United States, the proportion of regular bicycle commuters climbed by 63 percent over the same time.

According to a survey done by the United States Department of Transportation, around 66% of cyclists ride mainly on public roadways rather than on bike routes, trails, or sidewalks.

This implies that more bikes are now coexisting alongside motor cars on public streets. It is more critical than ever for ALL Colorado cyclists to be aware of and understand the regulations that pertain to them before heading out for a ride.

Colorado Bicycle Laws

Numerous state and local municipal rules, regulations, and ordinances specifically address bicycle operations on Colorado’s roadways, sidewalks, and walkways. If your town is not mentioned, please contact us, and we will help you obtain the applicable ordinance.

This guidebook will concentrate on the Colorado Revised Statutes, which apply across the state and have been adopted by most towns. A violation of a Colorado Revised Statute is classified as a traffic infraction, which is a non-criminal violation of a law that carries only a fine.

First, bicycles have an absolute right to use public roads and an obligation to obey all traffic laws and signage just as if they were motor vehicles. The Colorado Revised Statutes make it very apparent that anybody riding a bicycle on a highway has all of the same rights and is subject to the same responsibilities as any other car driver. (Section 42-4-1412(1) of the C.R.S.). However, bikers must adhere to extra laws while riding on public streets.

Cyclists Must Ride a Reasonable Distance From The Appropriate Curb

If a cyclist is traveling slower than the legal speed limit, they must ride as near the right-hand curb or edge of the road as possible. 42-4-1412(5) (C.R.S. 42-4-1412(5)). When available, bicycles may also ride on the paved right shoulder. However, this regulation acknowledges five (5) exceptions or instances in which a bicycle is not required to ride as near to the right- hand curb or roadside as possible:

When passing another bicycle or car traveling in the same direction.

When ready to make a left turn

When conditions make the right hand edge of the roadway dangerous or unreasonably dangerous for bicycle users, including but not limited to the following: – Surface hazards (i.e., potholes or ruts in the pavement); – Uneven roadway surface; – Drain openings; – Debris; – Parked or moving vehicles or bicycles; – Pedestrians; – Other obstacles; or – The lane is too narrow to allow a car to overtake safely

When riding a bicycle in a lane where traffic is turning right but the rider plans to continue straight through the junction;

When traveling on a one-way street or highway with two (2) or more lanes. Additionally, the cyclist may ride as near to the left curb or edge of the highway as possible in this case.

Restrictions on Riding Two (2) Bicycles Abreast Cyclists are permitted to ride two (2) bicycles abreast, provided they do not obstruct or disturb the usual traffic flow. (Section 42-4- 1412(6) of the C.R.S.).

The Use Of Lighting

If a cyclist rides between sunset and morning, he or she must wear lights. The legislation mandates that a bicycle’s light system has at the very least a white light visible from five hundred (500) feet in front and a red reflector visible from all distances between one hundred

(100) feet and six hundred (600) feet when immediately in front of permitted low beam headlights. (42-4-221) (C.R.S. 42-4-221)

Hand Signals Are Used.

For every 100 feet, a bicycle must signal to turn or halt. The following hand signals are used: a left turn is indicated by extending his/her left hand and arm horizontally; a right turn is indicated by extending his/her left hand and arm upward or by extending his/her right hand and arm horizontally, and a stop or decrease in speed is indicated by extending his/her hand and arm downward. (C.R.S. 42-4-1412(9)).

Helmets Are Not Required, Nor Are Cell Phones.

As strange as this may seem, we do get inquiries on these matters. Colorado bikers are not required to wear helmets or refrain from using mobile phones while riding. Hopefully, regardless of whether official legislation is enacted, the majority of riders will consider this as a common-sense problem.

What To Do Following A Motorcycle Accident

If you are engaged in a motorcycle collision with a car or driver, it is critical to take specific precautions to safeguard yourself and others. Among these stages are the following:

Contact the police and request that a traffic accident report be generated.

Photograph the scene, the bike, and the car.

Obtain the name, address, driver’s license number, and license plate number of the car owner or motorist. Additionally, it is beneficial to take note of the car’s brand, model, and color.

Obtain the witnesses’ names, addresses, and telephone numbers.

Seek medical assistance immediately if you experience any injuries as a result of the bike accident. Often, whether due to adrenaline or the nature of an accident, riders are unaware of the severity of an injury.

Your health comes first. As a result, if you have been wounded in an accident, do not hesitate to contact emergency medical services or have a friend or family member transport you to the hospital.

Retain your damaged bicycle, clothes, and other personal belongings. Not only are you entitled to compensation from the at-fault motorist for damage to these things, but they will also assist your lawyer in explaining to the insurance company or jury the gravity of the accident if you choose to take legal action.

Seek prompt legal counsel from a competent attorney. A lawyer with expertise in litigating bicycle accident cases can often advise you of critical legal rights during the first

conversation and warn you of concerns you should be aware of if the motorist’s insurance company contacts you. Additionally, it is critical to preserve evidence or retain an expert witness before the evidence starts to deteriorate in many instances. As a result, contacting an attorney as soon as possible following an accident is critical.

Never make a statement to the car owner or the motorist’s insurance company without the presence of legal counsel. A statement is not required by law. In countless instances, we have seen individuals provide statements to the insurance company under the belief that the adjuster or investigator was “attempting to assist” them, only to have the statement utilized against the injured party at a later date.

The Critical Role Of Insurance In A Cycling Accident

This is critical, and we wish every biker could read it before getting on their bike.

When an car collides with cycling, the rider is always the loser. Unfortunately, you will suffer much more serious injuries than if you were riding in a car. It is critical to ensure that you have the appropriate kinds and amounts of insurance in place before anything like this occurs to you. Every cyclist is highly advised to get the following forms of insurance:

Car Insurance: Yes, your car insurance will cover you if you are injured in a collision with another car while riding your bike. Two forms of insurance are critical to have in place before an accident.

Medical Payments: This form of coverage pays a certain amount toward medical bills (often between $5,000.00 and $25,000.00) if you are struck by an car while riding your bike. If you do not have enough health insurance, ensure that your motor insurance policy includes as much Medical Payments coverage as feasible. We suggest purchasing medical payments coverage of at least $10,000.00.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage: This sort of insurance pays for your damages if the individual who struck you did not have insurance or did not have enough insurance to cover your losses completely.

We suggest purchasing a minimum of $100,000.00 in UM/UIM coverage, and we carry $250,000.00 for ourselves and family members. The reality is that a cyclist’s damages might easily exceed $100,000.00 after an accident, but the lowest necessary limits for a car driver are just $25,000.00. This form of insurance may help pay the difference.

Health Insurance: Every motorcyclist needs to have adequate health insurance coverage to cover medical expenditures immediately after an accident. The driver’s insurance company will not pay for any of your medical treatment until the conclusion of your lawsuit, and most medical clinics and hospitals will refuse to see you if you do not have health insurance to cover their costs.

Disability Insurance: We’ve discovered that most bikers miss work due to their injuries. This may have a severe effect on their fortunes in many circumstances. If you cannot spend many months without a paycheck, consider short-term disability insurance coverage that would replace a portion of your income during this period.

Free Consultation

If you have been harmed due to a motor car collision, you must obtain aid from an attorney who is familiar with these laws and has successfully battled similar cases in the past.

We are more than attorneys who also ride bicycles. We have decades of combined expertise defending injured cyclists and are engaged in pushing for cyclists’ rights on local and national levels.

If you, a family member, or a friend need legal assistance or just have a question, please contact the Warrior Car Accident Lawyers office at 719-300-1100 or by email.

For the most up-to-date information on laws and legislation affecting bikers’ rights, please visit the law firm’s dedicated biking website and blog.

Warrior Car Accident Lawyers

1902 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 100

Colorado Springs, CO 80904

719-300-1100

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