For some Wisconsin residents, bicycles are a fun form of exercise and recreation. For others, they serve as an alternative form of transportation with significant economic and environmental benefits. Whether they are riding for transportation or purely for fun, cyclists face significant risk of injury if they are involved in an accident with a car, truck, or other vehicle.
At Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, we understand the dangers that bicyclists may face when riding on streets and roadways. Several members of our staff and legal team are cyclists themselves, and we are committed to protecting the health and well-being of bike riders across Wisconsin. That’s why we give away thousands of helmets every year to children across the state. Since the start of the Bike Helmet Give-away Program, we’ve donated more than 81,500 of these important pieces of safety equipment in order to increase awareness of bike safety.
Nevertheless, even cyclists who are extremely diligent about their safety run the risk of being involved in an accident. If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident caused by another person’s reckless or negligent actions, contact the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at (414) 271-0900.
While injuries resulting from a bicycle accident can vary significantly in terms of severity, they frequently carry considerable consequences for the injured individual. Some of the most common types of bicycle accident injuries include:
Bicyclists who sustain these and other injuries due to another person’s irresponsible actions shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences by themselves.
While no one can fully prevent an accident from happening, there are a number of simple things that can be done to reduce the likelihood that one will occur. The following are some useful tips which can help to improve the safety of all bicyclists:
These are just some of the many ways that cyclists can help to reduce the risks of accident and injury that they face on a daily basis.
The Milwaukee bicycle accident attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® understand that you probably have several questions after a bicycle injury. We have compiled a list of some of the more frequently asked questions and answers. If you don’t see your question here or would like to speak with one of our dedicated attorneys, please complete our online form, chat live, or contact us at (414) 271-0900 to find out more about your legal options. We look forward to assisting you. Visit our homepage to learn more about how we can help you after an injury.
The only city in Wisconsin that has an ordinance requiring a helmet is in Port Washington for children 16 and under. This was enacted at the request of several parents and community support after a tragic child bicyclist crash. The state legislature has considered enactment of a children’s helmet law, but so far has not done so. Although there is no law for the rest of Wisconsin, it is highly recommended for both adults and children to wear a helmet, as brain and head injuries can be prevented, or significantly reduced, by the proper and consistent use of a helmet. Head injury is the most common serious injury in bicycle crashes with motor vehicles.
Increase your visibility to others by wearing bright colors and ensuring you have the appropriate headlights and taillights at night. It is also important to slow down at intersections and make sure that vehicles and pedestrians see your bicycle at those intersections. Be aware of unusual roadway barriers, especially potholes, that are distracters for both you and other vehicle operators. Be aware of seasonal changes, such as fall leaves, as they can be slippery in the early morning and are a hazard. Other distractions such as dogs and loud noises can draw attention from the roadway and lead to a collision.
There are a few stipulations that mean that an accident needs to be reported: death or injury to any party in the course of the accident, or damage equal to or exceeding $1000. If either of these applies to your situation, you must give notice of the collision to the police as soon as it is feasible after a collision. The total damage to property owned by one person means the total of putting the property damaged back to pre-accident condition, or the total cost of property if it is being replaced.
It is best to seek legal counsel regarding these types of crashes. Wisconsin bicycle law states that a motorist passing a bicycle in the same lane is required to give the bicyclist at least three feet of clearance and to maintain that clearance until safely past them. This is not just true for motorists, however. Bicyclists are expected to give the same three-foot consideration to both moving and stationary vehicles.
Local government is responsible for considering whether bicycles are allowed on sidewalks or not, so make sure you know what your local laws regarding the matter are. In most cases, when bicycles are operated on sidewalks, bicyclists must yield to pedestrians and give an audible warning when passing pedestrians that are traveling in the same direction. Bicycle law states that at sidewalk crossings and intersections, like alleys and driveways, a bicyclist on the sidewalk has the same rights and duties as any pedestrian. If you were injured in a collision with a pedestrian, speak to an attorney in detail about the accident to determine who was at fault.
According to Wisconsin bicycle laws, the bicycle is defined as a vehicle. Therefore, the operator of a vehicle is granted the same rights and is subject to the same duties as the driver of any other vehicle. So, it is important for all vehicles to share the road and obey all traffic rules and regulations.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports that operator error—either by the bicyclist, motorist, or pedestrian—is the cause of more than 90% of all crashes involving bicycles. If all vehicles can share the road as well as follow the rules of the roadways, most accidents can be prevented. Other statistics from Wisconsin DOT show:
If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at (414) 271-0900 today to speak with a qualified member of our legal team and discuss the details of your case.