Anoka Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Bicycle Accidents in Minnesota
When large, heavy motor vehicles collide with smaller, lighter bicycles, the effects are devastating. Even when wearing helmets and other safety gear, bicyclists are simply no match for the sheer size and weight of most motor vehicles. As a result, they tend to sustain catastrophic injuries, life-altering disabilities, and permanent impairments when they are involved in bicycle-vehicle collisions. Sadly, many of these accidents are even fatal.
If you were injured or if someone you love died due to a bicycle accident, you do not have to face the consequences on your own. You could be entitled to financial compensation for your damages, including reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost wages, and physical and mental pain and suffering. At Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm, our Anoka bicycle accident attorneys can help you understand your options and develop a powerful, evidence-based strategy aimed at maximizing your recovery.
Minnesota Bicycle Laws
Anyone who rides a bike in Minnesota should be aware of—and follow—all applicable bicycle laws. These laws are meant to keep you safe when sharing the road with motorists, fellow cyclists, and pedestrians.
Below, we have provided a brief overview of Minnesota’s bicycle laws:
- Bicyclists must follow all the same traffic laws as motorists, including obeying traffic control devices, such as stop signs and red lights
- The only time a bicyclist may ride through an intersection against a red light is when they have stopped and waited a reasonable time, but the sensor does not detect them
- In Minnesota, bicyclists are not required to wear bicycle helmets, but it is strongly recommended, as this is one of the best ways to prevent serious head injuries
- Motorists must keep at least three feet between their vehicles and bicyclists when passing or overtaking bicyclists on the roadway
- Motorists may not drive in designated bicycle lanes or on the shoulder of a roadway when attempting to pass or overtake a bicyclist
- Motorists may not drive in designated bike lanes except to carry out parking maneuvers when parking is permitted, and they may not park in bike lanes except in emergencies
- Bicyclists may use the full lane, but they may not ride between lanes of traffic on any roadway (commonly known as “lane-splitting”)
By following these and other Minnesota bicycle laws, cyclists and motorists can help prevent serious accidents. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the law. If you were involved in an accident with a negligent or reckless motorist, we encourage you to reach out to our team at Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm right away to learn how our Anoka bicycle accident attorneys can help you fight for fair compensation.
Does No-Fault Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?
Minnesota is a no-fault state, meaning all motor vehicle operators are required to have no-fault insurance. Also known as personal injury protection, or PIP, this insurance automatically applies in any car accident, regardless of fault. Injured accident victims may file claims with their own auto insurance providers (rather than the other party’s insurance company) and receive compensation for certain covered losses, such as “reasonable and necessary” medical expenses.
In Minnesota, no-fault insurance typically covers bicycle accidents. This means that, after a bike accident, you can file a claim with your auto insurance company and be compensated for your covered damages. If you do not own a vehicle and are, therefore, not insured, you could still be covered by a family or household member’s no-fault insurance. For example, if your spouse or parent has no-fault auto insurance, you could file a claim under their PIP policy.
However, no-fault insurance does not cover non-economic damages. This means that you cannot recover monetary compensation for the physical and mental pain and suffering you experience as a result of the crash through PIP. Additionally, PIP coverage is limited to $20,000 in most cases. While this may seem like a substantial amount of coverage, an average hospital stay can easily exceed $10,000, or half your PIP coverage. Many bicycle accident victims sustain catastrophic injuries and extensive damages, which can quickly drain available PIP coverage.
Going Outside the No-Fault System
What can you do if your PIP coverage is not enough? What if you don’t have available no-fault insurance?
It may be possible to bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company or even sue the liable party directly. To do this, there are several things you must prove. In Minnesota, you can only go outside the no-fault insurance system if you meet certain requirements.
These requirements include the following:
- You have more than $4,000 in non-diagnostic medical expenses that are reasonable and necessary OR,
- You have suffered a permanent injury, disability, or disfigurement OR,
- You have been disabled for 60 days because of your injuries
If you can establish at least one of these elements, you can seek compensation for damages in excess of your PIP limits from the at-fault party’s insurance company. You may also be entitled to file a third-party personal injury claim against the liable party, depending on the specific details of your case.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicyclists often suffer severe, life-altering injuries when they are involved in accidents with cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. As a result, they typically need emergency medical care and ongoing treatment. In some cases, victims may even require lifelong assistance. Often, they are unable to return to work for weeks, months, or even years. Some may never be able to work again due to permanent injuries and disabilities.
Common injuries resulting from bicycle-vehicle collisions include:
- Broken bones/fractures
- Serious cuts, scrapes, and abrasions
- Road rash, or friction burns
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Back injuries
- Face and eye injuries
- Dental injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
Treating these types of injuries can be painful, time-consuming, and expensive. Victims may never return to their same, pre-accident lives—but that does not mean that they do not deserve to be made whole.
At Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm, our Anoka bicycle accident lawyers fight for fair settlements on behalf of injured bike accident victims and the families of those wrongfully killed. We believe in holding negligent motorists and other parties accountable for the devastation they cause, and we are even prepared to aggressively advocate for you at trial.
There are no legal fees unless/until we win your case! Call (763) 292-2102 or submit a free online case evaluation form today to learn more.