Frequently Asked Questions
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Bicycle Accidents

  1. If I am injured while riding my bicycle, can I sue the driver that hit me?
  2. Who are the parties I can recover damages from for my bicycle accident injuries?
  3. What damages are recoverable in bicycle accident cases?
  4. What are my rights and responsibilities as a bicycle rider?
  5. Are there any special laws that apply to bicyclists?
  6. Can I still bring a lawsuit against the driver if I was doing something I was not supposed to, such as riding on the wrong side Can I still bring a lawsuit against the driver if I was doing something I was not supposed to, such as riding on the wrong side of the street, not wearing a helmet or not having proper lights or reflectors at night?
  7. My child was injured or killed while riding his bicycle. What are our rights?
  8. I was riding my bicycle when I rode over a pothole which threw me off my bike and caused a serious head injury. Do I have a case?
  9. I brought my bicycle in for repairs shortly before my accident. I believe that they improperly repaired my bike, which caused me to lose control of the bicycle and run into a parked car, causing a severe injury. Can I sue the repair shop?
  10. Is there such a thing as a bicycle expert?
  11. Can I be found at fault in my bicycle accident?
  12. Does it make a difference if I hire an attorney for my bicycle accident?
  13. How soon do I need to bring a case after a bicyclist accident?

Questions & Answers

If I am injured while riding my bicycle, can I sue the driver that hit me?
Answer:
Yes, assuming the driver was at fault.

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Who are the parties I can recover damages from for my bicycle accident injuries?
Answer:
  • Negligent drivers of automobiles, buses, or trucks – if the driver caused the accident.
  • Negligent manufacturers or retailers of bicycles, bicycle parts, bicycle accessories and/or vehicles – if a defective product caused the accident.
  • The City, County, or State who maintains the roads – if the accident is caused by a dangerous condition created by an unsafe roadway.
  • Negligent repair shops or mechanics – if the accident was caused by negligent repair of a vehicle or bicycle.
  • Dangerous condition of public or private property – if the accident happened due to negligent design, maintenance, or upkeep of public or private property - including construction, tree trimming, etc.

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What damages are recoverable in bicycle accident cases?
Answer:
Minnesota law provides a bicycle rider with the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle. Therefore, the laws pertaining to bicycle riders fall within the Minnesota Vehicle Code and accident is handled similar to an automobile accident. The Minnesota No-Fault benefits (medical bills & wage loss) can be recovered from the insurer of the automobile provided there is coverage to the automobile involved, as well as damages for future medical treatment and wage loss and past and future pain and suffering.

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What are my rights and responsibilities as a bicycle rider?
Answer:
A person operating a bicycle has the same rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle. Operator must keep to the right, yield to pedestrians; operate the bicycle in the same direction as travel on the roadway.

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Are there any special laws that apply to bicyclists?
Answer:
  • You must not ride two abreast.
  • Only one person should ride the bike unless a baby seat is attached with a harness or seat for more than one rider.
  • Do not operate on sidewalks unless local law permits.
  • Do not be pulled by another vehicle and give the proper signals when turning or stopping.
  • If riding at night the bicycle must be equipped with the proper lights and reflectors.

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Can I still bring a lawsuit against the driver if I was doing something I was not supposed to, such as riding on the wrong side Can I still bring a lawsuit against the driver if I was doing something I was not supposed to, such as riding on the wrong side of the street, not wearing a helmet or not having proper lights or reflectors at night?
Answer:
Yes, but recovery may be limited by the percentage of fault is found against the bicycle rider.

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My child was injured or killed while riding his bicycle. What are our rights?
Answer:
In the event of an accident resulting in an injury, a claim can be made against the at fault party. In the event of an accident resulting in death, a wrongful death action can be brought against the at fault party.

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I was riding my bicycle when I rode over a pothole which threw me off my bike and caused a serious head injury. Do I have a case?
Answer:
Possibly, it would depend on where the pothole was and whether it was created naturally or as a result of someone’s negligence. Some governmental entities have immunity against bringing such claims.

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I brought my bicycle in for repairs shortly before my accident. I believe that they improperly repaired my bike, which caused me to lose control of the bicycle and run into a parked car, causing a severe injury. Can I sue the repair shop?
Answer:
Yes, but you, as the claimant will have the burden of proving that the accident was caused as a direct result of the negligence of the person who did the repairs.

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Is there such a thing as a bicycle expert?
Answer:
Yes, absolutely. There are physicists, engineers, and other specialists who devote their life's work to reconstructing bicycle accident cases, designing bicycles, and determining whether or not a bicycle was improperly manufactured, repaired, or maintained. In any bicycle accident involving a serious injury or death, the plaintiff's attorney should retain such an expert.

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Can I be found at fault in my bicycle accident?
Answer:
Yes, if you violate the law and that is the cause of the accident or if you operate the bicycle in a negligent manner.

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Does it make a difference if I hire an attorney for my bicycle accident?
Answer:
Yes, your attorney will know your rights and can take legal action if required to obtain a fair recovery.

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How soon do I need to bring a case after a bicyclist accident?
Answer:
In the state of Minnesota the statues of limitations is six years or longer if the operator of the bike is a minor (he or she has until the child’s 19th birthday). Three years if death resulted due to the accident. However, it is generally wise to not wait very long to bring a case because evidence will be lost and the case may become more difficult to prove.

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