Bicycle Accident Lawyer Elliot Olsen | Siegel Brill Injury Law | Bike Accident Attorney

Bicycle Accidents

Minnesota is a bicycling state.

The state ranked as the second-most bicycle-friendly in three of the past four national rankings (2017, 2015, 2014 and 2012) compiled by the League of American Bicyclists. (Note: There was no ranking in 2016, and Minnesota ranked fourth in 2013.)

Even though there are thousands of miles of bicycle trails around the state of Minnesota, bicyclists still must travel on highways, city streets and through busy intersections, making riders vulnerable to accidents.

From 2000 to 2010, accident reports by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety were analyzed and mapped, and data showed that there were three main conclusions of bicycle-motorist crashes:

  1. Most accidents occurred at intersections along major arteries.
  2. Motorists are not seeing or yielding to bicyclists.
  3. Bicyclists are not riding in a predictable manner.

Motorist vs. bicyclist: The loser is…
Bicyclists – always.

An analysis of bicycle-car collisions by Minneapolis’ public works department produced this eye-opening statistic: “Detailed analysis of 800 crash reports from 2006-2008 found that when an injury was sustained, it was always the bicyclist. Motorists sustained injuries in no crashes.”

Cycling deaths on the rise

In a 2017 article in Bicycling magazine, Andrew Dawson wrote that “a new study has found that the cyclist deaths increased at a higher rate than those of drivers, walkers, or any other road user.”

According to a 2015 study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and funded by State Farm, national bicyclist deaths rose by 12.2 percent from 2014, up to 818 from 726. That 818 total represents the highest number of cycling deaths since 1995.

The article went on to state that “an average of 55 additional cyclists have died each year since 2011.”

High cost of accidents

Bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants in motor vehicles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2015, along with those 818 fatalities, there were more than 465,000 bicycle-related injuries.

Those accidents come at a high cost. According to the CDC, data from 2010 show fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion.

Numbers like those illustrate why it is essential to have an experienced bicycle accident attorney.

How to file a lawsuit in a bicycle accident

Have you or a loved one been involved in a bicycle accident involving serious injury or death? If so, you need to contact Elliot Olsen, an experienced bicycle accident attorney.

Elliot has decades of experience representing people harmed in both bicycle accidents and motor vehicle accidents. He has an excellent working knowledge of the types of causes and negligence in bicycle accidents, including:

  • bicycle-motorist collisions
  • pedestrian-caused accidents
  • defective bicycle parts
  • recalled bicycle helmets
  • ineffective bicycle safety equipment.

Elliot can provide answers to your questions. He will know how to identify fault and liability in bicycle accidents, and he can help you and your family begin the healing process.

When should you call Elliot?

You should contact Elliot when your accident includes any or all of the following:

  • physical injury
  • fatalities
  • other significant damage.

How can he help?

Elliot will collect the important information necessary to represent you, such as:

  • driver’s license and insurance information
  • drug-screening results
  • logbook information
  • other necessary details

What is the process?

Elliot will begin by independently investigating the incident, which involves:

Gathering evidence

Elliot will collect pertinent information, such as driver license and insurance information, drug and alcohol screen results, logbooks, etc.

Preserving evidence

Most vehicles have an Electronic Control Module (ECM) that gathers and preserves engine and speed data, which includes: overall average speed; highest speed; time driven; the amount of time driving faster than 65 miles per hour; average RPMs; idling time, etc. Elliot will act immediately to preserve and download this data.

Determining the type of negligence

Elliot will discover if the responsible party knowingly, willingly, or recklessly violated any laws.

Hiring experts

Elliot will hire the right experts for your case. An expert might conduct an accident reconstruction. They also will be able to provide valuable insights into your specific situation.

What kind of compensation can be recovered?

You may be eligible to receive compensation for the following:

  • medical expenses
  • pain and suffering
  • lost wages and lost earning capacity
  • disability
  • loss of companionship
  • special damages
Bicycle Accident Lawyer Elliot Olsen | Siegel Brill Injury Law | Bike Accident Attorney

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What can a cyclist do to avoid an accident?

The risks of serious injury for cyclists can be reduced if cyclists follow these safety recommendations:

  • Wear a properly fitting helmet every time you ride. In 2015, of the 818 cycling fatalities, more than half of those cyclists (440) weren’t wearing a helmet.
  • Stay visible. Use lights when biking at night or in low-light conditions.
  • Ride your bike responsibly and predictably. All states require bicyclists on the roadway to follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists.
  • Ride your bike defensively. Be focused and alert to all traffic around you and anticipate what others might do before they do it.
  • Drive with the flow – that is, in the same direction as traffic.
  • Obey street signs, signals, and road markings, just like a motor vehicle.
  • Assume the other person doesn’t see you, whether that’s a driver or another cyclist.
  • Stay alert for road changes or hazards, such as potholes, grates, train tracks or unusual debris.
  • Avoid distracted biking. Do not text, listen to music or use anything that distracts you by taking your eyes, ears, and mind off the road and traffic.
  • Avoid sidewalk riding. Drivers don’t expect to see fast-moving traffic on a sidewalk, and they don’t look for bikers when backing out of a driveway or turning.
  • Do NOT ride while impaired by alcohol or drugs.