If you or a loved one were injured in a bike accident in Wisconsin caused by someone else, you could be entitled to compensation through a bicycle accident lawsuit or claim. However, taking legal action alone can be daunting and time-consuming. Turn to a Wisconsin bicycle accident lawyer from the Schwaba Law Firm for help pursuing the financial relief you deserve.
Andrew Schwaba is dedicated to helping injury victims move forward and rebuild their lives after devastating accidents. Don’t let an accident define your future. Contact Schwaba Law Firm today for a free consultation with an experienced bicycle injury attorney.
What Are the Wisconsin Bicycle Laws?
Despite numerous laws and regulations designed to protect bicyclists in Wisconsin, preventable bicycle crashes happen all too often, many of which are caused by motorists.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 60 percent of bicycle crashes involving adult cyclists result from motorist error, the most common of which involve drivers making left-hand turns into the paths of oncoming bicyclists. Meanwhile, children 5 to 14 account for over half of all bicycle injuries statewide, despite making up only 14 percent of the population.
Some general rules for riding bicycles on the road in Wisconsin include the following:
- Cyclists must ride in a straight line at least 3 feet from the curb, parked vehicles, or debris in or on the curb.
- Cyclists should always ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Sidewalk riding is generally illegal unless the community has passed an ordinance specifically permitting it.
- Cyclists should obey all traffic laws.
State laws are in place to protect bicyclists and other road users. Some of the relevant bicycling laws are as follows:
- Two cyclists on a roadway may ride side by side as long as doing so does not impede the normal traffic flow. Cyclists riding two abreast on a road with two lanes or more should ride in a single lane.
- Motorists should exercise due care when passing bicyclists, leaving at least 3 feet of clearance between themselves and cyclists. Bicyclists passing parked vehicles or those moving in the same direction should also be careful and maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from cars.
- A cyclist riding at night must be on a bicycle equipped with a white front light that can be seen from at least 500 feet, or the cyclist must be wearing a lamp that meets these criteria. The bicycle must also have a red reflector or a lamp emitting a steady or flashing red light on the rear.
What to Do After a Bike Accident
After calling 911 and seeking medical treatment, you should take the following steps after a bike accident to protect yourself and your legal rights:
- Exchange contact information with the driver and any eyewitnesses
- Document the accident scene by taking photos and videos
- Preserve evidence, such as your damaged bicycle and gear
- Keep medical records and bills related to the bike accident
- Consult an experienced Wisconsin bicycle accident attorney
Common Types of Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists often suffer severe injuries from bike accidents because they have little protection from the impact. Some of the most common types of injuries from bicycle accidents include the following:
- Head Injuries – Even with a helmet, a bicyclist hit by a car might suffer a concussion, skull fractures, or a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Facial Injuries – A bicyclist who falls to the ground during a crash might suffer facial fractures, dental injuries, and soft tissue injuries.
- Neck and Spinal Injuries – The sudden force from a bicycle accident can lead to whiplash, cervical fractures, and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis.
- Upper Body Injuries – Injuries to the upper body are common in bicycle accidents, including broken collarbones, shoulder dislocations, and rib fractures.
- Arm and Hand Injuries – A bicyclist who uses their arms to break their fall might suffer fractured wrists, hands, or fingers.
- Lower Body Injuries – Bicyclists who are hit by motor vehicles are prone to pelvic fractures, hip fractures, and leg and knee injuries.
- Road Rash – Contact with the road surface can lead to road rash, which can cause deep tissue damage and scarring.
- Psychological Injuries – Victims of bicycle accidents often have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and emotional distress.
It’s important to note that the severity of injuries can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the accident. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms or suspect an injury, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.