Bicycling around Kansas City is a fuel-efficient way to travel short to moderate distances, plus the physical mode of transportation offers health and financial benefits, as well as perks for the environment. Unfortunately, an average of 38 serious injuries involving bicyclists and around four deaths occur in the KC region every year. Kansas City aims to increase the safety of bicyclists through education programs, dedicated bike lanes, and traffic laws to protect these special road users. Cyclists who have suffered injuries in the area can come to Wendt Law Firm P.C. for advice on how to pursue coverage for medical bills, missed work, and other damages. Our bike accident lawyers have decades of experience and a proved track record of success!
In Kansas City, bicycles are “vehicles” by law. They therefore have all the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. Bicyclists may use the roadway to travel when bike lanes do not exist. They may not ride on sidewalks in downtown KC unless they are 12 years old or younger. Motorists must maintain safe traveling distances around bicycles – a minimum of three feet at all times. Most counties in Missouri and Kansas require those under 18 to wear helmets while cycling. Breaking any of the bicycle laws in KC can increase the risks of collisions and serious injuries.
The majority of bike accidents occur because someone broke the law. Roadway laws are in place for the safety of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Breaking the rules opens the door to collisions. When motorists enter crosswalks without the right of way, speed, or engage in unsafe practices such as texting and driving, they risk the lives of everyone else on the roadway. Bicyclists are particularly at risk as vulnerable road users. A collision may cause minor vehicle damage to the motorist but can end the life of the cyclist. It is up to motorists to acknowledge the rights of bicyclists in Kansas and Missouri and to obey the laws.
If a motor vehicle driver breaks the law in any way, resulting in a bicycle collision, he or she may be guilty of negligence per se. In a typical negligence case, the plaintiff has to prove negligence by showing that a reasonable and prudent party would not have done the same thing as the defendant in similar circumstances. In a negligence per se case, the defendant’s negligence is obvious because he or she broke the law. Negligence per se claims are easier to win than typical negligence cases. A Kansas City bike accident lawyer can improve your odds of compensation in either type of claim.
More often than not, bike accidents result in serious injuries. Bicyclists can suffer concussions, traumatic brain damage, crush injuries, internal damage, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. Some injuries may result in permanent disability. Injured bicyclists should not accept insurance settlement offers without first speaking to an attorney. The driver’s insurance company is likely offering less than the case is actually worth. A personal injury claim against the driver, on the other hand, can result in maximum recovery. A lawyer can help with insurance settlement negotiations or a civil claim after a harmful bike collision in KC. Request a free consultation.