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Albuquerque Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Albuquerque Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Boasting 310 sun-soaked days each year, stunning high desert vistas, and winters that stay relatively gentle, Albuquerque is perfectly suited for cyclists of every skill level. This, when combined with leniency for allowing both cyclists and drivers to share space on our roads, unfortunately, leads to frequent bicycle accidents that can result in serious injuries and significant financial burdens for those involved.

To best navigate the intricate legalities of bicycle accident injury cases and safeguard your legal rights, it is crucial to have a dedicated Albuquerque bicycle accident attorney in your corner.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Albuquerque

There were 241 bicycles involved in car accidents across the state of New Mexico in 2021. Six of these, sadly, were fatal. Another 213 of those crashes resulted in injuries.

According to the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico, 85% of people killed while biking in the state are killed on arterial roadways.

Over half of all bicycle accidents in New Mexico happen in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

Some of the main causes of bicycle accidents in our city include:

  • Inattention: One of the leading causes of bicycle accidents is driver inattention. When drivers fail to stay carefully aware of their surroundings, they can fail to notice or safely share the road with cyclists, resulting in accidents. Distractions like texting or talking on the phone increase these risks significantly.
  • Right of Way Issues: Failure to yield the right of way is another major cause of bicycle accidents. Drivers who ignore rules about yielding to bicyclists, especially at intersections or while making turns, can cause serious accidents.
  • Impairment: Alcohol and drugs also play a role in bicycle accidents, of course. Impaired or intoxicated drivers are more prone to reckless driving behavior, poor concentration, and slower reaction times. Combined, this greatly increases the likelihood of accidents involving both bicycles and other vehicles.
  • Road Conditions: Hazardous road conditions can be a factor in bicycle accidents as well. Neglected roads, poor signage, or malfunctioning traffic signals can spell dangerous situations for cyclists.

It’s crucial that both drivers and bicyclists exercise caution, follow traffic laws, and remain aware of their surroundings.

Bicycle accident injuries in Albuquerque happen for a lot of reasons. Understanding some of the common causes of these accidents can help raise awareness and reduce the risk of accidents in the future.

Riding Bicycles on Sidewalks in Albuquerque

Bicyclists shall not ride upon a sidewalk when there is a wide right lane, bike lane, or bike trail adjacent to the direction of travel, or when signs are posted prohibiting bicycles on the sidewalk, or when within a business district. When riding on a sidewalk, a bicyclist is subject to the laws that apply to pedestrians. – Albuquerque Code of Ordinances, § 8-3-3-15-A

Those on bicycles are generally required to follow the same traffic rules as motor vehicles, but there are specific circumstances where riding on the sidewalk is allowed. While bicyclists are technically not allowed to ride on sidewalks, the law offers a lot of gray areas as to when it’s “not safe to ride on the street.”

It’s also important to note that insurance companies and law enforcement may not always recognize this right or argue against it in a liability issue.

By understanding the laws and regulations regarding riding bicycles on sidewalks in Albuquerque, bicyclists can make informed decisions about their safety and exercise their rights appropriately.

Other cycling-related requirements in New Mexico include:

  • Front White Lamp. Your bicycle should be equipped with a front white lamp that emits light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet.
  • Rear Red Reflector. The back of your bike must have a red reflector that can be seen from a range of fifty to three hundred feet. While a red lamp is an option, the red reflector takes precedence.
  • Audible Device. New Mexico law requires riders to have a bell or another audible device on their bicycles to signal their presence.
  • Functional Brakes. Ensure that your bicycle is equipped with brakes capable of causing the wheels to skid on dry, level, and clean pavement when applied.
  • Passenger Limit. Keep in mind that the number of riders can’t exceed the number of properly fixed seats on the bike. Typically, this means one rider per bicycle.

Types of Injuries Resulting From Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can be severe and life-altering. Understanding the types of injuries that can result from bicycle accidents is important for raising awareness and promoting safety measures.

  • Bone Fractures. The impact of a collision with a motor vehicle or a fall from a bicycle can lead to fractures in various parts of the body. Fractures can range from minor to severe, requiring extensive medical treatment, including surgeries and rehabilitation.
  • Neck and Back Injuries. The sudden impact and force exerted on the neck and back during a collision can cause injuries such as whiplash, herniated discs, or spinal cord damage. These injuries can have long-lasting effects on the victim’s mobility and overall well-being.
  • Brain Injuries. Injuries to the skull and brain are another serious consequence of bicycle accidents, even when the victim is wearing a helmet. The impact of a collision can cause traumatic brain injuries, which can have significant physical, cognitive, and emotional implications. Victims may experience symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and changes in mood and behavior.

Other bicycle accident injuries might include road rash, lacerations, damage to internal organs, and soft tissue injuries. The severity of these injuries will vary depending on the accident, the amount of force involved, etc.

Steps To Take After a Bicycle Accident

The most important thing to do if you’ve been in an accident is to seek immediate medical attention for any injuries you’ve sustained.

Even if an injury seems minor at first, you need to have a medical evaluation to document the extent of your injuries. Also, keep in mind that some of these injuries can significantly worsen over time or lead to other health issues, so this medical documentation could serve as key evidence if you need to pursue a compensation claim.

Of course, it’s also crucial to protect your rights and ensure a smooth legal process, should it become necessary. Prompt action can significantly help improve the outcome of a future bicycle accident claim.

You should also contact the police and report the accident. This creates an official record of the incident, which can be invaluable when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.

While waiting for the police to arrive, if you can, it’s helpful to document the accident scene by taking photographs and gathering any available evidence, such as witness statements and contact information.

This evidence can support your claim and help establish liability.

Once you’ve reported the accident to the police, you’ll need to report it to your insurance company as well and initiate filing a claim.

Taking these steps after a bicycle accident can help protect your rights, establish a strong foundation for a legal case, and increase your chances of getting justice and fair compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.

Hiring an Albuquerque Bicycle Accident Lawyer

It’s important to hire a bicycle accident lawyer who’s experienced in these kinds of cases.

These attorneys understand all the complicated legalities related to bicycle accidents, have experience dealing with the tricky issues that can come up and can provide expert guidance every step of the way.

A bicycle accident lawyer plays a critical role in your recovery. They make sure your rights are protected, they fight for you to get fair compensation, and they make sure that your side of the story is heard in court.

They have the knowledge and skills to properly investigate your accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case to support your claim. Personal injury lawyers also know how to deal with insurance companies. They know the tricks insurance people use to give you less money than you deserve and how to counter them.

Your bicycle accident lawyers are ready to take your case to court, and they have the legal skills to stand up for you in front of a judge.

By hiring an Albuquerque bicycle accident lawyer, you can feel safe and confident knowing that your case is being handled by an expert who’s ready to fight for your rights.

Finding a Reliable Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Albuquerque

It’s important to ensure that you have the best bicycle accident lawyer for your specific case.

Here are a few tips to help you find the lawyer you’re looking for:

Look for a specialist: Find a lawyer who knows a lot about personal injury law and has experience with bicycle accidents. These lawyers really understand the rules and laws that apply to these cases and how to handle any issues that may arise.

Check their experience: It’s a good idea to pick a lawyer who’s dealt with bicycle accident claims and cases successfully. This means they have a better chance of helping you out. You should read your attorney or firm’s case results, as well.

Read reviews: Take a look at what feedback former clients have about the lawyer. This can give you an idea of how good they are and if their past clients were happy with their work.

By doing your research and keeping these things in mind, you can improve your chances of finding your best bicycle accident lawyer in Albuquerque, one who will work hard to help you get justice.

Understanding Comparative Negligence Standards

When there’s a bicycle accident, especially one involving a motor vehicle, the first thing the law looks for is who’s to blame. The scale they use to determine this is something called “comparative negligence.”

This means that when deciding how much money to give as compensation, the law considers how much (what percentage) of the accident’s fault belongs to the driver and how much to the bicyclist. If both made mistakes, the money you get might be less, depending on how much of the fault you’re assigned.

For example, if the cyclist is found to be 20% responsible for the accident, they might get 20% less money than they are requesting (or the judge deems fair). This makes sure that everyone shares the responsibility fairly, depending on how much they contributed to the accident.

It’s important to understand these comparative negligence rules if you’re trying to get compensation for a bicycle accident so that you can make good choices and have realistic expectations about how much money you might receive.

Compensation Available for Bicycle Accident Victims

If you’ve been in a bicycle accident in Albuquerque, you could be eligible for compensation to help you recover from your injuries and losses. It’s important to know what kinds of compensation you can get and how they apply to your situation, as it can help you get a fair settlement or take legal action if needed.

One type of compensation you might get is called “economic damages.”

These are things you can tally up, like medical bills, rehab costs, money you lost from not being able to work, and damage to your belongings. Economic damages are meant to make up for the money you lost because of the accident.

For example, if you required a lot of medical treatment due to your accident, the cost of that treatment would be considered economic damages.

Another type of compensation is “noneconomic damages.”

These are for things you can’t see, like how much pain you’ve suffered or how much your life has changed because of the accident. Noneconomic damages acknowledge the physical and emotional toll the accident has taken on you.

To calculate how much compensation you should get, your lawyer will look at things like how hurt you are, how it’s affected your life, and what might happen in the future. Every case is different, so the amount of compensation you get is going to depend on what happened to you.

If you’ve had a bicycle accident in Albuquerque, it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney.

The experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Barrera Law Group LLC can help make sure you understand your rights and what you can do to get the compensation you deserve. Our lawyers will protect your rights, handle your case professionally, and increase your chances of getting fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Contact us today if you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault.

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