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In an area dominated by commercial trucks, vehicles, and traffic, cyclists face congested roads, distracted drivers, and other possible hazards. If you have been injured in a bike accident, call a bike accident lawyer that Salt Lake City, UT trusts from Rasmussen & Miner, who can advise you of your rights and options.
Parking spaces in Salt Lake City may not always be easy to come by, gas is expensive, and cars can cause excess pollution. As a result, cycling has became a worthwhile option for commuters and avid cyclists alike. This proactive movement which is so centered on health, wellness, and sustainability has also come with it’s own challenges. Every year thousands of people are injured while riding a bike and hundreds are killed. In most cases, the cyclist was not at fault. Over the last decade or so, new legislation has been put into place to protect bike riders, but even so, accidents happen. When they do, serious financial loss can occur. A bike accident lawyer from our Salt Lake City, Utah office can help to recover monetary damages for your medical costs, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more.
The Risks of Cycling in Salt Lake City, UT
Drivers have many responsibilities including having to pay attention to other cars, road signs, traffic lights, and pedestrians. It is also common for drivers to be using a phone, changing the radio, applying makeup, eating, or engaging in another form of distraction. Watching out for cyclists may not be a priority. Furthermore, Salt Lake City, UT as a number of poorly maintained roads and reckless, often hostile, drivers. To add to all of the above, a limited number of bikelines, changing weather patterns, and problems with the area’s infrastructure are equally hazardous. These things can be a recipe for disaster and lead to injuries or death. Our Salt Lake City, UT bike accident lawyers have worked with a broad range of cycling victims who have suffered from injuries including:
- Traumatic head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck or back injuries
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
If you have been injured in a bike accident, you should choose a bike accident lawyer who has experience in fighting these types of claims in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rasmussen & Miner has built a reputation as a successful law firm who specializes in personal injury claims including bike accidents. Our firm brings a passion to our work that is not found in many other law firms. This is partly because our lawyers and staff enjoy bike riding.
Our team of bike accident lawyers believes that every person in the Salt Lake City, UT community has the right to safe travel on the roads, whether riding in a car or on a bike. Fighting claims is not only about the desire to seek monetary compensation, but also holding the negligent party responsible for his or her actions, and furthermore, encouraging officials to implement better legislation that protects cyclists. When you choose our experienced Salt Lake City, UT bike accident lawyers, you can expect benefits such as:
- We know the laws related to cycling
- We are insightful, tenacious, and passionate
- We can guide you through the legal process
- We are skilled negotiators
- We work with expert witnesses, professionals, and police to get the facts right
- We are able to maximize the value of a case
- We will be ready to go to trial, if need be
If you have been suffered injury, due to an automobile/bike accident, talking to an experienced bike accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT is an important first step to take in putting your life back together again. You have doubtless suffered severe injuries and are wondering: How do I pay for my medical expenses? How do I recover my lost wages? How can I be compensated for my pain and suffering and even permanent disability?
You Do Have Insurance!
While many people ride bikes to get in shape there is a significant percentage who ride them out of economic necessity. Perhaps you are a student or someone trying to save money. What do you do if you don’t have health insurance? Surprise! If you consult with a knowledgeable bike accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT, he will tell you that you are covered by the person operating the motor vehicle that hit you. Utah statute requires that every driver carry a no-fault policy that covers everyone in his car and every pedestrian or person operating a self-propelled vehicle with medical coverage for the first $3,000.00 of medical expenses associated with the accident. This is the minimum and many times drivers carry higher limits. If you are unfortunate enough to be hit by someone without automobile insurance then you can access coverage under your own auto policy.
Liability and Underinsured Claims
Automobile/bike accidents commonly involve serious injuries. Getting justly compensated is often a dance between many different policies. An experienced bike accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT will tell you that the minimum liability limits are $25,000.00 in the State of Utah. This will usually not be enough to satisfy a bicyclist’s medical bills and injuries. Once the at fault party tenders his entire policy limits you will have the right to use your own automobile insurance’s uninsured or underinsured policy. You shouldn’t feel bad bringing a claim against your own insurance company. Uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle coverage is a separate part of your policy for which you pay a separate premium. A seasoned bike accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT will want to look at your own auto policy to map out a strategy to maximize your settlement.
The Role of Medical Insurance
If you have to use your medical insurance after exhausting the applicable no-fault benefits your medical insurance will invariably expect to be paid back out of any settlement. Medical insurance’s right to be paid back is called subrogation. It is important to note that the right of an insurer to be paid back is not limited to private insurance. If you are covered by government assistance in the form of Medicare or Medicaid and have received medical treatment paid for by one of those programs; arrangements must be made to satisfy their subrogation rights as well. A knowledgeable bike accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT will work to minimize what has to be paid back to maximize your final settlement. Generally both private and governmental insurance will agree to reduce the amount they are owed by the same contingency fee percentage that you paid to hire your attorney. This has the practical effect of having the attorney’s fee you owe for your bike accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT subsidized by your medical insurance.
I was hit by a driver who was on the clock; now what?
Today many people have mobile jobs, or jobs that transition between an office and home. With these flexible schedules, there is an increase of freedom and that has led to difficulty in determining when a person is traveling for work or personal business.
In short, if a person is is traveling at the direction of their employer and you were injured while riding a bicycle at this time, yes, you may be able to recover compensation from the employer. The reality of this question is actually more complicated; therefore, before you assume that you can pursue the employer for liability, you should speak with a bike accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT has to offer.
How You Might Determine Fault
No two bike accident cases are exactly alike. That being said, if the driver of the car that hit your bike was on the clock, you can usually file a claim against the employer. The legal term for this is called the doctrine of respondeat superior. This means that the employer has a responsibility for the actions of all their employees who are working on the clock. In order for this doctrine to be true; thereby, enabling you to hold the employer responsible, you will typically need to prove at least one of the following:
- The employee was engaged in an action or conduct that was asked for or acceptable by the employer;
- The accident occurred during a time that was set by the employer;
- The employee was doing something to serve the employer;
- The employee was not using this time for personal needs;
- The employee was not intoxicated.
If the above does not apply, you may not be able to hold the employer responsible. Of course knowing which of these elements may or may not be true is another story. This is why you will likely want to retain a bike accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT bicyclists trust for further help.
Examples of Respondeat Superior Employer Liability
To help injured cyclists understand respondeat superior liability, please consider these examples that could suggest the employer will be responsible for what happened.
- The driver hit a cyclist while he or she was picking up supplies as requested by the employer
- The driver was delivering goods
- The driver was going from one point to another as part of their employee duties
What might not be grounds for respondeat superior liability include:
- The driving was making an errand for their own personal benefit
- The driver was on their way to work, but had not started working
- Another party stole the driver’s work car and they caused the bike accident
Regardless of whether or not respondeat superior is true for your case, if another person caused you to crash your bicycle, and you were injured, compensation may be available.
Before you assume you do or do not have a case, you should consult a bike accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT can rely on for further advice.
Call Rasmussen & Miner for An Immediate Consultation
Whether you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, it is important to get the help you need, and quickly. Our lawyers are ready to listen to your story and explain to you what your options might be. There is nothing to lose, except a small amount of time. For a consultation with a bike accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, call Rasmussen & Miner today.