Reno is a difficult city to categorize if you are someone who likes to travel by bicycle or just ride for exercise and fresh air. On the one hand, the League of American Bicyclists has previously given Reno a “Bronze” rating for its overall accessibility and friendliness to cyclists. On the other hand, the greater Reno area also recently ranked 18th out of the nation’s 100 highest-population cities in number of fatal bicycle accidents per capita, making it one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike nationwide.

Put all that together, and it should be clear that knowing your rights as a bicyclist should be important for everyone who rides in the area, as should knowing to contact a personal injury attorney sooner rather than later in the event of a serious accident. With a Reno bicycle accident lawyer on your side, you will have far better chances of recovering comprehensively for the harm someone else caused you than you would ever have trying to file suit on your own.

Holding Someone Else Liable for Specific Damages

Whether it happens through a traffic accident, a careless pedestrian, a mechanical problem, or even an untreated pothole, anyone whose reckless or careless failure to live up to a specific “duty of care” directly contributes to causing a bike wreck could be legally liable for ensuing injuries and losses. Even something as seemingly small as a momentary lapse in concentration could serve as equally valid grounds for a lawsuit as an overt violation of traffic regulations, since both actions would qualify as “negligence” under Nevada state law.

Someone found liable for a bicyclist’s injuries and losses based on negligence may be made to pay for both past and future forms of harm that will directly result for the injured person. As a Reno bicycle accident attorney could further explain, this could include both “economic” damages like medical bills and bike replacement costs, and “non-economic” damages like physical pain and psychological trauma.

Getting Around Common Obstacles to Civil Recovery

Bicyclists have the same rights and the same responsibilities as other drivers in Nevada. Cyclists must ride to the right unless they are preparing to turn left or are able to match the speed of traffic. Cyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals and use hand signals for turns and stops.

Rules for motorists encountering cyclists:

  • When passing, you must move into an adjacent lane to the left if possible. If not, you must pass with at least 3 feet of clearance between your car and the bicycle. Safe passing is the motorist’s responsibility. (NRS 484B.270 effective 10/1/2011)
  • Yield to cyclists at intersections as you would for other vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Do not drive or park in designated bicycle lanes or paths unless you are turning or in an emergency.
  • Extend special courtesy and care to inexperienced riders, especially children.

On top of proving that someone else is to blame for their injury, it can also be important for bike accident victims to prove that they themselves were not “negligent” leading up to their wreck. Otherwise, a court could assign them a percentage of “comparative fault” for their own damages and—in accordance with Nevada Revised Statutes §41.141—proportionally reduce the compensation available to them or even deny them compensation altogether.

Furthermore, N.R.S. §11.190 generally allows people hurt through the negligence of others no more than two years after initially sustaining harm to file suit over that injury. Failing to take action before this deadline with or without a lawyer’s help could leave an injured bicyclist in Reno with no legal means of ever seeking compensation for injuries caused by that particular accident.

Work With a Reno Bicycle Accident Attorney for Guidance

Even if you wear a helmet, follow all applicable traffic rules, and generally act as responsibly while riding your bicycle as any person possibly could, you may still end up sustaining life-altering or even life-threatening injuries in a crash caused by someone else’s misconduct. However, if you do get hurt under circumstances such as this, you may be able to recover financially for every loss your accident has caused and will cause you through a personal injury lawsuit or settlement demand.

A qualified Reno bicycle accident lawyer’s assistance can be all but essential to achieving the best possible result from your unique claim and obtaining every cent of the restitution you deserve. Call today to learn more.