Bicycle riders, like motorcyclists and pedestrians, have little to no protection if they are hit by a car or truck. A bike accident involving a motor vehicle is almost certain to result in an injury to the bicyclist. Thankfully, the most recent annual traffic crash statistics report from the NM Department of Transportation says only 1.3 percent of bicycle accidents in New Mexico during the year were fatal, though 77.4 percent resulted in an injury.
Bicyclists have the right to use public roadways in New Mexico. Cyclists have to follow traffic rules, but motorists and others must yield to them and in general watch out for bicycles just as they must for every other vehicle on the road. When the operator of a car, truck, or motorcycle is negligent and hits a cyclist, the injured bicyclist or his or her family has a right to restitution for injuries and other losses, such as for damage to the bicycle.
Accident attorneys of the Parnall Law firm in Albuquerque work with bicyclists and their families to make things right after bicycle accidents. We help injured cyclists pursue insurance claims for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Through a legal claim, we can also help bicyclists who have been run down by a motorist obtain acknowledgment that they were unjustly injured.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen on Albuquerque, New Mexico Roads?
Bicycling is very popular in New Mexico. In Albuquerque alone, there are over 506 miles of bike lanes, trails, and routes, and the city Parks & Recreation Department’s bicycle education program reaches over 11,000 youths and 2,000 adults each year. Many New Mexico cyclists ride for recreation and for economical transportation and, as is their right, many ride on and alongside our state’s roads.
When a collision between a bike and a motor vehicle happens it is quite likely that the bike rider in the accident is headed to the hospital. It’s also quite likely the motorist was at fault. In its most recent annual traffic crash report, the NM DOT cites the top contributing factors in bicycle accidents:
- Driver inattention (distracted driving) – 28 percent
- Failure to yield right of way – 16 percent
- Bicyclist error – 10 percent
- Alcohol drug involved – 8 percent
- Disregarded traffic signal – 6 percent
- Other improper driving – 4.5 percent
- Ride-share Scooters like Bird and Lime
Additionally, while most bicycle accidents happened during the day (74 percent), half of the fatal bicycle accidents happened at dusk or in the dark of night.
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Cyclists Who Contribute to Accidents Can Still Win Compensation
If you or a loved one of yours was hit by a car and injured while bicycling in Albuquerque or Central New Mexico, you should meet with an accident lawyer from Parnall Law — regardless of the circumstances of the accident. If a bicyclist is not totally at fault for an accident, he or she may still be able to pursue a claim.
For example, 75 percent of fatal bicycle accidents involved alcohol impairment, and 91 percent of bicyclists in alcohol-involved crashes were considered to be impaired, the NM DOT report says.
But bicyclists whose actions contributed to their accident and injury can obtain compensation if the accident was less than 100 percent their fault. Even bicyclists who were drinking may be able to collect damages. This applies to wrongful death claims as well as personal injury lawsuits.
This is because New Mexico civil law adheres to a legal doctrine known as “comparative negligence.” In civil law cases in New Mexico, each person is held responsible for how they contributed to the injury in question. Any compensation awarded (“damages” in legal cases) is reduced according to the amount of blame the jury decides the injured person is responsible for in the accident.
For example, if a jury decides a victim is 75 percent at fault, he or she could still receive 25 percent of the compensation they asked for in their claim.
It should also be understood that underage children in bicycle accidents who were not wearing helmets in violation of NM law can also obtain compensation (through a parents’ claim). The lack of a helmet is not a point of fault because it has no bearing on why the accident happened.
Insurance companies are aware of New Mexico’s comparative negligence laws, of course, so actions of the accident victim and driver are relevant in settlement negotiations, as well.
As your bicycle accident attorneys, Parnall Law can gather evidence about your accident to show what really happened to you. Our objective is to secure solid evidence of how driver error led to your accident and injuries and to reduce the impact of any evidence against you.
Our investigation may lead to evidence from:
- The police report, which might indicate a driver error
- Court records, if the driver was charged with an infraction and convicted
- Witnesses, including your and the driver’s statements, and statements from any other motorists or bystanders who saw the crash
- Security cameras, which may be available and may have recorded the collision
- Driver cell phone records, which could indicate distracted driving
- Credit/debit cards, such as records of takeout food purchases just before the accident, indicating a driver distracted by eating
Do not decide against a bicycle accident claim in Albuquerque or Central New Mexico without consulting a Parnall Law attorney. We’re here to help. We will review your case for free, and any work we do on your case is without cost to you unless we obtain compensation for you.
Parnall Law will treat you with dignity and honesty. If we cannot move forward with a claim for you, we will explain why, and provide you with any advice and assistance we can. If we can move forward, we will do so aggressively for you. When we pursue cases, we intend to win.
We Help Albuquerque Cyclists Injured by Hit-and-Run and Uninsured Motorists
Unfortunately, bicyclists are sometimes run down by motorists who do not stop. It may not be necessary to identify a hit-and-run driver to obtain an insurance settlement for a bicyclist’s injuries and property damage. Parnall Law can assist you if you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident.
You may be insured by uninsured motorist (UM) coverage issued to you or a family member. It provides coverage for harm caused by any uninsured motorist, including hit-and-run drivers since no insurance can be identified. Uninsured motorist coverage may be applied to a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
New Mexico law requires insurance companies to provide UM insurance coverage when automotive liability insurance is purchased. Even if the policy does not name you, coverage may extend to you. Policies often cover additional members of the vehicle owner’s household.
In the end, almost all personal injury and wrongful death claims seek compensation through insurance coverage. However, the insurance company or adjustor is likely to tell you that you are not covered or to offer you a settlement far below what you deserve. Their obligation is to save their employer money. Even “your” insurer does not have your best interests at heart.
As part of a free initial consultation, Parnall Law can review all available insurance policies to determine what coverage applies to you. Then we can fight to get a proper insurance settlement for you. But if you are to realize this kind of positive outcome after a bicycle accident, you will need an experienced New Mexico personal injury attorney on your side.
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Parnall Law Helps Bike Accident Victims Be Heard
We recognize that nothing can make things completely right after you have suffered catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident. But a proper insurance settlement or jury award in a bike accident case makes a statement that what happened to you should never have happened.
A successful personal injury or wrongful death claim under New Mexico civil law provides three outcomes:
- Recognition that you were unjustly harmed
- Compensation that indicates how badly you were harmed, and
- Compensation that ensures you are not financially burdened by the costs and losses associated with the accident, including loss of a loved one in a wrongful death.
A successful claim typically yields compensation for:
- All accident-related medical expenses, past, current and anticipated for the future
- Property damage (in particular, damage to what may be an expensive bicycle)
- Lost income as you recover or if you cannot return to work
- Your pain and suffering, including for the loss of a spouse (loss of consortium)
- Funeral and burial expenses in a wrongful death
In most cases, we are able to negotiate a settlement that meets your needs and approval. A negotiated settlement ends your case sooner and puts money in your hands faster. However, when we are unable to persuade insurers to do the right thing, we are ready to fight in court for you.
The compensation provided by a negotiated settlement or jury decision is how our society says you were wronged and that justice has prevailed for you.
Bert Parnall and the Parnall Law team of accident attorneys have dedicated their careers to seeking that justice for families like yours.
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Parnall Law Albuquerque Bicycle Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help
New Mexico bicyclists who have been injured or families who have lost loved ones because they were hit by a truck, car, or motorcycle have every right to seek justice for the harm they have suffered. Parnall Law accident lawyers can help as you face medical expenses, personal property damage, lost wages, and more, including pain and suffering because of a bicycle accident.
Attorney Bert Parnall understands what you are going through. He has dedicated his legal career to obtaining justice for innocent accident victims. If someone else’s negligence has caused you harm, we can help set your life right again. Parnall Law will fight to hold the negligent and reckless accountable for the wrong they have done.
The Parnall Law team in Albuquerque offers you New Mexico’s most experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys. We act aggressively to secure the most compensation available for your losses and, through the successful resolution of your claim, acknowledgment of the injustice you have suffered.
Contact Parnall Law today to set up a free legal consultation about your or your loved one’s bicycle accident injuries. Our compassionate and determined accident attorneys can investigate and pursue justice for you while you concentrate on your recovery. Like you, we want things made right for you after this unjustified intrusion into your life.
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