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Mississippi Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Mississippi: Bicyclists in Mississippi have been on unequal footing with cars and trucks on the roadway for too long. Recently changes in the law provide additional protections for bicyclists in Mississippi and have classified bicyclists as a vehicle for the purposes of passing and yielding the right of way. Those who have been injured by a car hitting their bike need to speak with a Mississippi bicycle wreck attorney to protect their claim.


What to do After a Bicycle Wreck – From a Mississippi Bicycle Wreck Attorney

If you are riding a bike and are hit by a car or truck, what should your next steps be? If you come upon the scene of a wreck where a bicycle rider has been injured what should you do?

To effectively share the road with bike riders, drivers should first and foremost respect cyclists’ right to be on the road. Instead of viewing them as a nuisance, drivers should recognize that bikes are a legitimate mode of transportation. By acknowledging and respecting cyclists’ rights to safe travel, drivers can create a safer environment for everyone on the road. Additionally, drivers can enhance road safety for cyclists by familiarizing themselves with the hand signals used by cyclists, especially when turning. Remaining vigilant for cyclists as visibility decreases, such as during dusk or night-time, is crucial for preventing accidents. It is also important for drivers to avoid encroaching on bike lanes and to provide adequate space for cyclists by refraining from tailgating. By implementing these practices, drivers can contribute to a more harmonious and safer sharing of the road with cyclists.

This article seeks to answer these questions and provide a resource that can be printed and taken with you so you will have this information when you need it most.

    • Bicyclists are vulnerable to getting hit by motorists in various situations. These include when motorists attempt to pass bike riders, swerve to avoid hazards on the road, open their car doors without checking for approaching cyclists (resulting in “dooring” incidents), pull out of parking lots or driveways, and make turns. Drivers turning right might encroach too close to the curb, potentially endangering cyclists. Moreover, motor vehicle operators may struggle to see a bicycle’s narrow frame among the numerous distractions at intersections, leaving them at risk of striking a cyclist while making left turns

 

 
As a result, of these dangers in 2010, Mississippi Passed the John Paul Frerer Bicycle Safety Act which can be found at Miss. Code Ann. §63-3-1301. The act provides for several important protections for bicyclists on the highways of Mississippi. Under this law:
  – Bicycles have every right to be on the roads and highways of Mississippi. (excluding the Interstate)

  – Vehicles must leave a safe distance while passing bicycles in the roadway of no less than three (3) feet. [§ 63-3-1309]

   – Against the law to throw items at bicyclists or harass bicyclists.
  – Motorists may not block bicycle lanes with their vehicle.
  – Motorists must ensure they can open the door to their vehicle safely prior to opening it. [Dooring Law]
 
 Additional laws in Mississippi require drivers to stay at the scene and identify themselves after a wreck involving an injury or death.
 

Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-405. Duty of driver involved in accident resulting in injury or death or property damage to give information and render aid; liability for rendering aid.

“The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall give his name, address and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving and shall, upon request and if available, exhibit his operator’s or chauffeur’s license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with.”

 

Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Mississippi

What to do after a Bicycle wreck with a car or truck.

  1. Stay at the scene

    The documentation provided by a police officer is absolutely necessary to make a claim for property damage or personal injury. If you don’t stay at the scene in your vehicle after causing injuries or property damage, you may be cited for a hit and run. (see Mississippi hit and run statute below.)

  2. Get the license plate number of the vehicles involved in the wreck

    This information will be crucial for identifying the parties involved in the incident. An experienced Mississippi bicycle wreck attorney will find this information essential to determining liability and seeking appropriate compensation.

  3. Get your bearings

    It is essential to assess the situation and check on the well-being of everyone involved in the accident. Prioritize the safety of individuals who are injured or in distress, and avoid moving them until medical help arrives.

  4. Call the police

    In accordance with Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-411 (2014), it is important to report any accident involving injuries or property damage exceeding $500. Contacting the local authorities ensures that the incident is properly documented and investigated.

  5. Don’t move the objects

    Preserving the scene of the accident is crucial for the police investigation. Avoid moving vehicles or other objects involved in the wreck to maintain the integrity of the evidence.

  6. Gather information, especially for witnesses

    Collecting contact information from witnesses can provide valuable insights into how the accident occurred. Their unbiased accounts can be instrumental in determining fault and establishing the sequence of events.

  7. Know that anything you say can be used against you in court 

    Some insurance policies have limitations on coverage when drivers admit liability or say the wreck is their fault. Generally it is a bad idea to guess who or what caused the wreck, just state the facts of the wreck as you remember them.

    Trying to explain how a wreck occurred to anyone other than the officer is usually a no-win situation because anything you say or do may be admissible in court as an “admission” or “statement against interest.” People often do not have a perfect memory of what was said but saying nothing about how the wreck occurred will hopefully minimize any issues in court.

  8. Take Photos

    Capturing visual evidence of the accident scene, property damage, injuries, and any relevant details such as skid marks can strengthen your case. Photographs serve as valuable documentation for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

  9. Refer to your insurance policy

    Understanding the coverage provided by your insurance policy is essential for navigating the claims process. Familiarize yourself with the extent of your coverage, including medical payments and uninsured motorist protection.

    You have been paying for insurance coverage, so if the time comes for you to make a claim, you should use your coverage. Medical payment coverage may provide reimbursements for your medical expenses. Your collision coverage may pay for your own property damage, and if you have uninsured motorist coverage (which is very worth it) on your car or vehicle then you may be protected even when the other individuals involved in the wreck do not have insurance.

    Often we hear concerns about insurance rates rising as a result of making a claim. If you are concerned about this please allow us to provide you additional information on this topic.

  10. Understand early settlement offers

    Be careful of immediate settlement offers from an insurance company. Some injuries become more pronounced a few days after the wreck. Many claims are settled with early, very low offers which are likely unable to account for the ongoing issues, lost work, and pain related to your injuries. At the very least, give yourself a period of time to be sure no additional aches or pains emerge.

  11. Read every document that the insurance company asks you to sign

    Make sure you are not releasing your personal injury claim when dealing with your property damage. Sometimes language releasing a personal injury claim creeps into a release for property damage, and those claims could be released forever. 

    For more information on Bicycle claims contact us.

  12. Consider getting a free consultation with a Mississippi Bicycle Accident Lawyer

    A personal injury attorney can explain to you the benefit of being represented in your claim, explain the process, and put your mind at ease. Contact us today. 

Printable Version of these summarized rules: pdf

Jones Law Group

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Mississippi Drivers are required to share the road with bicyclists.

Ensuring the safety of all road users, including bicyclists, is paramount for a smooth and respectful coexistence on our roads. Bicycles have every right to be on the roads and highways of Mississippi, and it is essential for motorists to be mindful of their presence. Remember, vehicles must leave a safe distance of no less than three (3) feet when passing bicycles on the roadway. Additionally, it is against the law to throw items at or harass bicyclists, as such actions can jeopardize their safety. Another important reminder is that motorists should never block bicycle lanes with their vehicles, as these lanes are designated for the safety and convenience of cyclists. Lastly, it is crucial for motorists to ensure they can open the door to their vehicle safely before doing so, to avoid any accidents or collisions with passing bicyclists. By following these guidelines and showing respect for all road users, we can create a safer and more harmonious environment for motorists and bicyclists alike.