Equipment Failure and Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can have multiple causes: difficult terrain is among the most common, but also equipment failure, and motor vehicle interference or collision. Injuries from these accidents range from minor cuts and scrapes to traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and even death. No matter the cause or severity of your accident, if you have been injured and need medical attention you may also be able to receive a settlement from a personal injury or product liability lawsuit.

Cyclists commonly take risks by the very act of riding a bike. Whether you are a commuter riding on the roads, a professional racing cyclist, weekend warrior cardio guru, or a mountain biker braving the trails of New Mexico, you have probably had your fair share of spills and road rash. Sometimes injurious bicycle accidents are caused by a third party either directly or indirectly; in such cases, seeking help is the right thing to do. Even the most skilled athlete can be involved in an accident, so don’t let your injured pride stop you.

It is always important to wear a helmet while cycling. You trust that your gear will protect you, and perform the way it is supposed to. But what if your equipment fails? Equipment failures can cause serious injuries, and include events such as:

  • Brake failure

  • Chain malfunction or breakage

  • Bicycle frame failure

  • Pedal and clip malfunction

You need someone with experience dealing with large corporations and legal issues to be on your side. Your equipment should protect you, not cause or magnify an accident.

Bicycle Accidents with Other Vehicles

Drivers are conditioned to look for other vehicles but do not always think to look for a bicycle. The laws about operating a bicycle state that it should be driven on the road in the same direction as traffic, or on a specified bike path. But the road can be a dangerous place. Even if the driver of the vehicle was not paying attention or did not see you, they have some responsibility to avoid cyclists. Auto insurance makes provision for bicycle accidents so don’t be afraid to get help.

Bicycle accidents involving a collision with a motor vehicle can be fatal to a cyclist and it is critical to seek medical attention for potential long-term effects. Even if you don’t think your injuries are significant at the time, after the adrenaline wears off you may notice additional and possibly serious injuries including:

  • Concussion

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Neurological problems or memory loss

  • Spinal injury

  • Chronic pain

A Bicycle Accident Settlement

Without legal assistance you may get stuck paying for medical care out of your own pocket. Victims of bicycle accidents may need:

  • Emergency room visits

  • Continued medical treatment and tests

  • Medication

  • Rehabilitation or hospitalization

What Are the New Mexico Helmet Laws?

There is no federal law about helmet use while riding motorcycles; rather, each state establishes its own requirements. New Mexico’s law is relatively simple:

  • Motorcycle riders under age 18 must wear a helmet

  • Passengers are included under the law

  • Helmets must meet the state’s predetermined requirements

  • When selling a motorcycle to a minor, the seller must confirm that the buyer owns an approved helmet

If a motorcycle rider or passenger is age 18 or older, he does not have to wear a helmet. Of course, it is a good idea to wear a helmet and other safety features for protection while riding, but New Mexico state law does not require it. If a motorcyclist suffers injury or death in an accident, an insurance company may not refuse to pay because he was not wearing a helmet.

What the New Mexico Helmet Law Means

In states with strict helmet laws, insurance companies may try to claim that, because a rider was disregarding his own safety by neglecting to wear a helmet, he partially contributed to his own injuries. In New Mexico, however, this strategy does not apply. In fact, the legal code stipulates that, even if a minor is not wearing a helmet, he should not be considered guilty of “contributory negligence.”

  • New Mexico drivers must take extra care to avoid colliding with motorcyclists because they may not be wearing helmets.

  • Many biking injuries in the state are more serious than they would be if helmets were required.

  • Riders and passengers under age 18 must wear an approved helmet in order to do everything possible to protect themselves in the event of an accident.

After a Motorcycle Accident

Whether or not a rider wears a helmet, a collision with another vehicle is usually disastrous. There are several disadvantages that motorcyclists have on the roads:

  • Lack of doors, windows, and walls to protect the rider during an accident

  • Small size of motorcycle makes it hard for drivers to see when changing lanes

  • Prejudice against motorcycling causes some drivers to act aggressively around bikers

  • Falling off a bike and coming in contact with the road is likely to cause serious injury, whether or not the rider is wearing a helmet

Drunk Driving Victims in the U.S.

Drunk driving is a major cause of injury and death on the roadways of the United States, including here in New Mexico. Despite the efforts of many non-profit groups and government agencies at the local, state, and national levels, driving under the influence of alcohol (and drugs) continues to threaten innocent drivers and pedestrians every day.

Adding to the pain of DUI incidents is the fact that not all of these innocent victims get financial compensation to help pay for recovery from their injuries.

  • If a defense lawyer gets the case against a drunk driver dropped, it may be very difficult for the victim to obtain compensation.

  • Even if convicted of DUI, a separate lawsuit is needed to win compensation for the victim.

  • An initial offer from the drunk driver’s insurance company is usually far too low to cover recovery costs fully.

  • Inexperienced or discount lawyers are easily defeated by well-funded insurance companies.

The Next Step for Drunk Driving Victims

When someone chooses to drive drunk, he acts negligently toward everyone around him. Here are just a few examples of the kind of damage that is possible due to this careless behavior:

  • Damage to personal property (vehicles, houses, commercial buildings)

  • Emotional trauma for victims

  • Physical injury, often permanent in nature

  • Wrongful death

Following a drunk driving accident, you may not even be aware of the costs that lay ahead of you. Medical bills and lost wages are only the most obvious expenses that victims have. If your injuries are permanent, you may need lifelong assistance in the form of prosthetics, medical equipment, or professional care.

Don’t take chances with your future security—get the help of a personal injury attorney who has experience handling cases like yours under New Mexico law. At Killian Davis Richter & Mayle, we have the expertise to accurately estimate your total financial need and present it to the insurance company responsible for paying you.

Justice for Drunk Driving Victims

The worse your injuries are, and the more careless a drunk driver’s actions were, the more emotionally charged all parties will be. A good personal injury lawyer knows how to:

  • Assemble enough evidence and testimony to conclusively prove your innocence and the drunk driver’s responsibility

  • Oppose attempts to avoid paying you because of legal loopholes

  • Keep negotiations on a professional level, insisting on fair, just treatment for you as the victim

  • Present a thorough case to the court if a settlement cannot be reached