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Bicycle Accidents

We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.

Minneapolis Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Biking is a popular activity in Minneapolis. Whether it’s for transportation, exercise, or leisure, many citizens choose to bike through our city. In fact, Minneapolis is ranked as one of the best cities to bicycle through in America. We’ve taken many safety measures for the bicyclists of our city to feel as safe as possible, so when an accident happens between a motorist and a bicyclist, it can feel extra devastating.

Our Minneapolis bicycle accident lawyer from Madia Law LLC can help you sort through your anguish and injuries and decide the best course of legal action moving forward. With our legal support, you can feel confident that your claim will be strong and that we won’t allow you to settle for less than you deserve. Our experienced team will fight for you and protect your rights.

Biking in Minneapolis

As one of the best cities to ride a bicycle, Minneapolis has 16 miles of bikeways that are protected on the street. This enables bicyclists to safely navigate the city and helps get more people to feel comfortable choosing to ride their bike rather than driving a car or taking the bus. Biking is a clean and efficient way to travel through the city and reduces the amount of traffic and emissions.

On top of the miles of protected bike lanes on the streets, there are many more miles of bike lanes through the city as well. Minneapolis has 98 miles of bike lanes and 101 miles of off-street bikeways and trails for citizens to ride on. Off-street bikeways are the safest option for bicyclists to ensure that they don’t interact with motor vehicles.

While on-street bike lanes are safe to a degree, they still require bicyclists and motorists to exist in the same spaces. If both are vigilant and moving carefully, then they can both make it safely to their destinations. However, if one isn’t paying attention, it can cause a deadly collision.

If you’ve been biking around the city and were hit by a negligent driver, then you could use the help of a Minneapolis bicycle accident lawyer from Madia Law LLC. We’ll help prove that the driver was distracted, drunk, driving recklessly, or engaging in other negligent behavior when they collided with you. Once that’s proven, we’ll be able to determine what you’re owed in damages.

City Bike Laws and Ordinances

If you’ve been in an accident on your bicycle in our city, you might be wondering if there was anything that you did that broke the law that led to your collision. That’s why it’s important to know the city’s bike laws and ordinances. That way, you know what you’re doing is legal and that you are following the protocols to keep yourself safe.

In Minneapolis, bicyclists have the same responsibilities as motorists and must follow all the rules of the road and all traffic signs and signals. They also must move with the flow of traffic and yield to pedestrians who have the right of way. Here are some of the traffic laws that are specific to bicyclists:

  • Must ride on the right of the road except when they are turning left, passing another cyclist or motorist, avoiding hazards, or riding in a bicycle lane.
  • Must signal turns and lane changes with one arm, unless both hands are needed on the handlebars.
  • Should ride single file but can ride side by side if there is enough room on the side of the road and the cyclists don’t impede traffic.
  • Cannot ride on a sidewalk in the business districts.
  • Where they can ride on sidewalks, cyclists must yield to pedestrians and approach intersections slowly and carefully.
  • When stopped at a red light that is changed by the weight of a car, a bicyclist can proceed through the red light if it’s red for an unreasonable amount of time, they believe it’s malfunctioning, and there isn’t any cross traffic.

There are also regulations for the bicycle equipment that you need in order to be following the rules and as safely as possible. Here’s what you need on your bike to ride in Minneapolis:

  • A front and rear light, or rear reflector, at night.
  • Only one person per seat on the bicycle.
  • A rear brake that stops the tire on a dry, level surface.
  • Though you are not required to wear a helmet, you still should wear one for safety.

Even if you followed all of these laws and regulations, you still might have fallen victim to an accident. Motorists aren’t always vigilant and careful around cyclists, and when they cause a collision with you, you shouldn’t have to suffer from the costs. Our Minneapolis bicycle accident attorney will help you recover what you deserve and hold the negligent motorist accountable for their actions.

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Cars are much larger and heavier than bicycles. They also provide more protection for their occupants than bicycles do for cyclists. That’s why accidents between vehicles and bikes can cause catastrophic injuries—a bicyclist is much more vulnerable and exposed when they are crashed into. Here are some of the injuries that bikers can sustain when they’re in a wreck:

  • Bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Road rash
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation

Injuries range from minor to severe when you’re hurt in a bicycle accident. The catastrophic injuries that you could incur from one of these collisions could affect the rest of your life. If severe enough, they could even lead to the victim’s untimely death.

If you’ve been hurt in a crash while on your bike, you could use the help of a bicycle accident lawyer. One of our attorneys in Minneapolis can help you recover compensation for your damages and ensure that you get justice.

Madia Law LLC Is Here to Represent You  

The trauma from a bicycle crash can make you feel vulnerable and you might be intimidated to file a claim against the motorist who hurt you. With the help of a Minneapolis bicycle accident attorney from our firm, you can feel confident in your case and know that you have the support and representation of experienced lawyers.

We’ll fully investigate what happened and use your documentation to calculate exactly how much you’re owed for your injuries and other damages. We won’t let you settle for less than you deserve from your insurance or another party. Reach out to our office today so we can get started with your potential case.

THE MADIA LAW WAY

We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients. 

We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely.  We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case.  We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well.  We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case.  We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial. 

Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward.  Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.

If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit.  Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required.  We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points.  Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims.  A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations.  Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.

Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions.  Not us.  Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity.  We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case.  Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections.  We view this as a wonderful opportunity.  In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on.  We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t.  The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts.  We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny.  Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true.  And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA.  That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.

One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery.  We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery.  This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses.  This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.

This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible.  So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true.  That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes.  We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is.  We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.

The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases.  We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery.  We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.

Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.

After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.

This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries.  We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.  At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct.  As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.

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