Navigating the legal system is challenging under the best circumstances. If you have been injured in a collision between a bicycle and automobile due to negligence, working with an experienced bicycle accident law firm can help you file a claim and negotiate a settlement that can pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs.
Why Choose RMK Law Firm
The legal system is complex, and the details of each case make it unique. At Ritchie Manning Kautz PLLP, we have more than 40 years of combined experience working with diverse clients, from individuals and small locally owned businesses to Fortune 500 companies. We ensure you receive exceptional, integrated legal services, tailored to your needs.
Bicycling Facts and Statistics
The number of people bicycling in the United States, either as a means of transportation or recreational purposes, continues to increase, going from 43 million in 2016 to 7.5 million in 2017. Despite the growing number of bike lovers, Montana was ranked one of the least bicycle-friendly states in 2019, receiving C and D grades in the following categories:
- Infrastructure & Funding
- Legislation & Enforcement
- Education & Encouragement
- Policies & Programs
- Evaluation & Planning
Montana traffic laws for bicyclists are very similar to those regarding motorists. Following the rules of the road, including focusing on your surroundings and avoiding distracted cycling, can reduce the chances of an accident. Added caution at intersections and driveways as well as riding in a single file when traveling a bike lane alongside automobile traffic is also recommended as drivers of cars often look but do not see cyclists. Montana State Law, 61-8-607, MCA, addresses nighttime bicycle use and specifies:
- Using a strong, white headlight when riding a bicycle at night. They must be visible from a distance of at least 500 feet.
- Adding a red tail light, a front-facing colorless reflector, and colorless or amber pedal reflectors.
- Using tires with reflective sidewalls or reflectors approved by the Montana Department of Transportation mounted on the wheel spokes.
Additional guidelines include:
- Keeping both hands on the handlebars and not carrying items that prevent them from doing so.
- Wearing a bicycle helmet to reduce the severity of head injuries when worn properly.
- Wearing bright-colored clothing to help motorists see you.
- Obeying traffic laws and behaving predictably.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you were injured in a collision between a bicycle and a car, you might have questions about your options. We have selected some of the most common questions with the answers below.
How long do I have to file a claim after a bicycle accident?
The statute of limitations for negligence in Montana is three years from the day of the accident.
How can a Montana bicycle accident attorney prove the driver was at fault?
Your attorney must establish three elements to prove that your injury occurred due to a negligent driver.
- That the driver owes you and other cyclists a reasonable degree of care
- That the driver breached their duty of care. This could be a result of distractions, intoxication, or other circumstances.
- That your injuries and damages suffered are a result of the driver’s failure to uphold their reasonable duty of care.
A Billings bicycle accident lawyer typically takes steps to build a case for their clients by investigating the collision. They find and record eyewitness accounts, get a copy of the police report, take photos of the accident scene and the vehicle damage as well as consult with experts, and review medical records.
Is the driver of a motor vehicle always at fault?
Not all bicycle accidents occur due to the driver of a motor vehicle. A cyclist may also be held liable for causing an accident. Montana is a modified comparative fault state. This means that the settlement amount will be reduced by the percentage that reflects the degree of fault the cyclist carries, as long as it’s less than 51%.
Should I hire a lawyer to represent me after a bicycle accident in Montana?
An experienced bicycle accident law firm has the expertise and skill to help you through the claim process and ensure you get the medical care you need. Their substantial resources enable them to dig into the details of your case and negotiate the most beneficial settlement.
Contact Us Today
If you were injured in a bicycle accident because of a negligent driver, you deserve representation by qualified, experienced attorneys. We provide the personalized service you need at an affordable price. Contact us today for a free consultation. You can also call our office at (406) 601-1400.
Photo Credit: Photographee.eu