St. Louis Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Do you need a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer? Motorists frequently fail to watch for bicycles, and often they do not follow the rules enacted to keep bicyclists safe on the roads. As a result, bicycle accidents become a common yet unfortunate occurrence. When an unprotected cyclist collides with a car, truck, or other vehicle, the damages may be catastrophic.

If you suffered injuries in a bicycle collision, it may be worthwhile to consult a knowledgeable St. Louis County bicycle accident lawyer. Depending upon the circumstances of your accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your damages. To find out more about obtaining payment for your damages, schedule a consultation today with a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer.

Bicycle Culture in St. Louis

With its scenic views and historic landmarks, St. Louis is one of the premier cities for bicycling. Many St. Louis residents are ditching their vehicles and opting to ride their bike instead. However, this makes the city prone to various bicycle accidents, which can lead to significant injury. In fact, nationwide, almost 50,000 bikers were seriously injured in accidents involving motor vehicles, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These statistics are quite staggering and make the need for an experienced St. Louis bicycle accident attorney that much more prevalent.

Depending on the severity of the accident, some victims could have severe complications that could significantly impact their quality of life. Furthermore, mounting medical expenses can cause extra strain for victims of bicycle accidents in St. Louis, even though they were not at fault. With a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer, it’s possible to recover these damages and get your life back.

st louis bicycle accident lawyer

The Bike St. Loius Organization

For two decades now, St. Louis has been striving to become a welcoming city for bicyclists; therefore, the grassroots Bike St. Louis organization was formed. Bike St. Loius was designed to attract more resources throughout the city for cyclists. One of the organization’s milestones came in April 2014, when 56 miles of bike routes were updated, and 52 new miles of bike routes were added to the network.

What Risks Do Bicyclists Face In St. Louis?

Bicycling throughout St. Louis has become one of the premier modes of transportation for getting around the city. However, bicyclists often share the road with motor vehicles, creating a hotspot for accidents throughout the city. This can pose significant injury risk or even death to the cyclist if they are involved in an accident. According to the National Safety Council,  of the 1,230 bicyclist deaths in 2021, 853 involved a motor vehicle. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, our St. Louis bicycle accident lawyers are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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Hazards to Cyclists In St. Louis

There are quite a few hazards that cyclists in St. Louis must be aware of. Most cyclist do not travel on the sidewalk; rather, they use the roadways to get to their destination. Depending on the roadway, some are marked with bike lanes to keep motor vehicles and cyclists separate. However, in most parts of the city, cyclists traverse the roadways with cars and trucks.

Bicyclists who traverse the city using the roadways are put at increased risk of serious injury or death in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle. Some of the hazards include:

  • Parked Cars- Although you might not see it as a hazard at first glance, a parked car can pose a significant risk to cyclists throughout the city. Some of the hazards include individuals opening their doors in the path of a cyclist. If the cyclist cannot react in time, they might not avoid impact. Furthermore, if they do react, they could swerve into oncoming traffic, posing a risk of severe injury to the cyclist.
  • Crowded City Streets- If you have been living in St. Louis for some time, you know how busy the roadways can get, especially during rush hour. Motorists might attempt risky maneuvers to avoid traffic, potentially impeding a bicyclist’s right of way. This makes it extremely difficult for the cyclist to avoid an accident and puts them at an added risk of injury.
  • Not Respecting Cyclists- Unfortunately, many motor vehicles do not respect the bicyclist’s right of way, therefore, they often cross into the bike lane to get ahead in traffic, causing potential injury to a bicyclist. The risk becomes especially prevalent during adverse weather conditions or during nighttime hours.
  • Bicycle Speed- Because cyclists in St. Louis travel much slower than motor vehicles, this can lead to impatient motorists attempting to pass them without regard for their safety or well-being. As a St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer, this seems to be one of the most common types of incidents.
  • Riding in Groups- If you are an avid cyclist, you know that it is common to ride in large groups. Although one might think this would improve overall awareness of the cyclists, if one cyclist has an accident with a motor vehicle, it can cause the riders behind them to crash as well, causing significant injury or even death to the unsuspecting cyclist.
  • Road Debris- Debris in the road is a common cause of injury for cyclists, as small debris on the roadway can cause an incident. Debris, such as rocks or cracks in the road, could cause a cyclist to lose control. This could result in the rider either falling from their bike or causing them to swerve into traffic.
  • Adverse Elements- The weather in St. Louis can be unpredictable at times and could pose a significant risk to cyclists, resulting in a bicycle accident. Conditions such as wet roads, snow, and other weather-related elements can cause reduced visibility, lost traction, and one of the most common, motor vehicles not noticing the cyclist until it’s too late.

Have you been involved in a bicycle accident? Our St. Louis bicycle accident lawyers are here to help! We can help you recover the compensation you deserve and ensure you have the best representation possible.

What Causes The Most Bicycle Accidents in St. Louis?

There are some staggering statistics showing the mortality rate of cyclists in the United States, and most of them have a common theme: they involve incidents with motor vehicles. Many of these incidents result from distracted drivers or those who do not respect bicyclists’ right of way. This can result in deadly consequences for the bicyclist. Some of the most common mistakes made by motor vehicles in this case include:

  • Distracted Drivers- It only takes a second for tragedy to occur. Drivers who look away from the road for even a glance are at risk of hitting a cyclist. Because cyclists are more difficult to spot than motor vehicles, they might not be aware of their presence and strike them while crossing an intersection, for example.
  • Drunk Driving- Unfortunately, many drivers make the terrible decision to drink and drive. Although they are certainly a risk to everyone, cyclists are put at an even greater risk due to their vulnerability. This could result in a serious accident that could alter the cyclist’s life forever.
  • Impatient Drivers- Due to their slower speeds, many motorists will become impatient with cyclists and attempt risky maneuvers to pass them. This could result in an incident with a cyclist with deadly consequences.

St. Louis Bicycle Accident Statistics

It is unfortunate that bicycle accidents are actually quite common throughout St. Louis. According to St., this is how common bicycle accidents are throughout the city:

  • Throughout the country in the year 2015, there were a staggering 467,000 bicycle-related injuries
  • 88% of fatal bicycle accidents are men
  • On average, the cost of bicycle injuries has skyrocketed to $ 4 billion nationwide
  • Over 800 bicycle-related injuries occur annually.

“Tyson is professional, committed, friendly and explains everything well. They allowed me to reflect on the alternatives and fully advised me of my rights. They also gave me time to decide whether or not to hire them. I really felt I was in good hands when they held my case and I proved it right! They reached a favorable outcome that allowed me to be at home with my kids.” – Emily J.

What Injuries are Sustained in a St. Louis Bicycle Crash?

Cyclists who have a run-in with a motor vehicle often sustain serious injuries, even if they are wearing their protective gear, such as a helmet, which is required by law. However, due to the nature of a motor vehicle vs. cyclist collision, the cyclist will still likely incur significant injury. Some of the most common injuries incurred during a bicycle accident include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury- Even if the rider is wearing a helmet, traumatic brain injury could still occur. This is one of the most dangerous injuries, as it can affect motor skills and other important functions that you need to have a high quality of life.
  • Spinal Cord Injury- Spinal cord injuries are especially life-altering. Injuries such as a broken back or neck can be a lifelong challenge for those involved in bicycle accidents. This often occurs when bicyclists are struck by a vehicle, as the forces at play during impact are immense.
  • Abrasion- Abrasion, or road rash, occurs when a cyclist falls from their bike onto the road and scrapes their skin. These are some of the most common types of injuries in bicycle accidents, and can be one of the most painful.
  • Broken Bones- If a bicyclist falls from their bike, it is a natural response to brace themselves for impact before hitting the ground. However, this could result in broken bones, fractures, and other serious injuries.
  • Damage to Internal Organs- Internal injuries are also common. When a cyclist makes an impact with a vehicle or other object, it can cause damage to the body’s internal organs and cause long-lasting complications that they might sometimes have to deal with for the rest of their life.

bicycle accident lawyerHow Could a Victim Establish Liability in a Cycling Accident Claim?

Although motorists often bear responsibility for causing accidents, attorneys representing the insurers frequently try to blame the actions of the cyclist instead. To recover damages, an injured cyclist would need to prove that negligent actions on the part of others caused the accident.

In order to prove negligence, it is strongly recommended to collect and preserve evidence of causation. Considering the possibility that the scene of the accident is likely to look different, photos should be taken as close to the time of the accident as possible. Examples of valuable pieces of evidence include video footage from a nearby camera, photographs of the scene of the accident, and accounts from witnesses. A St. Louis County bicycle accident lawyer, could start collecting and preserving evidence right away in order to build a convincing injury claim.

What is Comparative Fault in St. Louis County?

Even if the cyclist is partially to blame for a collision, they may still be entitled to receive compensation for harm suffered in the accident.

Under the state’s comparative fault rules, an injured individual may obtain compensation even if they bear some of the responsibility for causing the accident. However, the amount recovered would be reduced proportionately to the share of responsibility. For instance, if a motorist is found to be 90 percent at fault for failing to allow sufficient room when passing a cyclist and a bicyclist is determined to be 10 percent at fault for not riding as close as possible to the curb, then the amount of damages awarded to the cyclist would be reduced by 10 percent.

St. Louis Bicycle Laws

It’s important to take into account the bicycle laws in St. Louis, as they can help keep you out of harm’s way, and ensure that you are safe every time you hop on your bike to ride around the city.

Surprisingly, Missouri law does not state that bicyclists must wear a helmet when riding; however, although there aren’t any statewide laws governing bicyclists wearing helmets, cities and towns throughout Missouri have their own laws requiring helmets at all times. In St. Louis and St. Charles counties, everyone under the age of 16 must wear a helmet at all times.

There are even standards set by the federal government that helmets must meet. They must be certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Some of the most common injuries to bicyclists are head injuries, which could cause intense trauma. However, a helmet can prevent these injuries altogether or reduce the likelihood of head injuries that could potentially be life-threatening.

Bicycles are smaller and slower than other vehicles on the road, and riders do not have an enclosure around them to protect them in case of accidents. Recognizing this, lawmakers have enacted special rules to make it safer for bicycles to share the roads with motorized vehicles. These laws place some responsibilities on cyclists, others on motorists, and some requirements on both. For example, as per Mo. Rev. Stat. §307.192, bicyclists are required to signal turns just like motorists are required to do so.

According to Mo. Rev. Stat. §300.347, bicyclists are also permitted to ride on sidewalks if the sidewalk is not within a business district. In addition, Mo. Rev. Stat. §304.678 requires motor vehicles to provide a “safe distance” between their vehicle and a bicycle when passing a cyclist. Failure to do so could be used as grounds to prove negligence.

The law in Missouri allows cyclists to use the road if they are in a non-congested area. They are not, however, allowed to ride on interstate highways. Bicyclists have a duty to follow the laws of the road, such as stopping at red lights, yielding to pedestrians, and must ride on the right-hand side of the road.

Furthermore, bicycles must be equipped with reflectors when riding at night and must be equipped with brakes. If a bicycle lacks any of these features, fines could be handed down to the cyclist.

Knowing more about the bicycle laws in St. Louis and Missouri can help you stay safe on the roads throughout the state and reduce the risk of harm in the event of an accident.

What Damages Are You Entitled to In a Bicycle Accident Case in St. Louis?

If it is proven that the cyclist did not cause the accident, they could be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. Although a lawsuit is not always necessary, your St. Louis bicycle accident attorney may need to step in and represent you in court if negotiations fail with the insurance company. Some of the most common damages that bicyclists can receive include:

  • Medical costs
  • Income loss
  • Bicycle damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death
  • Reduced quality of life

Work with a St. Louis County Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation to cover your medical bills and future medical needs, including physical therapy. You may also receive compensation for time missed from work and non-economic losses such as emotional distress and pain.

It is a good idea to consult a knowledgeable St. Louis County bicycle accident lawyer soon after an accident. Advice from an attorney could prevent you from making statements or taking actions that could interfere with your right to recovery. For a free consultation to learn more, call now.

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St. Louis Bicycle Accident FAQs

Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in St. Louis are an aggressive driver or a driver who is not paying attention to the road ahead and around them. Regardless of how they occur, bicycle accidents can cause life-altering injuries to the victim. Get in touch with our St. Louis bicycle accident lawyers if you have been a victim of a bicycle accident, as you might be entitled to compensation for your damages and injuries.

Below are some of the most common questions our clients ask us. However, it is important to note that each individual case varies, and you will need to get in touch with an experienced St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer so we can tailor our strategy to their specific situation.

What should I do immediately after a bicycle accident?

  • Ensure your safety first. Move to a safe location if possible.
  • Check yourself and others involved for injuries.
  • Contact emergency services if needed.
  • Exchange information with the other party involved (name, contact, insurance details).
  • Document the scene with photos if you can.

Should I go to the hospital after a bicycle accident, even if I don’t feel hurt?

Yes, you should seek medical attention even if you don’t immediately feel hurt. Some injuries might not be apparent right away, but they could have serious consequences if left untreated.

Do I need to report the accident to the police?

It’s generally a good idea to report the accident to the police, especially if there are injuries or significant property damage or if you suspect the other party is at fault.

What information should I collect after a bicycle accident?

  • Name, contact information, and insurance details of the other party involved.
  • Witnesses’ contact information.
  • Photos of the accident scene, including damage to your bicycle and any injuries you’ve sustained.

Where Do Most Bike Accidents Occur?

Most bike accidents occur in rural areas. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, 75% of bicycle accidents took place in the city, while 25% took place in more rural areas.

  • 27% of bicycle accidents involving a fatality occurred at intersections.
  • 63% occurred in other areas of the roadway.
  • 10% occurred on sidewalks and other typical paths bikers travel.

Our experienced attorneys can help you fight for your rights in court if needed and will be there for you every step of the way.

What if the driver who hit me doesn’t have insurance?

If the other party doesn’t have insurance, your own insurance policy might provide coverage for situations involving uninsured or underinsured motorists. Consulting your insurance provider or St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer can help explore available options.

Are there any recent changes in St. Louis laws or initiatives related to bicycle safety?

St. Louis, like many cities, may periodically update or implement new initiatives related to bicycle safety, infrastructure improvement, or road-sharing guidelines. Staying informed about local ordinances and initiatives can be helpful.

An on-the-job driver caused my bicycle accident. Can I pursue compensation from their employer?

Yes, you may be able to pursue compensation from the employer of an on-the-job driver who caused your bicycle accident in St. Louis. This situation falls under the legal concept of “vicarious liability” or “respondeat superior,” where an employer can be held responsible for the actions of their employees while they are performing their job duties.

If the driver was operating a vehicle as part of their job when the accident occurred, their employer could potentially be held liable for the damages caused. However, several factors may affect the outcome, such as whether the driver was truly performing work duties at the time of the accident and the specific circumstances surrounding the incident.

It’s advisable to seek legal counsel to evaluate the details of the accident, determine liability, and explore your options for pursuing compensation. An attorney experienced in handling bicycle accidents involving on-the-job drivers can help you navigate the legal process and pursue the appropriate parties for compensation.

Will My Bicycle Accident Go To Trial?

Whether your bicycle accident case goes to trial depends on several factors:

  1. Settlement Discussions: Many personal injury cases, including bicycle accidents, are resolved through settlement negotiations before reaching trial. If both parties (you and the liable party or their insurance company) can agree on a fair settlement amount, the case might not proceed to trial.
  2. Strength of Evidence: The strength of evidence can influence whether or not a case goes to trial. If the evidence is clear and convincing, it might motivate the liable party to settle rather than risk an unfavorable outcome at trial.
  3. Liability and Damages Disputes: Disagreements over liability (who is at fault) or the extent of damages (such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering) can lead to trials when both parties can’t reach a resolution.
  4. Insurance Coverage and Policy Limits: Insurance coverage and policy limits can impact the likelihood of a trial. If the liable party’s insurance coverage is insufficient to cover your damages, they might opt for a trial to contest the amount they have to pay.
  5. Legal Strategy: Your attorney’s strategy and the approach of the other party’s legal representation can influence whether the case proceeds to trial. Sometimes, the threat of trial can prompt a more favorable settlement offer.

Ultimately, whether your bicycle accident case goes to trial depends on negotiations, the strength of evidence, disputes over liability or damages, insurance coverage, and the strategies used by your attorneys. Your attorney will provide guidance and insight into the potential outcomes, including the possibility of a trial, as the case progresses.

Do I have to speak to the Defendants’ Insurance Company?

You’re not legally obligated to speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company if they contact you. In fact, it’s often recommended to avoid direct communication with the insurance company without consulting a St. Louis personal injury attorney first. Here’s why:

  1. Potential for Misinterpretation: Anything you say to the insurance company could be used against you. They might try to minimize your claim or use your statements to undermine your case.
  2. Complex Legal Matters: Personal injury cases, including bicycle accidents, involve legal complexities. Insurance adjusters are trained to gather information that could devalue your claim, even if it seems like a casual conversation.
  3. Protecting Your Rights: Your rights and the full extent of your damages may not be immediately clear after an accident. Consulting with a personal injury attorney allows you to understand your rights and what you’re entitled to before engaging with the insurance company.
  4. Handling Communications: Your attorney can handle communications with the insurance company on your behalf. They know how to navigate these conversations to protect your interests and ensure you don’t inadvertently compromise your claim.

If the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacts you, it’s often recommended not to discuss the details of the accident, and refer them to your attorney. Then, promptly inform your attorney about the contact. They can advise you on the best course of action and represent your interests when dealing with the insurance company.

My Bike Accident was the Result of a Road Defect. Can I Sue the County?

Suing a county or municipality for a bike accident caused by a road defect can be challenging due to legal complexities and governmental immunities. Therefore, it’s best to consult a St. Louis bicycle accident attorney. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can help determine the viability of your claim and navigate the legal procedures involved in pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages.

st. louis bicycle safety

When Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is believed that most bicycle accidents occur between the hours of 6 PM and 9 PM. This is likely due to the amount of traffic on the roadway during this time and dusk, making it more difficult to notice cyclists on the roadway.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Bike Accident?

Depending on the type and severity of the injury, how long it takes to recover varies significantly. For a broken bone, it could take up to two months to recover completely. If the injury is less severe, it could take less than two months to recover; however, this all depends on the severity of the injury.

What are the Chances of Getting in a Bike Accident?

The odds of getting into a bicycle accident is 1 in 3,362. Bicycling is a popular mode of transportation in St. Louis and throughout the country; however, this does not come without its risks. The odds of getting into a deadly bicycle accident are low when compared to other types of accidents.

Can I Receive Compensation If I Was Partly at Fault?

Due to the dynamic between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, cyclists will often try any way possible to avoid an accident. However, it is also important to note that because cyclists can use the roadway like a motor vehicle, they must both follow the law accordingly. Therefore, cyclists must take note of traffic lights, stop signs, and pedestrians while cycling. This could make the cyclist partially at fault if an accident occurs due to their negligence. However, in Missouri, you are still able to go after compensation if you are not 100% at fault.

What is The Statute of Limitations for Filing Suit?

You have five years from the date of the accident in Missouri to file a lawsuit as long as a death did not occur. If the accident resulted in the death of the cyclist, then the suit must be filed within three years time.

If the bicycle accident is the fault of the county or city due to potholes, cracks, and other road damage, it is imperative that you start your lawsuit immediately. Failing to submit your claim within the statute of limitations could hinder your efforts to receive compensation altogether.

Although you have five years to submit your claim, it is best to get started right away, as building a case for clients takes time, and we want to make sure we cover all our bases. Your St. Louis bicycle accident attorney will review any evidence, conduct witness testimony, and meet with experts in the industry to assemble a strong case on your behalf.

Therefore, you should get in touch with an experienced attorney right away, so your team of lawyers can begin working on your case and fighting for you.

How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To After a Bicycle Accident?

One of the main factors that determines how much compensation you are entitled to varies on a case-by-case basis. However, it is heavily based on the extent of the injuries sustained in the accident. Likely, if you went to the hospital and took on medical debt and required extensive treatment, you will be compensated to cover those damages. Furthermore, if the injuries sustained are life-altering, you will likely receive substantial compensation.

You might also be compensated for lost income or reduced earning capacity if you are unable to work in the capacity you did prior to the accident. In most cases, you will be compensated by the negligent driver’s insurance company. The terms of the negligent driver’s insurance company are another factor, as their coverage impacts how much compensation you receive. With commercial insurance, you will likely receive a higher payout; however, this is still at the mercy of the negligent driver’s insurance policy.

Who is at Fault When a Car Door is Opened on a Cyclist?

Determining fault in a situation where a car door is opened on a cyclist can vary based on specific circumstances and local traffic laws. In St. Louis, the responsibility falls on the person opening the car door to ensure it is safe to do so. This means checking for cyclists, pedestrians, or other vehicles before opening the door. If an open door hits a cyclist, the driver or the person who opened the door might be held accountable for the accident.

However, each case is unique and can depend on various factors, including the actions of the cyclist, the speed they were traveling, road conditions, visibility, and local traffic regulations. Determining fault may involve an investigation by authorities or insurance companies to establish liability.

Get In Touch With Your St. Louis Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today!

Have you been involved in a bicycle accident in St. Louis? Don’t navigate the legal process alone. Our team of experienced bicycle accident lawyers is here to support you. We understand your challenges and are dedicated to advocating for your rights. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you seek the compensation and justice you deserve. Your recovery matters to us—let’s discuss your case and explore your options together. Contact us today for a consultation!

FAQs for St. Louis Bicycle Accident Lawyer

What should I do immediately after a bicycle accident in St. Louis?

If you are ever involved in a bicycle accident in St. Louis, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t appear to be injured at first. Call the police to report the accident and make sure to ask them for a copy of the police report. This will come in handy when it comes to your case and the process of negotiation. You should also get the details of the other parties involved, such as their contact information.

How do I know if I have a valid bicycle accident claim?

It can be tricky to know if you have a valid bicycle accident claim. However, you most likely have a claim if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence. This could include drivers not following the traffic laws, distracted driving, or hazardous road conditions at the scene of the accident. Your St. Louis bicycle accident lawyer can evaluate the specifics of your case to determine if you have a valid claim.

What types of compensation can I receive for my bicycle accident injuries?

There are a few different types of compensation you could receive for your bicycle accident injuries. These include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and rehabilitation costs. Punitive damages might also be awarded if the other party acted particularly egregious.

How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim in Missouri?

In Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents, is generally five years from the date of the accident. It’s crucial to act promptly to ensure you meet all legal deadlines.

What if the driver who hit me didn’t have insurance or fled the scene?

In the unfortunate case that the driver didn’t have insurance or fled the scene, it’s still possible to recover compensation through your own insurance policy under uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Your attorney will help you throughout this process.

How much does it cost to hire a bicycle accident lawyer?

In most cases, such as at Mutrux, your attorney will work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t pay any upfront fees. Your attorney is awarded a fee depending on the percentage of the award received after settlement or litigation.

Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Yes! Missouri actually follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that you might still be able to recover damages ever if you were found partially at fault for the accident. However, your overall compensation would be reduced by your percentage of fault.

What evidence is important in a bicycle accident case?

Some of the most important evidence you could collect is the police report, medical records, photos of the accident scene and injuries, witness statements, and any video footage that might be available at the scene (e.g., traffic cameras, dash cams).

How long does it take to resolve a bicycle accident case?

It really depends on your individual case, such as its complexity, the severity of injuries, and whether or not the case can settle or if it goes to trial. Some cases can be resolved in a few months, while others may take several years.

What if the accident happened due to a defect in my bicycle or a road hazard?

If a defective bicycle part caused the accident, you might have a product liability claim against the manufacturer on your hands. If a road hazard caused the accident, you might have a claim against the government entity responsible for road maintenance.