Natasha Misra law is experienced representing injured cyclists. Because cyclists are largely unprotected when up against a motor vehicle, we understand that accidents can cause traumatic and lasting injuries. We work with accident victims to help them recover the compensation they need to recover financially.

What Happens When The Accident Is Caused By A Cyclist?

Under Wisconsin law, a cyclist’s own negligence does not bar recovery if his negligence was not “greater than the negligence of the person against whom recovery is sought.” Rather, the cyclist’s damages would be reduced in proportion to the extent to which he was negligent. 

In other words, if a cyclist was only 40% at fault, then he will still be able to recover up to 60% of his available damages. However, if he was deemed 60% at fault, he would be barred from recovery.

What Are Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?

All forms of negligent or reckless driving can cause collisions with bicyclists. However, other causes include:

  • Low visibility: Bikes are small and may be hard to see, particularly at dusk or on narrow, winding roads. 
  • Distracted driving: Drivers may be distracted by phones, music, other passengers, and more. This can lead them to drive recklessly, take their eyes off the road, and strike an unsuspecting cyclist.
  • Road or weather conditions: Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable tragedies. A car may slip on ice, hydroplane, experience a tire blowout, or otherwise swerve into a cyclist. Similarly, poor road conditions like potholes can send a vehicle off course. 
  • Failure to yield: If a driver fails to yield to a biker as they are legally required, they can strike and seriously injure - or even kill - a cyclist.

How to Prevent Bike Accidents

Defensive driving is the most effective way to avoid a collision with a biker. Maintain the speed limit, pay attention to the road, eliminate distractions, obey all posted signage, yield, obey traffic signals, and let others have the right of way. Above all, always keep a lookout: even if you are doing everything you can and should to stay safe, other drivers - or even cyclists - may not be. Who was doing the “right thing” simply won’t matter if you end up in a lethal collision, so put your pride aside and drive safely, even if someone else is acting reckless.

What To Do After A Bike Accident

You should immediately reach out to a personal injury lawyer for guidance on the right steps to take. However, in general, you should also:

  • Call the police: A law enforcement officer will investigate the cause of your crash and record the facts in an official accident report. Your attorney will use this report to prove your case down the road should you decide to file a claim.
  • Exchange information with involved parties: Gather contact information from the motorist who hit you, as well as any eyewitnesses. Be sure to take down their names, phone numbers, addresses, and drivers’ license and insurance information. 
  • Snap photos: If possible, take photos of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved.
  • Seek medical treatment: It is vital to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Some injuries may not present for days or even weeks after the accident, so take time to ensure you’ve identified any serious latent injuries.

What is Automobile Insurance?

Automobile insurance is a contractual agreement between you and your insurance company. Your insurance company promises to provide compensation for injuries or property damage that you suffer as the result of an automobile accident in exchange for a premium.  

Wisconsin drivers are required by Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law to carry automobile insurance.  At minimum, your auto insurance policy must provide liability coverage for the following amounts:

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one person,
  • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people, and
  • $10,000 for property damage.

Additionally, Wisconsin drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage with a minimum bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 for injury or death of one person and $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people.

Who Is Covered by the Automobile Insurance?

Personal automobile insurance covers you (the named insured), your spouse, other relatives living in the same household and anyone you give permission to driver your automobile unless excluded from the policy.

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage Required Under Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

If you are responsible for an auto accident that injures other people, bodily injury liability coverage protects your personal assets up to the stated amount of coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as other losses sustained by the injured individuals. Bodily injury coverage does not cover your injuries that you experience as a result of an accident that is your fault.  

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Property damage liability coverage, on the other hand, pays for property damage that you cause as a result of a car accident.  This coverage pays for any damage up to your insurance policy’s limit.  This coverage includes damages to someone else’s vehicle, someone else’s personal property and structural damage to property you do not own such as a street sign or light pole.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

This coverage is for you, your family and other passengers in your vehicle who sustain injuries when struck by a vehicle who has no insurance or by a hit and run driver. This coverage also covers you and your family members if injured as a pedestrian when struck by a driver with no insurance or a driver who hits you and leaves the scene of an accident. The amount covered is based on the policy limits purchased.  

Types of Auto Insurance Coverages That Are Not Required Under Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Although underinsured (UIM) coverage is not mandatory, many Wisconsin driver choose to carry this type of coverage for further protection.  You should choose to have UIM coverage in case the at fault party does not have sufficient policy limits to cover your losses. UIM coverage increases the bodily injury protection to you and the passengers in your vehicle if the limits of the at fault party are less than your UIM coverage limits.  

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage is a benefit that pays for medical expenses or funeral expenses for you or any others injured or killed in an auto accident in your vehicle regardless of fault. This type of coverage also covers you or your family members as pedestrians if hit by a car or riding as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.

This type of coverage is useful to pay for co-payments or deductibles that your health insurance does not cover, as well as applicable out-of-pocket expenses.  

Other Types of Auto Insurance Coverage

While Wisconsin’s Financial Responsibility Law requires drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage, property damage liability coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage, many drivers choose to purchase more coverage than is required by law to protect their personal assets after an accident.

Collision Coverage

This coverage will repair damages to your vehicle or pay in the event your vehicle has been declared totaled from a collision with another vehicle or object, even if you are at fault for the accident.  

Even though collision coverage is not mandatory in the State of Wisconsin, financial institutions (lienholders) may require you to take out collision coverage to protect their interest at the time of a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is an elective coverage that pays for damage to your vehicle caused by covered events such as theft, vandalism, flooding, hail, broken glass, falling objects and even hitting an animal such as a deer.

Contact Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney Natasha Misra

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should discuss your options with an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney. Natasha Misra Law helps Wisconsin accident victims seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries. If you have been in an accident and suffered from bodily injury or property damage, you should not have to bear the economic burden. Together, we will look at the facts of your case and uncover all potential sources of recovery.

Call our office today at (414) 635-2833 for a free consultation and speak with an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer.

Natasha Misra

My law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in accidents which were not their fault. Born and raised in Milwaukee, I come from a family of medical professionals. My background and experience help me understand and represent individuals injured in accidents.