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.

A collision resulting from a motorist turning right on a red traffic light can have fatal consequences. In most cases, the layout of the intersection, surrounding traffic patterns, and vehicle speed are found to be critical variables in determining the outcome of a case. It’s important to know the law and understand who holds the right of way to keep your loved ones safe.

Wisconsin Right Turn On Red Law

In Wisconsin, a motorist approaching a solid or flashing red light or stop sign must come to a complete stop prior to the nearest marked limit line, such as a crosswalk, or the entrance to the intersection itself. The State law allows motorists to make a right turn after stopping at a red light, as long as:

  1. There are no signs prohibiting it,
  2. the driver does not have to cross traffic lanes to make the turn,
  3. and it is safe to do so.

There are a number of ways that a right turn on red accident can occur. Below we discuss a few common causes.

Driver Does Not Stop or Yield

If you are driving straight toward an intersection and have a green light, and another vehicle hits you after making a right turn without stopping or yielding the right of way, that driver could be found negligent and liable for the accident. Vehicles that are already on the roadway have the right of way, unless they have a stop sign, traffic light, or traffic signal that tells them to stop.

Even in the case of a speeding oncoming car, motorists should yield before making a right on red turn. A motorist may be found liable if they attempt to merge without accounting for the necessary time and space to do so.

Pedestrians & Bicyclists

When motorists begin to execute a right-hand turn, they are generally more focused on oncoming traffic and their ability to merge successfully. If you’re a pedestrian or a cyclist within a marked crosswalk, you may find yourself outside of their field of view and in a situation that leaves you hurt or hospitalized.

If a vehicle strikes you in a crosswalk, the driver will often claim to have had the right of way and that you crossed during a “no walk sign,” or out of turn. Any evidence that proves your right to cross will be important to your case. There may be witnesses nearby or traffic cameras that can be checked. The police may also do breathalyzer tests to see if the driver was under-the-influence or determine if they had been using their cellphones while driving.

Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and run accidents are also common with right turn on red accidents. In a hit-and-run, any information regarding the description (Ex. model, color, or license plate) will help ensure that the driver is found. A general rule of thumb is to always take care of yourself or any bodily injuries first, before attempting to gather any evidence or testimony.

Contacting A Milwaukee Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured by a negligent motorist making a right-hand turn on a red light, contact our office to begin working towards a resolution. You may be entitled to compensation to cover any injuries, damages, lost wages, and/or medical costs you have incurred. Contact the Milwaukee personal injury law firm Natasha Misra Law today to schedule a free consultation.

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.