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.

When you are stopped at an intersection that permits U-turns, you will likely witness some close calls when two drivers attempt to proceed in the same direction. However, if the two were to crash, who would be liable? As always, the answer depends upon the specifics of the situation, but here are some general pointers about U-turn crashes in our state.

What is a U-Turn?

A U-turn is a sharp left-hand turn at an intersection into the opposite lane. Generally, drivers are required to yield to oncoming traffic before crossing the intersection. Because many don’t, accidents can easily occur at intersections like these. In some cases, though, the other driver may be at fault, for instance, if he was speeding, running the red light, driving while distracted or impaired, or otherwise acting negligently or recklessly behind the wheel.

Are U-Turns Legal in Wisconsin?

Yes. Wisconsin law permits U-turns at controlled intersections, unless there are signs or signals to the contrary. Even still, all drivers are responsible for proceeding with caution, keeping a lookout, and using their judgment in determining whether it is safe to execute a left-turn into traffic.

Who has the right of way in a U-Turn?

U-turn accidents often occur when a driver fails to follow Wisconsin right of way laws. The law requires drivers turning left to yield to oncoming traffic and only turn left once the traffic has broken. This applies at both a green-light intersection and an uncontrolled intersection.

If you are at an intersection that allows U-turns and see the green arrow, you have the right of way. However, if you have a red light, you need to yield to oncoming traffic. Both drivers must stay in the closest lane and avoid cutting across traffic. If you are making your turn on a green light (not a green arrow), the other drivers have the right of way.

Drivers turning left onto oncoming traffic are also required to yield. Although oncoming traffic need not stop for a driver making a U-turn, it’s incumbent upon all drivers to proceed cautiously and to keep a lookout.

What Should I Do If I Am Injured In A U-Turn Accident?

After you seek the medical treatment you need for your injuries, reach out to a personal injury attorney right away. Our firm has extensive experience representing injured motorists in right-of-way accidents and U-turn collisions and can gather evidence to support your claim. 

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.