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Right Hook Bike Accidents

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Among the many dangers bicyclists face, right hook bike accidents stand out as particularly treacherous. These types of bicycle accidents occur when vehicles make right turns and collide with bicyclists who are traveling straight, typically in the same direction. This type of accident is a common hazard for bicyclists, especially in areas with a mix of vehicular and bicycle traffic.

If you have been hurt in a right hook accident, it’s important to get legal help as soon as possible. A Premier Bicycle Accident Attorney can help you explore your legal options and get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer near you.

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Here's how a right hook accident typically happens:

  • Positioning of the bicyclist and vehicle: The bicyclist is usually riding to the right of the road or in a bike lane, while the motor vehicle is also traveling in the same direction. The bicyclist may be slightly ahead of or just behind the motor vehicle.
  • Turning movement of the vehicle: As both approach an intersection, the vehicle makes a right turn. The driver may not see the bicyclist or misjudge the bicyclist's speed and distance.
  • Collision: The vehicle turns into the bicyclist's path and causes a collision. This can happen if the vehicle overtakes the bicyclist and turns right immediately afterward. It can also happen if both the vehicle and the bicyclist reach the intersection simultaneously and the driver fails to yield.

Why are right bike hook accidents so dangerous?

Right hook accidents can be particularly dangerous for bicyclists due to the disparity in size and protection between a bicycle and a motor vehicle. Bicyclists may suffer serious injuries as a result of being struck or running into the side of the turning vehicle. These injuries often include:

  • Head injuries: Wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of serious head injuries. But even with a helmet, bicyclists can suffer concussions or more severe traumatic brain injuries if the impact is strong enough.
  • Facial injuries: Injuries to the face can include fractures, dental injuries, and severe abrasions. These injuries often occur when the bicyclist's face makes contact with the vehicle, the ground, or other objects.
  • Road rash: This refers to skin abrasions caused by sliding across the pavement. Road rash can vary from mild, where only the outer layer of skin is affected, to severe, where multiple layers of skin are removed.
  • Fractures: The impact and subsequent fall can lead to broken bones. Common fractures in right hook accidents include broken wrists, arms, legs, and collarbones.
  • Internal injuries: These include internal bleeding, organ damage, and internal bruising. Such injuries might not be immediately apparent but can be life-threatening.
  • Limb injuries: Injuries to the limbs can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe crush injuries, dislocations, and severe sprains. The limbs are particularly vulnerable in bicycle accidents since bicyclists may instinctively reach out to break their fall.
  • Spinal injuries: The impact from a right hook collision can cause spinal injuries, ranging from herniated discs to more severe spinal cord injuries that could result in paralysis.

Usually, the party who had the right of way is considered less at fault. Some of the most common driver errors that lead to right hook bicycle accidents include:

  • Failing to check mirrors and blind spots 
  • Misjudging the bicyclist's speed
  • Turning without signaling
  • Passing the bicyclist too closely before turning
  • Stopping in a bike lane to turn
  • Distracted driving
  • Impatience and aggressive driving
  • Failure to yield

How to prove who is at fault in a car accident with a bicyclist

Proving fault in a right hook accident involves gathering evidence and demonstrating how the other party's actions led to the collision. Here are steps to take and types of evidence that can help establish fault:

  • Police report: Always call the police after an accident. The responding officer will file a report which can include important details about the accident scene, statements from both parties, and the officer's initial assessment of fault.
  • Witness statements: If there were any witnesses, they can provide an unbiased perspective on how the right hook accident occurred.
  • Photographic and video evidence: Take photos of the bicycle accident scene, including the positions of the vehicle, any skid marks, road conditions, and traffic signals or signs. Also, check for nearby surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident.
  • Expert witnesses: In some cases, an accident reconstruction expert can be brought in to analyze the evidence and give a professional opinion on how the accident likely occurred.
  • Cellphone records: In cases where distracted driving is suspected, phone records can be used to show the driver's activity at the time of the right hook accident.
  • Medical records: Medical records help create a link between your right hook accident and your injuries.

If you're involved in a right hook accident or any other bicycle crash with a car, it's important to take certain steps to ensure your safety, preserve evidence, and protect your legal rights. Here's a guideline on what to do:

  • If you're able to, move yourself and your bicycle out of the road to avoid further danger.
  • Assess yourself for injuries. Call 911 or the local emergency number if necessary. 
  • Call the police and wait for them to arrive and provide them with an accurate account of what happened. 
  • Get the driver's name, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration number. 
  • If there are witnesses, try to get their contact information as well.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you feel fine.
  • Keep your damaged bicycle, helmet, and any other damaged property to preserve evidence.
  • Inform your insurance company about the bicycle accident. Provide them with the details but be cautious about making official statements before speaking to a lawyer.
  • Document everything related to the right hook accident. That includes medical reports, medical bills, bike repair costs, transportation costs, and proof of lost wages.

Defensive bicycling can help reduce the risk of right hook accidents. Here are some important tips to consider:

  • Be visible: Make sure you're easily seen by motorists. Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially in low-light conditions. Use front and rear lights on your bicycle.
  • Stay alert: Always be aware of your surroundings. Assume that drivers might not see you and be prepared for unexpected moves from cars.
  • Maintain a safe distance: Keep a safe distance either ahead or behind a moving vehicle.
  • Know your abilities: Ride within your skill level and comfort zone, especially when dealing with traffic, making turns, or navigating complex intersections.
  • Plan your route: Choose routes with less traffic and lower speeds if possible, especially if you're less experienced.

Hurt in a bicycle accident? You shouldn’t have to pay out of your own pocket because of someone else’s negligence. Insurance companies don’t always have your best interests in mind, but a Premier Attorney does. They’ll protect your rights every step of the way and fight to maximize your compensation.

Simply schedule a free consultation with a lawyer in your area. Our verified attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay unless they win your case. To get started, fill out the contact form below and a Premier Lawyer will reach out to you.

Injured? Call Now
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Injured? Speak to a LAW.COM
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