Recreational Vehicle, Bicycle & Pedestrian Injuries
Thousands of people throughout Alaska use recreational vehicles each year on our trails, waterways, and roads. Many people think of recreational vehicles as some form of a camper; however, the definition of recreational vehicle has been expanded to include a wide variety of motorized vehicles used for recreation and transportation. Types of recreational vehicles used throughout Alaska include:
- Boats, wave runners, and jet skis
- Motorhomes and campervans
- ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), including three wheelers and four wheelers
- Dirt bikes, scooters, mopeds, mini-bikes, and motorcycles
- Fifth-wheels and camper trailers
- Dune buggies and go-karts
Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured and killed each year in recreational vehicle accidents. Operators, passengers, and bystanders can suffer traumatic, life-altering injuries due to recreational vehicle accidents. Causes of recreational vehicle accidents range from operator inexperience and dangerous property conditions to mechanical and/or design defects and faulty repair work.
Regardless of the reason for a recreational vehicle accident, recovering compensation for damages can be challenging because liability in these kinds of accidents is not always easy to determine or to prove. Liability for a recreational vehicle accident could lie with the designer, manufacturer, distributor, repair shop, driver, property owner, third party, or any combination of parties. A personal injury attorney must conduct a thorough investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident to determine the liable parties and to identify key evidence to use to prove liability.
Only by proving liability can you receive compensation for your injuries in these accidents. Insurance companies for the at-fault party try to blame recreational vehicle accidents on the driver by claiming the driver was reckless or careless in his or her operation. As experienced accident attorneys, we understand these tactics and we know how to fight these unfair tactics to ensure you receive a fair and just settlement for your injuries, losses, and damages.
Bicycles are a wonderful form of recreation, exercise, and low-cost transportation. Unfortunately, thousands of people are killed and injured in bicycle accidents in Anchorage and throughout Alaska each year. Nearly one-third of all bicycle accidents are caused by motor vehicle accidents. Bicycles, like motorcycles, are smaller and much harder to see on roads. While this is no excuse, drivers of motor vehicles do not pay sufficient attention to bicycles thereby causing many accidents resulting in fatalities and injuries.
A bicycle does not offer the same protection for the rider as a motor vehicle does for the driver. Therefore, bicyclists are at a greater risk of catastrophic injury in a crash compared to the driver of the car who caused the accident. Common bicycle accident injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, fractures, closed head injuries, internal bleeding, and internal organ injury. The most common injury in bicycle accidents is a head injury. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of a serious head injury, but it does not prevent all injuries. Many bicyclists are left with permanent disabilities as a result of a bicycle crash.
Damages in bicycle accidents can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars due to high medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, funeral expenses, permanent personal and/or medical care, physical pain, and emotional suffering. It is important to understand the types of damages you are entitled to receive for a bicycle accident. The insurance company for the at-fault driver will not explain these damages to you. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to settle your claim before you speak with an attorney.
Beware of insurance adjusters who offer quick settlements. Discuss your case with a bicycle accident attorney before accepting any offers, signing any releases, or providing any statements. Protect your right to a fair settlement by getting the facts from an attorney who is on your side—not an agent for the other driver’s insurance company.
According to the Bike-n-Walk Safely Alaska program, pedestrian accidents are a serious problem throughout Alaska but especially in areas where the road system is limited, making walking a necessary form of transportation. Pedestrian accidents are also a problem in urban areas where traffic is heavier and more people choose to walk rather than deal with traffic and fight for a parking space. Pedestrians are usually the loser in a vehicle-pedestrian accident. The driver of the vehicle rarely suffers injuries while the pedestrian usually suffers serious and traumatic injuries from the accident.
Drivers must be careful to look out for pedestrians, but pedestrians must also be vigilant when walking. Pedestrians can reduce their chance of being struck by a vehicle by:
- Only crossing the street in a crosswalk or at an intersection
- Making eye contact with the driver before crossing the street
- Wearing brightly colored clothing and/or reflective material when walking, especially at night, dusk, or dawn
- Walking on sidewalks whenever available or walking in the direction facing traffic as far to the shoulder of the road as safely possible
- Looking both ways before crossing the road and continuing to check both directions while crossing
- Avoiding distractions while walking (i.e. headphones, cell phones, books, etc.)
The most common injuries in pedestrian accidents are head injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries. The medical bills and lost wages from a pedestrian accident can be substantial because the recovery period for a pedestrian accident can be very long. It is vital that you retain experienced attorneys to represent you in a pedestrian accident. The insurance company for the driver may try to blame you for the accident or claim you are partially to blame. Hiring an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who understands how to handle insurance companies and establish fault in pedestrian accident cases is your best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at Kelley & Canterbury LLC
At Kelley & Canterbury LLC, we can help you through this confusing time, giving you the guidance you need and protecting your rights. We’ll be on your side, at your side, every step of the way, making sure that you are treated fairly. Whether you’ve been injured in Anchorage, Chugach State Park, or exploring another part of Alaska, we want to help.
We are committed to holding drivers accountable for their negligent actions. We work to get you the compensation you need to cover the costs of the harm done to you—giving you peace of mind and letting you focus on recovering after your accident. If you or a loved one needs help, please give us a call or schedule an appointment.