As bicycling becomes more popular in Montana, it is probably inevitable that collisions with motor vehicles will increase. Unfortunately, a person on a bike has very little protection in collision. Unlike someone in a car, the bicyclist is not surrounded by a steel cage that will absorb some of the impact. As a result, automobile-bicycle collisions carry a high risk of serious injury for the cyclist.
A recent collision between a bicycle and a pickup truck in downtown Billings sent the cyclist to the hospital. The accident happened at the intersection of North 24th Street and First Avenue North. According to Billings police, the pickup was heading west on First when it hit the bicyclist in the intersection.
The pickup’s driver said he was temporarily blinded by the glare of the sun. The extent of the bicyclist’s injuries were not known. He apparently was not wearing a helmet.
A bicyclist injured in a collision caused by a negligent driver has the legal right to seek financial compensation from the driver. In a personal injury claim, the cyclist can seek damages for pain and suffering, as well as lost wages and medical expenses. The negligent driver’s auto insurer will be obligated to pay any damages, up to the liability limits of the policy.
In order to recover damages an injured cyclist will have to prove negligence on the part of another person, as well as the nature and extent of the damages. Most personal injury cases settle before trial, however, once the injured party has demonstrated a likelihood of being able to prove their case.
Source: KTVQ, “Man on bicycle struck, injured by pickup in downtown Billings,” Nov. 12, 2016