Category Archives: Bicycle Accidents

KEEP YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY SAFE FROM BICYCLE ACCIDENTS

Most drivers do not realize that bicyclists have the same rights and are required to follow the same laws as drivers of motor vehicle in the state of Nevada. They must ride to the right unless they are preparing to turn left or are able to match the speed of traffic. Like drivers of cars, bicyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals and they are required to use hand signals for turns and stops.      http://www.dmvnv.com/pdfforms/qtbicycle.pdf

  • Rules for Motorists: Safe passing is the motorist’s responsibility.

(NRS 484B.270.  A motorist must pass with at least 3 feet of clearance between your car and the bicycle.

  • Correct Size Bike: To determine the correct size bike, children should  sit on the

seat with knees straight and feet flat on the ground and adults should sit on the seat with one knee nearly straight and foot on the ground when foot is on the pedal in its lowest position.

  • Helmets:              Bike helmets are not required by law in Nevada but “they can reduce  the risk of head injury by 85 percent when worn correctly”  according to the nation Highway Transportation Safety Board.
  • Night Riding: Bicyclists are required to wear bright clothing during the day and

reflective clothing at night.  At night bicyclists must have a white lamp in the front visible from at least 500 feet away and a red tail reflector that can be observed  by a vehicle’s low beams from 300 feet away.  There must also be Reflective material on the sides of the bike that can be seen in low beams from at least 600 feet away or a lamp visible from both sides from 500 feet away. (NRS 484B.783)

Unfortunately, every year  in Nevada, bicyclists are killed while riding on the roadways.  Although Nevada does not rank in the top state for bicycle accidents thankfully, most bicycle accidents can be prevented if motorists and bicyclists follow basic safety rules and the rules of the road. http://ots.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/otsnvgov/content/Resources/2017_Highway_Safety_Performance_Plan_FINAL.pdf

The Rules of the Road for bicyclists in the state of Nevada are outlined in chapter 484B in the NRS and NRS 484B.760  thru NRS 484B.783  and following these rules can keep you and your family safe and avoid a bicycle accident.  If fact, requiring your children to follow these laws is also part of the code.  NRS 484B.760 states  “The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit the child or ward to violate any of the provisions.”  Some rules seem consistent with common sense but unfortunately, the rules were created in response to often a lack thereof.  For example , NRS 484B.773 forfids to attached himself to a moving vehicle driving on a roadway while on  an electric bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle.

      Likewise, NRS 484B.780 states that “No person operating a bicycle or an electric bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handle bars.”

The following is a summary of these codes that applies to bicycles and electric bikes traveling legally on our roadways: 

TURN SIGNALING

      NRS 484B.768  Required action of operator of bicycle or electric bicycle when turning from direct course; when signal not required.

1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, an operator of a bicycle or an electric bicycle upon a roadway shall not turn from a direct course unless the movement may be made with reasonable safety and the operator gives an appropriate signal. The operator shall give the appropriate signal at least one time but is not required to give the signal continuously.

2.  An operator of a bicycle or an electric bicycle is not required to give a signal if:

(a) The bicycle or electric bicycle is in a designated turn lane; or

(b) Safe operation of the bicycle or electric bicycle requires the operator to keep both hands on the bicycle or

electric bicycle.

      NRS 484B.769  Signals required to be given by operator of bicycle or electric bicycle on roadway.  An operator of a bicycle or an electric bicycle upon a roadway shall give all signals by hand and arm in the manner required by NRS 484B.420, except that the operator may give a signal for a right turn by extending his or her right hand and arm horizontally and to the right side of the bicycle or electric bicycle.

NUMBER OF PERSONS CARRIED ON A BIKE

      NRS 484B.770  Where bicycles or electric bicycles may be ridden; limitation on number of persons    

      carried on bicycle or electric bicycle.

1.  A person propelling a bicycle or an electric bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a

permanent and regular seat attached thereto.

2.  No bicycle or electric bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for

which it is designed and equipped.

RULES OF THE ROAD

      NRS 484B.777  Operating bicycle or electric bicycle on roadway.

1.  Every person operating a bicycle or an electric bicycle upon a roadway shall, except:

(a) When traveling at a lawful rate of speed commensurate with the speed of any nearby traffic;

(b) When preparing to turn left; or

(c) When doing so would not be safe, ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising

due  care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

2.  Persons riding bicycles or electric bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on

paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or electric bicycles.

USE OF REFLECTORS

      NRS 484B.783  Lamps, reflectors and brakes required on bicycles and electric bicycles.

1.  Every bicycle or electric bicycle when in use at night must be equipped with:

(a) A lamp on the front which emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front;

(b) A red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Department which must be visible from 50 feet

to 300 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle;

and

(c) Reflective material of a sufficient size and reflectivity to be visible from both sides of the bicycle for

600 feet when directly in front of the lawful lower beams of the headlamps of a motor vehicle, or in

lieu of such material, a lighted lamp visible from both sides from a distance of at least 500 feet.

2.  Every bicycle or electric bicycle must be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make

the wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

It should be noted that NRS 484B.767 creates an exception to following these rules for a peace officer, fire fighter, an emergency medical technician, an advanced emergency medical technician or a paramedic Certain persons operating bicycle or electric bicycle while on duty are not required to comply with laws in certain circumstances.  If these first responders are acting in the course and scope of their duties by responding to an emergency, they are not required to follow these statutes.

Nevada is trying to make our roads and highways safer for bicyclists.  In a study conducted by the Nevada Department of Transportation, “Southern Nevadans indicated that they would like wider and more physically separated bike lanes and sidewalks, more regional paved shared use paths, and safer routes to school. The Nevada Department of Transportation recommends programs and policies that support walking and bicycling for all ages and abilities and about 2,023 miles of walking and bicycling facilities when the proposed system is completely built out (1,336 new miles).”  https://altaplanning.com/wp-content/uploads/RTC-Regional-Bicycle-and-Pedestrian-Plan.pdf    Even with projects underway to improve bicyclist safety, the best advice to follow the rules cyclists and motorists to stay safe.

If you or a loved one is injured on a bicycle, call our office immediately and we will make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve, and advise on how to preserve evidence.  If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices today.  At my office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur. For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices.  The Law Offices of Laura Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

Apology means guilt?

Is Saying I’m Sorry an Admission of Guilt?

Imagine this. You’re driving along on Eastern, trying to get to your favorite donut shop. The tunes are playing loudly on the radio and you’re not paying much attention to the road as you sing along. The light ahead of you turns red and the cars stop, but you miss it. You slam on the brakes, unexpectedly. Suddenly, your rear fender finds itself lodged in the front fender of the car behind you. Horrified, you call the police and your personal injury lawyer. Then, you get out of your car and apologize profusely. After all, your mom raised you to be polite and apologize for things. But did you just admit your guilt? And can it cause you legal difficulty if your case goes to court?

Outcomes of Apologies in Court Cases

There’s two possible outcomes when you apologize after an accident. In one case, a sincere apology can lessen a person’s anger, thus making it less likely that they will seek legal action. In the other case, it’s a question of “anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.” By apologizing, they may argue you indicate your liability in the matter and it gives the other party a compelling case against you.

Thirty-six states have recognized the detriment that an apology can cause to a potential defendant and have enacted “Apology Laws”. First applied to medical malpractice, the laws protect anyone who makes a statement of sympathy or benevolent gesture following an accident. As long as the person doesn’t actually admit guilt, such statements are not admissible as evidence. Unfortunately, Nevada is not one of those states, so legal protections for an apology are limited.

So, how do you apologize without admitting guilt?

First, think about if an apology really is important in the situation. It might be your gut reaction, even if you did nothing wrong, but is it necessary? In our example above, there was obviously a lapse in judgment by driving distractedly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should apologize for being in an accident.

Second, if you decide that an apology is worthwhile, don’t admit any fault or place any blame. It’s important to not give any indication that you are liable. You shouldn’t express any opinions or hunches about what caused the accident or how it could have been avoided.

Third, consider finding something different to say, instead of “I’m sorry.” Simply saying “I’m sorry” is relatively ambiguous and can be applied to many different situations, including accidents, funerals, and arguments. Find specific language for the sentiment you are trying to express. In our above example, you might say, “I understand how frustrating this situation is” instead of “I’m sorry I stopped so abruptly.”

Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm, a Ph.D. in persuasive strategies, gave two suggestions on how to show you are sorry: one, acknowledge pain, death, loss, and inconvenience; two, don’t let acknowledgement get confused with responsibility. In short, there are many occasions when apologizing is meaningful, and can even be beneficial, but don’t let anyone mistake saying “I’m sorry” for saying “It’s my fault.”

In general, when you’ve been in an accident, the old adage probably still holds true: “It’s better to say nothing at all.” And if you have been in an accident, please call our office today at 702-450-4868 and we can explain your legal rights and remedies under the law.

New Technology Aims to Protect Cyclists from Car Accidents

You’ve probably already heard of “anti collision” systems. Volvo has recently announced that it plans to take this technology to the next level. At the Geneva Motor Show, the company presented its breakthrough anti collision technology that not only senses nearby objects, but also scans for possible threats ahead.

headlight after an accident

The technology utilizes a hi-definition camera and a radar system built into the car’s front grill and rearview mirror that will scan the road ahead and sound an alert if an individual or bicyclist comes into the direct path or close the car. Additionally, the car will automatically apply the brakes if it senses an unavoidable collision.

While this new technology may make roads safer, it doesn’t make them perfect. If you are in need of a car accident lawyer, contact Hunt Law Offices at (702) 450-4868.