Ann Groninger spoke at the Torts Made Perfect seminar in Las Vegas on March 20, 2009, on the subject of representing bicyclists in personal injury cases. She presented a paper entitled “Litigating Bicycle Crash Cases.”
Summary: There are many different nuances for an attorney to explore and understand in order to successfully represent an injured cyclist. First, it is most helpful for the attorney herself to have some personal knowledge of cycling. The best way to get that knowledge and to really understand the cyclist point of view is for the attorney herself to be a cyclist. This may not be possible for everyone so the attorney should at least make an effort to delve into and gain an understanding of cyclists and the cycling culture. And when I say “cycling culture,” I do not intend to limit our scope to spandex wearing recreational cyclists, but to anyone who rides a bicycle for fun, work or just to get from point A to B. Second, the attorney must understand the laws and principles that apply to cyclists – state statutes and case law as well as local ordinances – and the exceptions to those laws and principles. Finally, the attorney should understand damages components unique to injured cyclists.