Des Moines Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Des Moines is a bike-friendly city with many trails, dedicated bike lanes, and scenic routes, including along East Village, the Pappajohn Sculpture Park vicinity, and Gray's Lake Park. But in cities where bicyclists share the roads with motor vehicles, accidents can happen, and the injuries can be devastating. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages. Contact a Des Moines bicycle accident lawyer from Hope Law Firm to discuss your case and options for financial recovery. 

At Hope Law Firm, we know how scary and painful it can be to get hurt in a bike crash. We also know how to help you get the money and the justice you need to recover from your injuries. Our team has the skills, the experience, and the passion to handle your bicycle accident case.  We’ll work hard to protect your rights and get you the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Why Choose Hope Law Firm for Your Des Moines Bicycle Accident Claim?

A man lying on the road after falling off a bicycle, appearing injured following an accident.

When you choose Hope Law Firm for your bicycle accident case, you're selecting a team with exceptional litigation experience and a proven track record. Our attorneys have over 125 years of combined litigation experience, having conducted more than 100 bench and jury trials in State and Federal Courts across Iowa.

We have successfully mediated and resolved over 1,000 disputes and have represented more than 5,000 clients in Iowa, recovering tens of millions of dollars for injured Iowans year after year.

Our team consists of gifted problem-solvers, negotiators, and trial lawyers who are not only aggressive in the courtroom but also provide sensitive and private counsel. Our Des Moines personal injury lawyers understand the complexities of bicycle accident cases and are equipped to handle them with care and professionalism, making Hope Law Firm the right choice for Des Moines residents.

Bicycle Laws in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa, primarily relies on state laws to protect bicyclists, and the city itself has limited additional ordinances. Here's a summary of the key relevant laws:

State Laws (Iowa Code):

  • Right of Way: Bicyclists generally have the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles on the road. They must ride as far right as practicable unless overtaking another vehicle, preparing for a left turn, or avoiding hazards. 
  • Motorist Duties: Drivers must not steer unreasonably close to bicyclists and must reduce speed when passing or approaching them. 
  • Equipment: Bicycles must have a white headlight and red tail light visible from 300 feet at night. Bicycles should also have reflectors on the front and back. 

Des Moines City Code:

  • Bicycle Lanes: Bicyclists may use bicycle lanes when designated, but it's not mandatory. If done safely, they can leave the lane to pass other vehicles or pedestrians. 
  • Reckless Operation: Both bicyclists and motorists are prohibited from operating their vehicles with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. 

It's important to note that these are just some of the key laws and not an exhaustive list. It's always recommended to consult a lawyer familiar with Iowa traffic laws and Des Moines ordinances for specific legal advice regarding your bicycle accident case.

Do I Have a Bicycle Accident Case?

Negligence is a fundamental concept in personal injury law that refers to a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The concept involves actions that are careless, resulting in harm or damage to another person. 

Andrew L. Hope, Personal Injury Lawyer

In the context of personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents, proving negligence is crucial for establishing someone's legal liability for the resulting injuries or damages. For a successful bicycle accident case based on negligence, four key elements must be established:

  1. Duty of Care: It must be demonstrated that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In the context of cycling accidents, this means that drivers, other cyclists, pedestrians, and even municipalities maintaining the roads and paths are expected to act in a manner that avoids causing harm to cyclists.
  1. Breach of Duty: Once a duty of care has been established, it must be shown that the defendant breached this duty through action or inaction. For example, a car driver may breach their duty of care by texting while driving and not noticing a cyclist at an intersection, or a city might fail in its duty by not fixing a known hazard on a bike path.
  1. Causation: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant's breach of duty directly caused the accident and the plaintiff's injuries. This means showing a direct link between the breach of duty (e.g., distracted driving) and the accident (e.g., colliding with a cyclist).
  1. Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered actual damages as a result of the accident. This can include physical injuries, emotional distress, loss of earnings, medical expenses, and other forms of quantifiable harm.

Establishing these four elements is critical in a bicycle accident case. Successfully proving negligence can lead to compensation for the injured party, covering both economic and non-economic damages. Legal representation is often crucial in navigating these complex legal waters, gathering necessary evidence, and articulating a compelling case for negligence.

What Damages Can Bicycle Accident Victims Claim?

Bicycle accident victims can claim a range of damages to compensate for their losses and injuries, such as:

  • Medical Expenses: This can include past, current, and future medical costs related to the accident, such as emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and any ongoing care needs.
  • Lost Wages or Income: If the injury has led to missing work, victims can claim compensation for lost income. This also encompasses loss of earning capacity if the victim's ability to earn a living has been compromised long-term.
  • Property Damage: Compensation for repairs or the replacement of the bicycle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Other Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Costs incurred as a result of the accident, such as travel expenses to medical appointments, can also be claimed.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress suffered as a result of the accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the injuries prevent the victim from enjoying their usual hobbies and activities, including cycling.
  • Emotional Distress: For the psychological impact of the accident, which can include anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation awarded to the spouse or family of the victim for the loss of companionship, affection, and support.

The specific damages available can vary based on the details of the accident and the extent of the injuries and losses suffered. An experienced personal injury attorney can help bicycle accident victims understand which damages they may be entitled to and assist in accurately calculating and pursuing these claims.

Who May Be Held Liable in a Bicycle Accident Claim?

In a bicycle accident claim, several parties may be held liable depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. Here are some potential parties:

Hope Law Firm - Personal injury lawyers
  • Drivers of motor vehicles: This is the most common scenario. If a driver's negligence causes the accident, they can be held liable for the cyclist's injuries. Negligence may include distracted driving, speeding, or failing to yield.
  • Employers of negligent drivers: In cases where the driver was working at the time of the accident, their employer may be held liable under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. This holds employers responsible for the actions of their employees while they are acting within the scope of their employment.
  • Ride-sharing companies: If the accident involved a driver working for a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft while transporting a passenger, the company may share liability depending on the specific circumstances and the company's policies.
  • Property owners: If the accident was caused by dangerous conditions on someone's property, such as a large pothole or a poorly maintained sidewalk, the property owner may be held liable.
  • Manufacturers of defective bicycle parts: If a malfunctioning bicycle part, such as a faulty brake or a broken frame, contributed to the accident, the manufacturer of the part could be liable under product liability laws.

It's important to note that determining fault in a bicycle accident can be complex and often involves investigating the specific facts of the case. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer experienced in bicycle accidents is crucial to understanding your rights and options in such situations.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents and Establishing Liability

In Des Moines, bicycle accidents can stem from:


These accidents can cause serious injuries, such as:

  • TBI
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
  • Permanent scarring

We thoroughly investigate each case to determine the cause of the accident, using evidence such as witness statements, traffic camera footage, and accident scene analyses.

Our goal is to clearly establish the liability of the responsible party, whether it's a negligent driver, a corporate entity, or a municipal body responsible for road maintenance.

How Can a Lawyer Help with My Des Moines Bicycle Accident Case?

A lawyer who handles bicycle accident cases in Des Moines can be incredibly beneficial for a variety of reasons. Here’s how a lawyer can assist you with your case:

Knowledge of Local Laws


A lawyer familiar with Des Moines and Iowa law can provide you with an understanding of local traffic laws and regulations pertaining to cyclists. This knowledge is crucial in building a strong case, especially if there are specific local ordinances that may affect the outcome.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Lawyers have the resources and know-how to thoroughly investigate your accident. This includes gathering evidence such as traffic camera footage, police reports, and witness statements. They can also work with accident reconstruction experts if necessary to strengthen your case.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. A lawyer can negotiate with these companies on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation. They understand the tactics insurance companies use and can counter them effectively.

If your case goes to court, having a lawyer represent you is invaluable. They can navigate the legal system, file all necessary paperwork, and argue your case before a judge or jury.

Assessment of Damages

An experienced lawyer can accurately assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses incurred as a result of the accident. This ensures you seek compensation that truly reflects the impact of the accident.

Contingency Fee Basis

Many bicycle accident lawyers, including those at Hope Law Firm, work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. This can make legal representation more accessible if you're concerned about upfront costs.

Peace of Mind

Perhaps one of the most understated benefits is the peace of mind that comes with having a knowledgeable advocate on your side. Navigating the aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming, and a lawyer can take on the burden of the legal process so you can focus on recovery.

Contact the Des Moines Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Hope Law Firm Today

Katie M. Naset, Personal injury attorney
Des Moines Bicycle Accident Attorney, Katie M. Naset

Our team at Hope Law Firm is committed to providing comprehensive support to bicycle accident victims in Des Moines. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll an accident can take, and we are here to ease that burden. By handling all legal aspects of your case, we allow you to focus on your recovery while we fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (712) 424-4673 or through our online form for your free consultation and case evaluation.

Hope Law Firm - Des Moines Office

Address: 666 Walnut St Suite 2220
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: (712) 424-4673