Hawaii bike tours, specifically those down the mountain in Haleakala National Park Maui, have been a tourist attraction causing some controversy. While the bike tours traveling down the volcano may be a nuisance to drivers along the road, the biggest issue is the surprising number of cyclists involved in accidents.
If you suffered an injury during a bike tour in Hawaii, someone else could be liable for the accident and your resulting damages. Learn more about this problem and how a Hawaii bike accident attorney may be able to help you.
Why Hawaii Bike Tours Are Under Scrutiny
Maui residents started raising the alarms about bike tours creating dangerous road conditions along the daily thoroughfares the townspeople use. Complaints include concerns about inexperienced cyclists causing a traffic hazard and the dangers of children as young as 12 riding along.
Additionally, allowing self-guided tours without professional assistance created more problems for cyclists and drivers sharing the roads.
Contributing Factors to Bike Accidents
Distracted and inexperienced cyclists are arguably the most significant danger to themselves and others during bike tours. The idea is to enjoy the scenery, but the roads down the mountain in Haleakala National Park are winding and often steep. As a result, a distracted or inexperienced cyclist could quickly lose control or veer off into oncoming traffic.
Other common causes of bike tour accidents include:
- Riding too closely to motor vehicle traffic
- Riding too slowly
- Making unsafe passes or lane changes
- Failing to yield
- Running a red light or stop sign
Many Hawaii bicycle accidents result from negligent car drivers. When that is the case, the injured cyclist could file a claim against the driver to recover compensation.
Updated Bike Tour Permit Requirements
Due to the local government monitoring the issues and listening to the locals, changes are making biking in the area of Haleakala safer. In response to complaints from residents and the growing concern regarding biking accidents, Maui County Council members recently sought to regulate the Hawaii bike tours industry by limiting the usage of Upcountry roads and increasing the minimum age requirement to 15 for minors who want to participate.
In October 2022, Maui County ordinance no. 5439 further restricted bike tours in the area by requiring permits. According to this law, any business or person conducting a bike tour on county property must first obtain a bicycle tour business permit.
To receive a permit, the company must obtain comprehensive liability insurance issued by an admitted carrier in the state and execute an indemnification agreement with the county.
Common Injuries From Haleakala Bike Accidents
Given the vulnerable state of bicyclists sharing winding roads with vehicles, the resulting injuries from an accident can be severe. Common examples include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
More severe injuries result in more damages, such as the cost of medical care, lost income and mental distress.
Steps To Take After a Bike Tour Accident
What you do after an accident can significantly impact your ability to recover your losses. If you suffered an injury while experiencing one of the many Hawaii bike tours available in Maui, take these steps in the immediate aftermath to protect your right to compensation:
- Report the accident: Whether you suffered substantial injuries or had serious property damages or not, you should report a collision to local police. They will most likely investigate and create a police report that could benefit your claim.
- Seek medical attention: Even minor accidents can result in severe injuries. See a doctor immediately for a complete examination, ensuring you get the medical attention you need and putting your injuries on the record.
- Document everything: If your injuries allow, take photographs of the scene, including any property damage and visible injuries. Get eyewitnesses’ names and contact numbers, and if another party present is at fault, ask for their insurance information.
- Avoid talking about the accident: A common mistake is discussing the accident with others or posting about it online. Doing so could unintentionally claim blame and hurt your case.
- Contact a personal injury attorney: Hawaii bike tours can result in tort claims, and a personal injury attorney practices tort law. An experienced lawyer can help you build your case.
If you wonder if the circumstances of your accident validate a personal injury claim, an attorney can help you build your case when there is a liable party.
What Legal Representation Can Do for You
During your initial consultation with an attorney, they will answer any questions you have about the accident and walk you through the legal options available to you.
If you have a civil claim, hiring an attorney comes with many benefits:
- Investigating the accident to find evidence of negligence.
- Handling all the paperwork necessary to file your claim and negotiate with the insurance company.
- Identifying all the recoverable damages and value the non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering.
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and gathering the documentation needed to support your claims of negligence and for damages.
- Offering compassionate support and an objective, professional opinion.
If you suffer severe injuries or your loved one passed away from a fatal bike crash, you know the financial repercussions can be substantial. Most personal injury attorneys work on contingency to help alleviate that burden and ensure you have experienced legal representation, meaning they only collect payment when they win your case.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney in Hawaii
Hawaii bike tours are a fun way to see the beautiful islands. However, organizations offering these tours owe a duty of care to participants that they do not always uphold, or negligent drivers collide with unsuspecting riders.
If you suffered an avoidable injury during a bike tour in Hawaii, an injury attorney at Recovery Law Center can answer your questions and help you determine if you need to take the next steps in seeking compensation. Contact Recovery Law Center in Hawaii online or at 808-427-3088 and schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney today. We are here to give information without obligation.