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Montana Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in Montana, you need a competent, experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. The Advocates are ready to help.

A Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help Your Case

Bicycle accidents can be incredibly devastating events, often resulting in serious injuries or fatalities for the bicyclist. The Advocates’ bicycle accident lawyers have helped thousands of bicycle accident victims over the last 30 years, and we are ready to help you too. We are committed to helping you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages after your bike crash.

If you need a competent, caring attorney for your personal injury claim, contact The Advocates for a free consultation today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Not every accident requires an attorney. However, if the accident resulted in injuries or significant property damage, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process, which can be lengthy and complex. Your attorney will build your case, keep track of your medical records, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Studies have shown that accident victims who hire a personal injury lawyer can receive settlements up to 3.5 times larger than if they settled on their own.

The best way to know if you have a case is to speak with an attorney. The Advocates offer free consultations—you can speak with a qualified legal team to understand what your case is worth without paying a dime. Once you have decided to hire an Advocate, we will investigate your accident to firmly establish liability.

Your initial consultation with us is always 100% free. There are never any upfront costs or hidden fees when you hire The Advocates.

Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that our attorney fees are calculated as a percentage of your settlement. You will not pay us unless we win your case, and you receive a settlement.

Every personal injury case is different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to accident claims. The length of the claims process will depend on the severity of your injuries, the willingness of the other party to settle, the court’s caseload, and more.

In general, personal injury cases can take anywhere from several months to a few years. It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to get your case started. Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, after which you will lose your right of action.

When you hire The Advocates, we will begin investigating your accident immediately while you finish medical treatment. Once all evidence and medical records have been compiled, your attorney will send a demand letter to the other party’s insurance company. At this point, negotiations will begin.

In many cases, a settlement can be reached during negotiations. If the other party refuses to make a fair offer, you may choose to file a suit. In the litigation phase, your attorney will represent you in court in front of a judge, jury, and/or arbitrator.

A Team of Legal Professionals Assigned to Your Case

For nearly 30 years, The Advocates have helped thousands of personal injury victims receive the compensation and care they deserve after their accidents, and we are prepared to do the same for you. 

We can help you:

  • Investigate your accident
  • Build your case
  • Negotiate with insurance companies

You only pay if we win your case!


Talking to a Professional

  • No need to schedule an appointment
  • No need to wait for an email response
  • Free online consultation
  • Talk directly with an attorney

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Montana Bicycle Accident Statistics


Where do bicycle deaths occur?

  • Missoula County has the highest number of bicycle accidents each year, however, Yellowstone County has seen more bicycle accident fatalities
  • The cities with the highest number of fatalities and serious injuries resulting from bicycle accidents are Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, Kalispell, and Helena
  • Nationwide, men are 6 times more likely to be killed in a bicycle accident than women

Montana state bicycle accident statistics  

  • There are more than 150 bicycle accidents each year in Montana
  • The total number of bicycle accidents has decreased in recent years, but the number of fatalities from bike accidents has remained fairly steady
  • Bicycle accidents account for 40-50% of all accidents involving nonmotorists
  • The number of nonmotorist accidents involving impaired drivers has increased in recent years
  • Intoxicated bicyclists are 2,000% more likely to be involved in an accident than sober bikers
  • Around 1/3 of bicycle accidents involve alcohol (for either the biker, the driver, or both)
  • Cyclists who ride in groups are less likely to be struck by a vehicle than those who ride alone

Bicycle helmet statistics 

  • The majority of fatal bicycle accidents involve a head injury
  • Around 90% of bicyclists killed in accidents were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident
  • More cyclists check into emergency rooms for head injuries every year than participants of any other sport
  • Helmet users are less likely to be hospitalized after an accident than non-helmeted riders
  • Men are less likely to wear helmets while riding than women, contributing to their high fatality rate
  • Children whose bicycle helmets fit poorly are at twice the risk for head injury while riding than children with properly fitting safety gear

Common causes of bike accidents

  • Speeding: The faster a car is moving, the less time a driver has to make decisions and react to hazards
  • Distracted driving: When a motorist is talking on the phone, texting, or otherwise not paying attention to the road, the risk of an accident increases exponentially
  • Impaired driving: Bike accidents are far more likely to happen when the driver or bicycle rider is under the influence
  • Improper turns or lane changes: Drivers and riders who fail to signal their intent to change direction make it difficult for others on the road to predict their next move
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way: If motorists or cyclists are unfamiliar with the traffic laws in the area, they may enter intersections when it is not safe to do so, endangering those around them
  • Bad weather: When conditions are rainy or icy, it is easy for drivers and cyclists to lose control and swerve out of their lane

Common bicycle accident injuries 

Depending on the nature of your accident and the protective gear you were wearing at the time, bicycle accident injuries can range from road rash to life-threatening conditions. Some common types of bicycle injuries are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Broken or missing teeth
  • Ligament tears or strains
  • Lacerations and bruising

Montana Bicycle Laws


Diagram of a what a bicycle is in Montana

What is a “bicycle” under Montana law?

According to Montana state law, a bicycle is defined as any device that meets the following criteria:

  • Propelled by human power
  • Uses gears, chains, or a belt
  • Has one or more wheels

Does a bicyclist have to use the shoulder of the road in Montana?

Montana law does not require that bicyclists ride on the shoulder of the road, but they should ride in the rightmost lane, except in specific circumstances. Some of these circumstances include:

  • Making a left hand turn
  • Passing a slow-moving vehicle
  • Avoiding debris or other hazards in the roadway
  • Traveling straight when the rightmost lane is a right turn lane

Cyclists are encouraged to ride near the right side of the lane, but legally they are permitted full use of the right lane. They also do not have to use the bike lane when one is available. 

The law does specify that bikers may only ride single file on roadways, and on other multi-use paths, they may ride no more than two abreast.

Bicyclist Rides on the shoulder of the road
Delivery Bicyclist with red delivers pizza while riding on the sidewalk

Can I ride a bicycle on the sidewalk?

In general, bicyclists are permitted to ride on the sidewalk in Montana. Some towns and municipalities have their own laws regarding sidewalk riding, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules of any area you plan to ride. If an area has official traffic control devices prohibiting riding on the sidewalk, the bicyclist must ride on the road. 

When riding on the sidewalk, a biker must yield to pedestrians and other nonmotorists, and must signal audibly before passing a pedestrian. Other than these two provisions, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as pedestrians when riding on the sidewalk.

Do bicyclists have to obey stop lights and stop signs?

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles when traveling on roadways. This includes obeying traffic signs and signals, such as: 

  • Stop signs
  • Red lights
  • Yield signs
  • Lane markings
  • Officers or other people authorized to direct the flow of traffic

Being as predictable as possible is the best way to stay safe as a cyclist. The drivers around you are likely not expecting you to ride through a stop sign or red light without stopping. Failing to obey the laws at an intersection puts you at high risk of being struck by a vehicle traveling on the road perpendicular to you.

Stope sign in the blue sky
Bicyclist uses hand signals on a busy street.

What are the hand signal rules for bicyclists?

When turning, cyclists should use the universally-recognized hand signals to alert drivers to their intentions. Using these signals is just as important as using a blinker is for motorists. Montana law requires that cyclists signal their intention to turn or stop.

In general, hand signals should be done using the left arm. The  following hand signals help communicate your plans to drivers:

  • Left turn: extend your left arm straight out to the side, parallel to the ground
  • Right turn: extend your left arm out to the side and bend your elbow 90 degrees so your forearm points straight up OR extend your right arm straight out to the side
  • Stop: extend your left arm out to the side and bend your elbow 90 degrees so your forearm points down toward the ground

Does a bicyclist have to walk through a crosswalk?

Bicyclists in Montana may ride their bikes in the crosswalk, but they must obey the following rules:

  • Adhere to the crosswalk signals 
  • Give drivers the opportunity to stop before entering the crosswalk
  • Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Bicycles move much more quickly than pedestrians. If you ride your bike through a crosswalk, a driver may overestimate the time it will take you to cross. Always be on the lookout for cars making dangerous decisions at intersections.

Bicyclist rides through a crosswalk
close up of Bicyclist hands on the handler bars

Do bicyclists need both hands on the handlebars at all times?

Bikers must have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times. Cyclists may not carry anything that prevents them from having one hand on the handlebars. When possible, bicyclists should use both hands, as it makes the bicycle much easier to control and increases biker safety.

What is the number of persons allowed on a bicycle?

Any person riding a bike in Montana may only ride on the permanent, regular seat attached to the bicycle. Therefore, if more than one person is to ride on a bike, the bicycle must have a permanent, regular bike seat for each rider.

Father and child riding a bicycle outdoors.
Bicycle reflector isolated on a white background

What reflectors and lights have to be on a bicycle in Montana?

When riding at night, proper lighting is critical to keeping bikers safe. Additionally, reflector strips increase safety during the day. The following lights and reflectors are required on any cycle riding on Montana roadways:

  • A white light attached to the front of the bike that is visible from at least 500 feet at night
  • A red rear lamp or reflector that is visible from 500 feet when illuminated by low-beam headlights
  • Reflective material visible from 500 feet on the right and left sides

When Should I Hire a Bicycle Injury Attorney?


If you were seriously injured in a bike accident, you will need a caring, competent personal injury lawyer on your side. Montana is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that in order to receive any damages, you must prove that the other party was more responsible for the accident than you were.

Insurance companies will do whatever they can to prove you had some responsibility in the accident. They may try to deny liability for the accident or diminish the severity of your injuries. Fighting insurance adjusters on your own can be stressful, upsetting, and disruptive to your recovery.

The Advocates personal injury law firm has years of experience representing bicycle accident cases. We are ready to help you build your case, negotiate with insurance providers, and help you receive the settlement you deserve.

We are here to help every step of the way, from building your case to helping you understand your medical bills. Your Advocate has your best interests at heart from the moment you first contact us to the day you receive your settlement check. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. You deserve a voice in the legal process. You deserve an Advocate.

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