About 6 months ago I was retained by a Springfield Missouri cyclist that was injured when a car passed him then made a right turn into a parking lot, cutting him off and causing the Missouri bicyclist to crash into the side of their car and resultant injuries. This is what I have referred to in earlier Missouri bike and personal injury law blog articles as "the right hook".
Under Missouri law, a driver overtaking a bicycle must maintain a safe distance. In this case the negligent driver failed to maintain a safe distance and caused a collision.
Missouri State Statute § 304.678 reads as follows:
Distance to be maintained when overtaking a bicycle.
Missouri Bike Statute 304.678. The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, as defined in section 300.010, RSMo, shall leave a safe distance when passing the bicycle, and shall maintain clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.
Under Missouri law bicyclists are to be treated as other vehicles; for instance, under Missouri law a vehicle is not to cut a bicyclist off, pass a bicyclist unsafely, or pull out in front of a bicyclist.
Clearly, in this situation the negligent driver at best misjudged the speed the Missouri bike accident victim was traveling and not only attempted to pass him, but also made a right hand turn in front of him cutting him off and causing the crash.
Prior to my St Louis personal injury law firm being retained, another attorney encouraged this same bike accident injury victim to accept medical specials only as the top offer from the insurance company, fortunately he did not accept that offer and contacted us; we settled the case six months later for 3 times the amount the previous attorney advised was the best offer he would ever get.
As an avid cyclist myself I have had a few close calls and understand the fact that drivers simply choose not to notice cyclist on many occasions. Like em or not, in Missouri, bicyclists have the same rights to the roadway (except highways) as motorist do. Many lawyers who are not cyclists do not fully understand or believe in this right, but it is one that must be pursued aggressively for just resolution of Missouri or Illinois injury claims resulting from motorists hitting a bicyclist.