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Category: Indiana Bicycle Laws

October 16, 2014

On Monday, October 13, 2014, two separate Indiana cyclists in their twenties were involved in separate bicycle crashes that ended up taking both of their lives. Devon Lehman, a 26 year-old resident of Goshen, Indiana, was riding his bicycle on State Road 13 near Millersburg, Indiana, when a Jeep Liberty being driven by Matthew Kid collided with him. Sadly, Mr. Devon Lehman was pronounced dead at the scene of the bicycle accident.

That very same day on Monday, October 13, 2014, Ryan Richardson, a 27 year-old resident of Anderson, Indiana, was riding his bicycle northbound on Madison Avenue over an Interstate 69 overpass when he was struck by the passenger side of a vehicle traveling in a northerly direction being operated by Ricky Stohler of Alexandria, Indiana.

Mr. Ryan Richardson initially survived this collision and was taken by ambulance to St. Vincent Anderson Hospital before being lifelined by helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. Tragically, Ryan Richardson died on the evening of Tuesday, October 14, 2014 from injuries related to the bike crash. Following the accident, residents living near the location of Ryan Richardson’s bicycle collision indicated that cyclists and pedestrians often use the overpass as a means of travel.

While all Indiana bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles are tragic, the bike crashes that took the lives of Devon Lehman and Ryan Richardson are particularly difficult to accept, as they were both young, twenty-somethings who had years upon years of life ahead of them. Further, these incidents were entirely preventable, as they both appear to be the result of motor vehicles attempting to pass the cyclists. As many of you know, many Indiana communities have adopted the “3 foot rule,” which requires motor vehicles attempting to pass cyclists to leave at least 3 feet of space.

The Indiana bicycle accident lawyers at Caress Law Group offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. Devon Lehman and Mr. Ryan Richardson during this difficult time.

If you have any questions regarding this post or any question regarding Indiana bicycle laws or Indiana personal injury, feel free to call our experienced Indiana bicycle injury lawyers at 317-255-5400 or click here to submit an online inquiry. Please remember to ride safe!

July 23, 2014

Indiana cyclists appear to still be learning how to adjust to safe cycling practices. Since the amount of bicyclists has doubled since the year 2000, this makes some sense. This is echoed by statistics compiled by The League of American Bicyclists, which reports that the bicycle crash rate in Indianapolis is higher than most other large cities across the United States. Specifically, between 2007 and 2012, Indianapolis saw 492 bicycle collisions per 10,000 bike commuters. The Indianapolis bicyclist fatality rate was just as alarming: 4.88 deaths per 10,000 bicycle commuters.

Over the course of the last couple of years, the Indiana Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Caress Law Group in Indianapolis have seen a substantial increase in persons injured in bicycle crashes with both motor vehicles and other cyclists/pedestrians. So the question becomes – “What can each individual cyclist do to stay safe while biking and decrease the chance of being involved in a bicycle collision in Indiana?” We hope the following tips will assist all bicyclists who read this post.


Use lights on the front and back of your bicycle at night (and even during the day to be extra safe)

Use the middle of the lane in the street if you do not feel safe by cars passing you in the bike lane (you have a right to be there!)

Wear a helmet. While on your bicycle. At ALL times.

Keep your eyes out for cars and other cyclists – cyclists should always be aware of their surroundings

Ride with traffic


Don’t ignore stop signs, stop lights, and other rules of the road. Indiana cyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicles

Don’t ride against traffic

Don’t ride on the sidewalk, especially when a bike lane is available

Don’t wear headphones while riding your bicycle – it is important to be aware of all your surroundings while riding, and your ability to hear is key to that

As a motor vehicle operator, do not pass a cyclist and leave less than 3 feet of space. It is the law in Indianapolis to leave at least 3 feet of space when passing a cyclist


If you or a loved one has any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Indiana personal injury law and/or bicycle law, contact Indiana Bicycle Accident Attorney Lance Worland at 317-255-5400 or via email at Lance@CaressLaw.com at any time. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly and are free of charge. Caress Law Group’s Indiana bicycle lawyers are Indiana’s premier bicycle injury lawyers, and we have over 20 years of experience in assisting victims of injury due to negligence of others.


July 14, 2014

On July 11, 2014, Brian Eason of the Indianapolis Star published an enlightening and well-written article on the confusion caused by Indiana’s cycling laws. We highly recommend that all Hoosier cyclists and motorists read this article, as it may shed light on information that was previously unknown to you.

We are also proud of Caress Law Group’s own, Lance Worland, for the information he was able to provide for this article. Both Lance Worland and Tim Caress have worked tirelessly in their careers to represent victims of bicycle accidents across the State of Indiana, and during that time, they have gained invaluable information regarding bicycle safety. Further, they have proudly had the opportunity to advocate for bicycle accident victims – making sure they are fairly and appropriately compensated for their injuries as a result of a wide array of different types of bicycle accidents.

Check out the article below:


June 27, 2014

As you may be aware, most traffic signals in the State of Indiana are controlled by sensors under the pavement that detect weight. Often times, these sensors are not able to detect lightweight modes of travel like bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, etc. This poses a problem to cyclists, as we are required under Indiana statutory bicycle law to obey all the traffic laws that apply to motor vehicles – like stopping at red traffic signals.

Hence, the introduction of a new Indiana bicycle law: House Bill 1080, also known as the “120 second rule” or the “dead red law.” This new law, which becomes effective July 1, 2014, provides:

(D)  If the operator of a motorcycle, motorized bicycle, motor scooter, or bicycle

approaches an intersection that is controlled by a traffic control signal, the

operator may proceed through the intersection on a steady red signal only if

the operator:

(i)  comes to a complete stop at the intersection for at least one hundred twenty

(120) seconds; and

(ii)  exercises due caution as provided by law, otherwise treats the traffic signal as

a stop sign, and determines that it is safe to proceed.


The Indiana Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Caress Law Group view House Bill 1080 as a success for cyclists, and we salute the Indiana legislature for its action. Although waiting at a red light for 2 minutes seems like a dreadfully long time to wait, it is carving out exceptions in Indiana law that behoove cyclists. We believe that this is progress and a step in the right direction.

Will Indiana one day gain enough support to enact a law similar to the “Idaho Stop Law?” For those who are not familiar, the Idaho Stop is a law that allows cyclists to treat a stop sign as a yield sign and a red light as a stop sign. Obviously, there are pros and cons to such a law, which we plan to outline in an upcoming article for our readers. Feel free to Contact Us with your thoughts regarding these laws. We appreciate hearing from you.

The Indiana bicycle attorneys at Caress Law Group currently represent a number of cyclists who have been injured as the result of a bicycle crash or accident. We take great pride in representing Indiana bicyclists, and we focus our entire practice of law on Indiana personal injury and medical malpractice. If you have any questions or if we can be of assistance at any time, feel free to call us at 317-255-5400 or Contact Us by submitting an online inquiry. All communication with our office is free and confidential.

As always, ride safe!

February 27, 2014


In our over 20 years of personal injury litigation experience, we have seen a number of different kinds of bicycle collisions. In our role as Indiana bicycle accident lawyers, the details of each individual bike crash are vital to our legal analysis of liability and causation. Therefore, we analyze each client’s case based on the type of crash the bicyclist was involved in. Most of the accidents involving cyclists in Indiana involve motor vehicles, but this is not always the case. Pedestrians and other cyclists can potentially be just as responsible for a collision as a careless, negligent motor vehicle driver. Based on our experience, the most common types of bicycle crashes are the right hook, the left cross, the drive-out, the rear-end, the overtake, the dooring, and the careless cyclist or pedestrian.

        1.  The Right Hook

A right hook bicycle collision occurs when a driver passes a cyclist on the left and proceeds to make a right-hand turn directly in front of the cyclist’s right-of-way.

        2.  The Left Cross

Left cross bike accidents take place when a motorist makes a left turn directly in front of the biker’s pathway. In Indiana, these often occur at cross-walks and intersections with heavy bike, pedestrian, and motor vehicle traffic, like downtown Indianapolis and other heavily populated areas in Indiana.

         3.  The Drive-Out

A drive-out bicycle accident happens when a driver pulls out directly into the cyclist’s right-of-way. These often occur at intersections but are also common in parking lots when a driver is attempting to enter or exit a parking spot and fails to notice the oncoming cyclist. Both drivers and cyclists should be cautious when operating in parking lots, as our Indiana bicycle attorneys have found parking lots to be an extremely underrated location for the occurrence of bike vs. automobile collisions.

          4.  The Rear-End

Rear-end collisions occur most frequently in areas of heavy, stop and go traffic when the motorist operates his or her vehicle into the back of a cyclist. These crashes can cause serious injury, even when the force of the impact is minimal.

           5.  The Overtake

Overtake bicycle crashes take place primarily when a motorist attempts to pass a cyclist on the open road. Many cities in Indiana have adopted the “3 foot rule,” requiring motorists to leave at least 3 feet of space when attempting to pass a cyclist. Unfortunately, motorists occasionally come too close to bikers when attempting to pass them on the road, and serious collisions can occur that can lead to devastating injuries to the cyclist.

           6.  The Dooring

Dooring bicycle crashes occur when a driver opens the door of his or her parked vehicle directly into the pathway of an oncoming cyclist, causing the cyclist to collide with the door, often at a high rate of speed. The unfortunate reality of dooring crashes is that they frequently cause the cyclist to flip over the door, leave him or her vulnerable and exposed to oncoming traffic.

Dooring collisions take place most frequently in highly populated areas like New York City and Chicago, but they are becoming more and more prevalent in places like downtown Indianapolis.

           7.  The Careless Cyclist or Pedestrian

Yes, it is true: cyclists and pedestrians are not perfect! Cyclists and pedestrians who carelessly enter a fellow bicyclist or pedestrian’s pathway can be liable for the resulting injuries. Beware of such accidents on places like the Monon Trail!


Caress Law Group’s Indiana Bicycle Accident Lawyers, Tim Caress and Lance Worland, understand that the lives of cyclists and their families can be drastically changed as a result of accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in an Indiana bicycle crash or if you have a question about this post or any of Indiana’s bicycle laws, please feel free to contact Caress Law Group by clicking here, calling our office at any time at 317-255-5400, or by email at lance@caresslaw.com. We represent injured cyclists throughout the State of Indiana. All calls and emails are returned promptly, and we offer free, confidential consultations to discuss your case and your options. We look forward to assisting you, and be sure to ride safe!


August 7, 2013

Indiana, like most states, has its own set of laws that apply to the use of bicycles within the State’s boundaries. Indiana’s bicycle laws are utilized as an attempt to ensure public safety for all those on the road: bikers, pedestrians, and automobiles alike. For that reason, Indiana has adopted a statute that requires anyone on a bicycle to have a bicycle bell installed on his or her bicycle. Specifically, Indiana Code § 9-21-11-8 provides, “A person may not ride a bicycle unless the bicycle is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred (100) feet.

Many bicyclists, even veteran ones, are not aware of the requirement to make sure their bicycle has a bell or other device. As you might imagine, the purpose of the Indiana legislature requiring the use of a bicycle bell is to promote public safety. Specifically, bicycle bells are useful in situations where you are trying to pass another cyclist or pedestrian or to give warning to a passer-by that you are approaching. Without the use of an audible device like a bell, the person you are attempting to pass may make a sudden movement or lane change at the same time you are attempting to pass them, which can lead to a bicycle collision with potentially serious injuries as a result.

Indiana Code § 9-21-11-8 goes on to also provide that “A bicycle may not be equipped with and a person may not use upon a bicycle a siren or whistle.” Clearly, there are safety hazards that are associated with both sirens and whistles. Sirens can be so loud that they may cause another biker to become startled and make a sudden movement, which could result in a bicycle crash. Whistles would necessitate a bicyclist to use his or her hands to lift the whistle to his or her mouth, which is a clear distraction hazard. Our bicycle accident lawyers recommend you simply purchase a small bell that will easily attach to your handlebars, as this will ensure a safe and law-abiding ride.

So, what is the consequence of riding a bicycle without a bell or other audible device? Other than jeopardizing your safety and the safety of other cyclists, if a law enforcement officer were to notice, you would commit a Class C infraction, which would result in a monetary fine. Additionally, if you were to be involved in a bicycle accident in Indiana without a bell or other audible device, and it was determined that this was a possible factor in causing the accident, you and your lawyer may find it difficult to prove liability on the part of the at-fault driver, cyclist, or pedestrian. This does not mean you do not have a case against the at-fault and/or his automobile insurance company, but it may have an effect on the distribution of liability since Indiana is a modified comparative fault state.

Caress Law Group’s Indiana Bicycle Lawyers want to make sure that you are safe and also protected when it comes to legal representation should you be involved in an Indiana bicycle accident. For the reason, we recommend you make sure your bicycle is equipped with a bell as required by Indiana law. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle crash, you want to speak with an attorney who specializes in bicycle litigation in Indiana. We devote a portion of our practice to assisting victims of bicycle accidents and have over 20 years of handling such cases. We are happy to help by providing a free, easy, and informal consultation, just give us a call at 317-255-5400 or submit an online inquiry by clicking here. We look forward to hearing from you!

August 6, 2013

The City of Richmond and all who knew Darrell Smith are mourning the loss of a resident who loved to ride his bike. On August 5, 2013, Darrell Smith was riding his bicycle along U.S. 40 near Dunreith, Indiana, located in Henry County, Indiana, when he was struck from behind by a vehicle being driven by 28 year-old Jonathan Wright of Knightstown, Indiana. The Henry County coroner pronounced Darrell Smith deceased at the scene of the bicycle crash.

An investigation conducted by the Indiana State Police following the collision determined that Jonathan Wright did not see 58 year-old Darrell Smith, who was operating his bicycle eastbound in the right lane along the white fog line. Wisely, Darrell Smith was wearing a helmet at the time of the bicycle accident; however, he was not wearing any reflective gear nor does it appear that he was utilizing a lamp and/or reflector, which would only be required by Indiana bicycle law under Indiana Code 9-21-11-9 if he had been riding a half hour before sunset and a half hour after sunrise.

Just because Darrell Smith was not wearing reflective gear and/or utilizing a lamp or reflector as required by Indiana bicycle law, does that mean that Darrell Smith is automatically at-fault in this accident? These are issues that the Indiana bicycle lawyers at Caress Law Group tackle on a regular basis, which is why we advise that it is so important to seek advice from an attorney any time you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, automobile accident, or any other incident that occurs as the result of another’s negligence. Feel free to Contact Us or call us at 317-255-5400 to discuss any issue with Indiana bicycle accident law or any other Indiana personal injury issue.

We send our deepest thoughts and sympathies to the family of Darrell Smith and the resident of Richmond, Indiana who called Darrell Smith a friend. Darrell Smith appeared to be a great man who clearly enjoyed to travel via his bicycle and was an active member of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Richmond, Indiana. Our message to drivers of automobiles and bicycle riders is the same: share the road, be mindful of your surroundings, and take precautions to avoid accidents.

July 26, 2013

We are saddened to report that another fellow Hoosier cyclist lost his life while riding his bicycle. A resident of Middlebury, Indiana in Elkhart County, Elmer Miller, was riding his bicycle on the shoulder of U.S. 20 near the town of Middlebury, Elkhart County, on July 24, 2013 around 4:30 a.m. when he was struck by an SUV. The Elkhart Truth reported that a 20 year-old man was driving the SUV and left his lane, striking Elmer Miller in the process. Elmer Miller even had flashing lights on his bicycle as required by Indiana bicycle law at the time of the collision.

Some people may be wondering: is it legal for a cyclist to ride on highways in Indiana? Indiana Code 9-21-11-2 provides that a bicycle can be operated on any Indiana roadway. Indiana’s definition of “roadway” (found under Indiana Code 9-13-2-157) does include highways; further, Indiana law specifically sets forth that bicycle riders who operate on highways must abide by all relevant Indiana bicycle laws (Indiana Code 9-21-11-11). Therefore, the answer to previously posed question is YES – cyclists have every right to ride on highways. It is important to note that every Indiana municipality can enact its own ordinances related to bicycle safety. If you have a question about your municipality’s bicycle ordinances, Contact Us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

In addition to the fatal bicycle accident involving Elmer Miller, a pedestrian in Indianapolis was struck by a vehicle around 6:07 a.m. on July 23, 2013 on the southwest side near the 8600 block of Cox Road. That same day, at 6:13 a.m., a bicyclist was struck at the intersection of Harding and Morris in Indianapolis. To top it off, a different pedestrian was struck by a motor vehicle in downtown Indianapolis at 6:25 a.m. near the intersection of Washington Street and Capitol Street. These pedestrian vs. motor vehicle and bicycle vs. motor vehicle accidents all caused injuries. Fortunately, none appeared to be life-threatening.

At Caress Law Group, our Indiana Bicycle Collision Lawyers help clients involved in bicycle and/or pedestrian accidents in Indiana. These accidents occur far too frequently. We would encourage anyone on a road, whether a cyclist, pedestrian, or automobile, to check your mirrors before turning and to leave 3 feet of space when passing a cyclist or pedestrian. Accidents are bound to happen, but we can minimize these often-deadly bicycle accidents if we take the proper precautions.

Caress Law Group’s bicyclists send our very best to the family of Elmer Miller. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all that knew him. We will continue to advocate for bicycle safety so that devastating accidents like the one involving Elmer Miller can have a better chance of being avoided altogether. If we can assist you in any way, please feel free to call us at 317-255-5400 or by clicking Contact Us to submit an online, confidential, and free inquiry.

June 6, 2013

There has been a large amount of media attention recently on bicycle crashes occurring throughout Indiana, and many of these bike accidents involve hit-and-run motorists. Depending on the area of the accident, the time of day, and other factors, a motorist may not stop after colliding with a bicyclist or pedestrian. Hit and run accidents occur most frequently in areas where there is not heavy traffic. Generally, in less densely populated areas and late at night is when these types of accidents occur because the motorist thinks he or she has a better chance of escaping the situation without being held responsible when less people are around. As we will explain later, even if the hit and run driver does get away, this DOES NOT mean that you will be unable to recover for the damages you endure from the collision.hitandrun

If you have been the victim of a hit and run crash in Indiana, whether in your car, on your bicycle or motorcycle, or as a pedestrian, this does not mean that the fleeing perpetrator will get away without justice being served. Many times, unbeknownst to the hit and run driver, there are surveillance cameras in the area that can be used to trace the type of vehicle, the person inside the vehicle, and sometimes the license plate number. Additionally, there are often witnesses around who will either see the collision immediately or come to the scene shortly after due to the loud sound caused by the crash. Generally, these tidbits of information combined with local law enforcement’s criminal pursuit of the driver will help lead to an eventual identification of the criminal hit and run driver.

The first step to take as a bicyclist or pedestrian in any type of accident is to call the police if possible to report the bicycle accident and, most importantly, to obtain the necessary treatment of any injuries you may have sustained. You may be wondering: who is going to pay for all these medical bills since the driver got away? Under normal circumstances, the at-fault driver’s automobile insurance policy would cover the damages sustained by any injured biker or pedestrian. The extent of your injuries and the driver’s insurance policy limits would determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to in order to cover these expenses. As this is a complicated area of law that we specialize in, contact us for further assistance.

However, even if the driver gets away, this does not mean you are out of luck in terms of being compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Many automobile insurance carriers have coverage for “Uninsured Motorist” incidents. What does this mean? Most times, depending on the insurer, this means that if you are in a car accident, bicycle accident, or are a pedestrian hit by a vehicle that does not have insurance or if you are hit by a hit-and-run driver, you are entitled to the uninsured motorist coverage that your insurance policy provides. Many people are unaware of this element of coverage within your insurance policy. Even when you are on your bike and are hit by a hit and run motorist, your policy may cover your medical bills and entitle you to economic damages for the loss of enjoyment of life you experienced as a result.

If you have been in a bicycle accident in Indiana, especially one with a hit-and-run driver, you need to contact an Indiana bicycle accident lawyer who specializes in this area of the law. Caress Law Group’s Indiana Bicycle Lawyers are Indiana’s leading bicycle litigation law firm and have 20+ years of experience in assisting injured victims in Indiana. Caress Law Group is conveniently located in central Indianapolis just south of Broad Ripple, and attorneys Tim Caress and Lance Worland are always available for a free consultation. If we can assist you in any way or if you have any questions about this post, don’t hesitate to Contact Us at 317-255-5400 or by e-mailing us at Lance@CaressLaw.com. We look forward to assisting you in any way possible.

May 21, 2013

The Indiana bicycle accident attorneys at Caress Law Group will be the first to tell you that our State has made great strides in making Indiana a bicycle-friendly state. However, with that being said, the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis are far behind many other cities and states in updating and revising our bicycle laws. For example, bicycle-heavy cities like Chicago have “dooring” laws in place, which assign liability on a person who opens his or her car door into the path of a bicyclist causing injury. There is no law that addresses bicycle doorings in Indiana. We feel it is pretty simple for a motorist to check his or her mirrors before opening the car door on a busy street, but this type of law has not been enacted in Indiana, ultimately leaving liability for a jury to decide, should the case proceed to trial.doorings

The City Council of Carmel, however, recently took new proposed bicycle rules to a vote. The proposed rules include restrictions that are not yet in existence in Indiana legislation or in any Indiana city ordinance. These new rules would not allow cyclists to ride two abreast on Carmel’s trails and greenways, would require motorists to maintain at least three feet of distance from a cyclist when passing the bike on a street (Indianapolis, South Bend, and Ft. Wayne have already done this), and would ban cyclists from riding their bikes on any Carmel sidewalk. One of the main motivations for these new bicycle laws in Carmel, Indiana is an attempt to curb the increasing amount of bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents in Carmel, particularly along the Monon Trail. As many of you know, the Monon Trail is narrow, making it difficult at times for multiple bicyclists to ride abreast at the same time.

A violation of these proposed bicycle ordinances in Carmel would lead to a $100 fine for first time offenders. The final vote was tabled on Monday, May 20, 2013, as many people felt these punishments were excessive. Other opponents of the new biking ordinances did not agree with making their children ride their bikes exclusively on the road, as they would be banned from the sidewalks.

The personal injury bicycle lawyers at Caress Law Group fully support bicycle safety laws such as the bicycle ordinances proposed by the City of Carmel. As we mentioned, the State of Indiana (and particularly the City of Indianapolis due to its high cycling volume) needs occasional reform and updates concerning bicycle laws. We mentioned the example of “dooring” violations, but many more exist. This is why we are proud the see Carmel’s City Council take action like this, and we encourage bicycle advocacy groups throughout the state to do the same thing (although we might suggest letting the kids continue to bike on sidewalks!). The attorneys at Caress Law Group will continue to be a voice for the safety of Indiana cyclists.

The bicycle attorneys at Caress Law Group also are well aware of the large amount of bicycle accidents on the Monon Trail. We take great pride in being pedestrian and bicycle lawyers for Monon Trail accidents in Indianapolis and Carmel. Even though these crashes do not always involve motor vehicles, the injuries from these collisions can be painful and devastating. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Monon Trail accident or any other bicycle or pedestrian accident, please call the bicycle lawyers at Caress Law Group at 317-255-5410 or e-mail us at lance@caresslaw.com. We know how life-changing these events can be, and we look forward to serving you.

Caress Law Group’s Indiana Bicycle Lawyers are the leading Indiana personal injury attorneys who dedicate a significant portion of their law practice to representing victims of bicycle accidents. Please contact us at any time at 317-255-5400 or by clicking the "Contact Us" tab above.
We look forward to helping you on your path to recovery.