Bicycle vs. Automobile Accidents, What you Need to Know

Bicycle vs. Automobile Accidents, What you Need to Know


Big Sky Country was ranked one of the 5 least bicycle friendly states by the League of American Bicyclists recently. While the number of deaths for bicyclists in Montana is fairly low, the amount of people who are severely injured is much higher. When a person is riding a bicycle in Montana, they are required by law to follow the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles.

According to Montana Code Annotated 61-8-604 through 61-8-609, bicyclist must abide by the following rules while riding their bike in Montana:

  • A person riding on any bicycle may not attach themselves to a vehicle on a roadway.
  • A person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic must ride in the right-hand lane unless another exception applies
  • A person operating a bicycle must not carry anything that prevents them from keeping at least one hand on the handle bars.
  • A bicycle/bicyclist must be equipped with a light, reflective light, or helmet lamp if they are riding at down, dusk, or nighttime. Additionally, a bicycled must have a braking system that allows it to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles an hour on dry, level, clean pavement.
  • A person operating a bicycle on a sidewalk or through a crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian.
  • A person operating a bicycle may not race on the highway unless the event has been approved by local authorities.

You may suffer from the negligence of a driver when you are a bicyclist in Montana. To prove you suffered from the negligence of an automobile driver you will need to prove:

  1. The driver owed a duty to you.
  2. The driver breached their duty.
  3. You were injured or suffered damages as a result of that driver’s breach of their duty.

It is important to know all drivers owe all bicyclists the duty to drive with a reasonable degree of care. An automobile driver who does not drive with a reasonable degree of care has breached their duty. If you were injured by that breach, you may have a claim for negligence against that driver.


At Ryan Holloway & Miller, we are experienced in bicycle vs. automobile accidents and litigation. We have successfully pursued many claims for bicyclists who were severely injured by a negligent driver. If you or your family member were injured or killed due to the negligence of a driver, contact at our office at 406-542-2233 to learn how we can help you or your loved one.

If you are a salaried employee-
Take your yearly salary and divide it by 2080 (the number of weekday work hours in a year) and then multiply it by the number of hours you missed due to your injuries.

For Example:
You make $40,000 per year in salary. You missed 5 days of work (5 days X 8 hours = 40 hours missed). Since you work the standard 2080 hours per year, you make $19.23 ($40,000 / 2080) in hourly wages. Your lost wages are $769.23 ($19.21 X 40 hours missed).

If you are self-employed-
Although it is difficult to calculate lost earnings if you are self-employed, there are still ways to verify these earnings by providing income tax returns that show income, business records that show the amount of revenue, and expenses and other statements that demonstrate this information.

If you have been injured in an accident and need compensation, contact Ryan Holloway & Miller. We are here to help calculate your lost wages and get you fully reimbursed. Call us today at (406) 542-2233.