Motor Vehicle Accidents and Bikes
Bicycles are a popular form of recreation, exercise and commuting in Massachusetts. It is a wonderful way for socializing with a group, going on a weekend adventure or even racing. Many cities and communities in Greater Boston have set up bike and have lanes on roadways for bicyclists to safely use while maneuvering in traffic. Unfortunately, collisions do happen between cars and bikes leading to severe injuries or death.
Obligations of a Bicycle Rider
As a bicycle rider, you are obligated to follow the motor vehicle laws. For example, you have to stop at all stop signs, red traffic signals, travel in the same direction as traffic, ride in the bike lanes when so designated and not ride on sidewalks in business districts. You can also be stopped and charged for intoxicated riding and have your driver’s license suspended.
Other steps you should follow to avoid accidents include:
• Have lights and reflectors on your pedals and on the front and back of your bike. You need a white headlight if you ride at night. Ankle reflectors are required if your bike does not have reflectors on your pedals. Wear bright clothing.
• Do not wear headphones or listen to a speaker while riding.
• Make eye contact with motorists and verbally warn pedestrians who are walking with their backs to you of your approach and give pedestrians the right of way.
• Assume that a motorist does not see you.
• Always wear a helmet; riders 16 and younger are required to wear one by law.
• Obey all traffic laws.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Most bicycle accidents occur when a rider becomes careless or runs into a pothole, speed bump or road condition that causes the rider to lose control. In accidents involving motor vehicles, riders are injured from a variety of factors:
• Motorists in the bike lanes
• Cars driving too close to bikes
• Motor vehicle turning in front of a rider at an intersection
• Motorist who fails to see a rider when driving past or turning
• Intoxicated drivers
• Distracted drivers
If you follow the traffic laws and are prudent while riding, you can avoid most accidents. It is difficult to avoid an accident, however, if the motorist is careless, intoxicated or driving distracted.
Types of Bicycle Injuries
Obviously, a bicycle is no match for a motor vehicle in a collision, though wearing a helmet can minimize head injuries. Injuries suffered by riders include the following:
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Facial lacerations
• Road burn and skinning
• Knee injuries
• Spinal injuries
• Permanent disfigurement
• Broken limbs
• Internal injuries
You can collect compensation from the responsible motorist’s auto liability carrier, or from your own carrier if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Compensation includes medical expenses, lost earnings, lost earning capacity, emotional trauma and pain and suffering.
What a Boston Car Accident Lawyer Can Do
Should you be injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, seek immediate medical attention and do not give any statements to anyone other than police. If you live or were injured in Massachusetts, consult with a Boston car accident lawyer Neil Burns
Many times, police are biased against bike riders and assume that you violated a traffic law or were not riding safely and were the cause of your accident. Retain a car accident lawyer who is familiar with Massachusetts’ bicycle traffic laws and other aspects of a bicycle. Your attorney can also do the following:
• Investigate the scene, do measurements, take photos and contact witnesses
• Review the police accident report for errors and inaccuracies
• Possibly retain a bicycle accident reconstruction expert
• Ensure your medical expenses and treatments are relevant, reasonable and handled appropriately
• Prove the liability of the motorist
• If a road condition caused the accident, determine if there is a road defect and contact the responsible party
• Get full replacement value for your damaged bicycle
• Handle and resolve all insurance coverage issues
Retain The Law Office of Neil Burns
Accidents involving motor vehicles and bicycles are not common but when they do occur, catastrophic injuries can be the result. These types of accidents are different from accidents where only cars are involved and you need the experience of Boston car accident lawyer Neil Burns who has successfully handled these types of cases and knows the issues unique to these types of claims.
Contact Neil Burns if you were injured while riding a bicycle for a free evaluation of your claim.