Boston Bike Accident Lawyer
Bicycling is a great way to enjoy some exercise, and a viable form of transportation in a busy city like Boston. But the number of rider fatalities is increasing substantially in the United States. This trend is expected to continue as biking becomes a more popular and cost-effective form of transportation for many city dwellers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in the Boston area, you may have the right to compensation for your medical care, lost wages, and any permanent injury or disability that you sustained during the accident. But you will need an experienced lawyer to handle your case. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we help victims just like you seek justice. Call (617) 870-0907 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Boston car accident attorneys who can answer your questions and explain your rights under the law.
Many Boston bicycling accidents are the result of a driver who is not paying attention and claims he or she "didn’t see" the bike rider. Other factors that contribute to bike accidents include poor lighting, such as early morning or late evening, wet or slippery pavement, vehicles speeding, or a driver under the influence.
Common accidents that bicycle riders can be involved in include:
- Clipping: A clipping accident occurs when the car and the bicycle are traveling in the same direction down the road, and the car does not keep a safe distance from the cyclist and either sideswipes or rear-ends the bike rider. While the driver is at fault if he drifts into the bike lane or violates a traffic law, the bicyclist may be at fault if he merges into a traffic lane without signaling or checking for oncoming traffic.
- Dooring: Dooring happens when an individual inside a parked or stopped car opens his door into the path of an oncoming cyclist, striking or causing the rider to run into a hazard. The car occupant who opened the door into the path of the cyclist is liable in a dooring incident.
- Left Turn: These accidents typically occur when a driver makes a left turn in front of a bicyclist heading in the opposite direction. Bicycles have the same right-of-way on the road as any other motor vehicle. Per the traffic laws in the state of Massachusetts, a car making a left turn must yield to oncoming traffic. If a vehicle making a left turn strikes a bicycle due to failure to yield right-of-way, the driver of said vehicle can be held legally responsible for the accident.
- Right Hook: Right-hook accidents occur when a driver makes a right turn in front of the path of a bicyclist heading in the same direction. If the car made a right turn without checking the bike lane and without using a turn signal, the driver can be considered responsible for the accident.
When it comes to establishing fault after a bicycle accident, the same standards apply. The law states that bicyclists, trucks, cars, and any other motor vehicle must share the road. Cyclists and motorists should always stay alert and drive in accordance with the traffic laws.
It is not uncommon for an investigation to show that the bike rider was at fault for a traffic collision. Cyclist that do not yield the right-of-way, look before going into the street, or obey traffic lights can be found responsible for a collision, regardless of injuries. However, the driver may be at fault for not sharing the road, driving in a distracted manner, or hitting the bike rider when not yielding the right-of-way as well. Regardless of the circumstances, you need a Boston personal injury attorney on your side to protect your rights and to make sure the facts of the case are discovered.
Any time a bicyclist is involved in an accident, there is potential for serious injuries or loss of life due to the minimal protection on a bike. Vehicles are much larger and move at a higher rate of speed, and this increases the damage they cause on impact with a bike. Fortunately, the majority of bicyclists sustain only minor injuries: cuts, abrasions, and road rash. But even when injuries appear minor, a rider should always seek medical attention to eliminate the possibility of internal injuries masked by adrenaline and shock.
Common injuries sustained by cyclists after a traffic collision include:
- Neck and/or spine injury: The neck, back, or spine can sustain serious injuries from the whipping motion as well as the force of impact of a collision with a motor vehicle. Years of pain can follow as fractures, muscle strains, ruptured discs, or other injuries require extended time to heal fully, if at all. Many of these serious symptoms may go unnoticed right after the bicycle accident, which is why it is important to receive medical treatment following an accident even if you feel fine.
- Lacerations: Lacerations can be deep following a traffic collision. Wounds of this nature often become infected with bacteria or result in major blood loss and scarring. Even minor lacerations can become dangerous if not properly treated by a medical professional.
- Broken bones: Following a bicycle accident, the rider will sustain broken bones from the impact of the collision with the other vehicle, or from being thrown to the ground. Broken bones can require multiple surgeries to fix and almost always need immediate medical attention.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): The vehicle itself may strike a bicyclist’s head, the bicyclist may be thrown to the ground and hit his head, or he may be thrown into a stationary object. TBIs have been known to occur if the head is violently whipped back and forth without any physical impact whatsoever. TBIs are always serious and can cause lifelong damage.
Perhaps you were cycling by the Esplanade get involved in a traffic collision. No matter the severity of the accident, your first concern should always be your own safety. A visit to Mass General for an examination is always warranted, and worth the time and money. In many situations, the cost of your medical care will be compensated by the person responsible for the accident. When emergency medical personnel arrive, never decline treatment or an examination. This will document your injuries and can be important information to assist your attorneys in securing your compensation.
With over a decade of experience defending the rights of personal injury victims throughout Massachusetts, DiBella Law Offices, P.C., understands the trauma you have been through and the concerns you have. Mounting medical bills, the loss of income (even on a short-term basis), and uncertainty about your future are all stresses we can help you manage. Call (617) 870-0907 today to schedule a free consultation. We can answer your questions and assist you in securing any compensation you deserve as a result of your Boston bike accident.