In recent years, many changes have taken place with the roadways in Boston. With more bicycle riders on the road, a need for Boston bicycle accident lawyers has increased. Since implementation, the 30-year plan implemented by Mayor Thomas Menino has seen an increase from 55 miles of bike network in 2008 to 195 miles in 2018. The goal, by 2043, is to establish 356 miles of bike network across the city.
Keeping Boston Bicycle Riders Safe
Rules and regulations for vehicles help keep the drivers and pedestrians on the roadway safe. Boston’s bicycle laws were created to do the same. The bicycle laws in Boston require riders to follow all traffic laws. For example, bicyclists must stop at stop signs, ride in the same direction as traffic, and use hand signals to indicate stops or turning.
One particular law that may contribute to the severity of injuries when a bicycle rider is an accident is using a helmet. The current law states that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a helmet at all times while on a bicycle. Although recommended, anyone 17 years of age and older are not required to wear them.
Bicycle Accident Causes in Boston
Even safe vehicle drivers and bicycle riders end up in accidents. Some accidents are due to one or both parties’ negligence, resulting in severe injuries up to and including death. Riding on a bicycle does not offer the same safety as riding in a vehicle, making even small accidents life-threatening.
Not all accidents are the result of a vehicle. Some can be environmental, like poorly maintained roadways or collisions with pedestrians. Some of the most frequent causes of bicycle accidents include:
- A driver of a vehicle parked along the roadway opens their door directly into the path of a bicycle rider.
- A bicycle rider makes an unpredictable maneuver that a vehicle driver does not have the time to respond to.
- An unevenly paved roadway causes a bicycle rider to fall off of their bicycle.
- A collision occurs with another bicycle rider or pedestrian.
- A vehicle’s driver rear-ends a bicycle rider or makes a right-hand turn in the rider’s path.
Injuries Caused By Bicycle Accidents
The injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can range from mild to fatal. Unlike riding in a car, a bicycle does not protect the body or have built-in safety features like airbags. The entire body of a bicycle rider is at risk during an accident.
The most common injuries seen during bicycle accidents are:
- Facial Injuries – These injuries include breaks or fractures to the jaw, nose, and other bony structures. You may find that these injuries can result in lost teeth, lacerations, road rash, and even loss of one or both eyes.
- Skin Injuries – With the body exposed, many riders involved in an accident end up with road rash (deep scrapes that remove areas of skin), lacerations, scrapes, and bruises.
- Bone Injuries – The most commonly broken bones during a bicycle accident are arms, legs, wrists, ankles, ribs, and the collarbone.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Bicycle riders do not have any restraint, which means they are more likely to fall off or be launched from the bike. The bike’s ejection can result in spinal cord injuries, including fractured vertebrae, displaced discs, and nerve damage. Injuries to the spinal cord can result in a long therapy journey, chronic pain, and even paralysis.
- Head and Brain Injuries – Even with a helmet, a bicycle rider can sustain head and brain injuries if the accident is severe enough. Skull fractures, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries are common among bicycle accidents.
When To Call Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyers
When you are involved in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to damages for a personal injury. Boston bicycle accident lawyers are your source for determining liability and the type of compensation you may be entitled to. At TorkLaw, we are experienced in handling cases like yours.
Determining Liability in a Boston Bicycle Accident
As Boston bicycle accident lawyers, we are tasked with the job of proving that the defendant was negligent, causing the accident and injuries you sustained. We do this in several ways, most often using:
- Police reports from the accident
- Accident reconstruction
- Eye-witness testimony
In most circumstances, the evidence collected at the scene and reported to the police may be enough to substantiate your case.
Types of Damages Awarded in Bicycle Accident Cases
As your Boston bicycle accident lawyers, we will be fighting to get the compensation you deserve for injuries sustained in the accident. Depending on the type of negligence, you may be entitled to one or more types of damages.
Economic Damages – The economic damages your bicycle accident case may be worth is factored by measurable damages. These include medical bills, lost wages, damaged property, etc.
Non-Economic Damages – These damage amounts are pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and other unquantifiable losses.
Punitive Damages – These damages are commonly awarded by a judge or jury to punish, especially egregious offenders.
Pursuing Insurance Company Compensation
Massachusetts bicycle rider involved in an accident should call the insurance companies of everyone involved in the accident. You will be assigned a claim number for the accident and be sent claims forms in the mail.
The insurance company may ask you for a written or recorded statement. We advise that you refuse to do this until after you have spoken with us.
Suppose a bicycle rider is in an accident with a driver whose vehicle is registered and insured in Massachusetts. In that case, their medical claims will be settled to the no-fault limits of the policyholders involved. If the defendant is responsible for the damage done to your personal property, their insurance company should pay for that as well. If the insurance company does not settle for an amount that is considered acceptable, we will bring it to the courtroom for trial.
Your Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Have you or a loved one been in a bicycle accident in Boston? Are you entitled to compensation from the accident? Let our lawyers review your bicycle accident case through our free consultation.
At TorkLaw, we analyze your case and help you to find out which type of claim is best for your situation. If you are in the Boston, Massachusetts area, call TorkLaw at 888.845.9696 to initiate your free case consultation.