According to the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, 726 bicyclists were killed, and an additional 49,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes. Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2% of all motor vehicle fatalities. Bicyclists were 2% of the people injured in traffic crashes. The number of bicyclists killed in 2012 was 6% higher than those killed in 2011. Of the deaths in 2012, approximately 60% of those crashes did not occur at an intersection, and 48% occurred between 4 and 11:59 p.m.
The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued important safety reminders for all bicyclists, which include:
- All bicyclists should wear a properly fitted helmet each time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent a head injury from a bicycle crash.
- Bicyclists are considered motor vehicle operators and are required to follow the same rules of the road as other motor vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signals, signs and lane markings.
- Bicyclists should increase their visibility to motor vehicle drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during both day and nighttime hours.
- To be noticed at night, a bicyclist should use a front light and a red reflector or flashing rear light, and retro-reflective tape or markings on both their equipment and clothing.
Causes of Bike Accidents
Our bicycle accident lawyers handle a variety of bicycle accident claims, and we are well-versed on the major reasons accidents occur. These are:
- Distracted or inattentive riding
- Merging into intersections or lanes
- Collisions with fixed objects
- The bicycle falling
- Rider error
Like car accident claims, bicycle accidents require a great amount of evidence. If you have been injured riding a bike and have decided to make a claim, it is extremely important to seek help from experienced bicycle injury lawyers.
Common types of injuries from bicycle accidents
Most bicycle-related injuries stem from trauma to the upper or lower extremities. Other common places to sustain injuries include the head, face, and abdomen. If a bicycle rider is hit and falls on their neck, they can receive irreversible trauma resulting in lifelong effects. In other cases, they may receive lacerations and other wounds. Other common injuries are strains, fractures, and dislocations as riders are thrown from their bicycles.
What can I claim compensation for?
Each bicycle accident claim is different and is evaluated individually. The bicycle accident attorney cannot estimate an exact figure until all evidence has been gathered and the extent of injury has been established. However, here are a few considerations to keep in mind while calculating a compensation claim:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income as a result of the inability or reduced ability to go to work
- The need to get care at home or in the community
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Miscellaneous expenses
Each of these holds a different worth in regard to compensation. A successful bicycle injury lawyer will know how to use the evidence and advocate effectively on your behalf to obtain maximum compensation. Your case will always be our top priority!
Safety tips for bicyclists in Massachusetts:
- Obey all traffic laws and regulations of the Commonwealth.
- Use hand signals to let people know you are stopping or turning.
- Give pedestrians the right of way.
- Give pedestrians an audible signal before overtaking or passing them.
- If bicyclists are riding side-by-side, they must allow traffic to pass. This means that bicyclists must ride single file when faster traffic wants to pass them or stay in the right-most lane on a multi-lane road.
- Keep one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- If the bicyclist is 16 years old or younger, they must wear a helmet that meets U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requirements at all times. The helmet must fit their head with the chin strap fastened.
- Use a white headlight and red taillight or rear reflector when riding anytime from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise.
- At night, they must wear ankle reflectors if there are not reflectors on their pedals.
- Notify the police of any accident involving personal injury or property damage over $100.
- New motorist responsibilities involving bicyclists in Massachusetts:
- A motorist and their passengers must check for passing bicyclists before opening their door.
- A motorist must stay a safe distance to the left of bicyclists when passing.
- Motorists can not return to the right until they safely clear the bicyclist.
- A motorist must pass at a safe distance. If the lane is too narrow to pass safely, the motorist must use another lane to pass, or if that is unsafe, the motorist must wait until it is safe to pass.
- A motorist cannot make an abrupt right-hand turn at an intersection or driveway after passing a bicyclist.
- A motorist must yield to oncoming bicyclists when making left-hand turns.
Injured in a bicycle accident? Get legal assistance from our bicycle accident law firm!
Attorney Jason Ranallo has been helping individuals injured in bicycle accidents since 2002. You can rest assured that by having the Law Offices of Jason M. Ranallo, P.C. working for you, your case will be put in the hands of an experienced, compassionate, knowledgeable, and aggressive attorney who knows how to get results. He and his office will provide you with the personal attention and skill that each case needs. We will handle every aspect of your bicycle accident case, including going to trial if a full and fair settlement agreement cannot be reached.
Injured in a bicycle accident? Call the Law Offices of Jason M. Ranallo, P.C. today at 781-344-6200 or contact the firm online to schedule a free consultation to review your case. In order to provide utmost convenience, we are available upon request at different locations and places. Our No Win-No Fee policy is of zero risk to our clients.
Let us show you what our knowledge, experience, and skills can do for you or your loved one. Your bicycle accident case will always be our top priority. Call or contact us today!