Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Kelly & Soto Law
If you were struck by a car and sustained serious injuries while riding a bicycle in Boston, you need a strong legal advocate. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 85, Section 11B gives all cyclists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts certain rights and responsibilities and governs how drivers must interact with bicyclists on the road. As a bicyclist, you have the right to use most public roads and a responsibility to obey all traffic laws.
If you are seriously injured in a cycling accident caused by a motorist, you have a legal right to seek compensation to cover your medical bills and other expenses related to your injury, including lost income if you are unable to work. You should not have to pay medical bills for injuries related to a crash that was not your fault. The Boston bike accident lawyers at Kelly & Soto are energetic advocates for bicyclists who have been injured by other motorists.
Motorists’ Responsibilities to Bicycle Riders
Boston drivers frequently drive too fast given the traffic conditions around the city. Many serious bicycle accidents occur because automobile drivers fail to keep a lookout for bicyclists on the road and turn into the rider’s path at intersections or force the rider off the road to avoid a collision. Motorists who do not share the road are dangerous.
- Motorists and passengers must check for bicyclists before opening their doors into the path of any other traffic, and can be fined up to $100 if they fail to do so.
- Motorists must stay a safe distance to the left of a bicyclist when passing and may only pass if they can do so at a safe distance.
- Motorists are prohibited from returning to the right side of the road until safely clear of any bicyclists.
- Motorists must yield to oncoming bicyclists when making left-hand turns. This includes those riding lawfully to the right of other traffic.
Cycling Accident Injuries
Most serious bicycle injuries are caused by collisions with cars, trucks, buses and other motor vehicles. Bicyclists face a higher risk of serious and fatal injuries in collisions than motorists because bicycles offer riders little protection. Eight bicyclists were killed in collisions in Massachusetts in 2014 and more than 40 have died since 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The most common injuries in bicycle accidents are injuries to the arms and legs followed by injuries to the head, face, chest and abdomen.
- Road Rash—Abrasions range from superficial scrapes to abrasion of full layers of skin and the need to remove embedded gravel and debris from soft tissue;
- Fractures—Fractures to the arm, leg, elbow, and spinal neck trauma;
- Facial injuries—Facial injuries include abrasions to soft tissue, facial fractures, broken teeth and eye trauma;
- Head Injuries—Head injuries include concussion, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries if a rider is thrown head first from a bicycle;
- Chest injuries include rib fractures; broken collar bones and shoulder blades
According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, bicycle accident injuries increased 23 percent and hospitalizations related to bike injuries increased 120 percent in recent years. The largest increase was among riders older than 45 years old.
Your Rights and Responsibilities as A Bicyclist
- You may ride on any public roadway or bikeway, except (1) those with limited access or (2) highways where signs prohibiting such riding have been posted.
- You may pass cars on the right.
- You may ride on sidewalks unless local postings say otherwise.
- If you get approval from the appropriate police department and do so in cooperation with a recognized bicycle organization you may race on any public roadway.
- You must obey all traffic laws and regulations.
- You must use hand signals for stopping and turning.
- Just like a car, you must give pedestrians the right of way, and if you are passing a pedestrian, you must use an audible signal.
- You must use a permanent seat and keep one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- If you are 16 years old or younger, you must wear a helmet at all times. The helmet must fit and the chin-strap must be fastened.
- If riding anytime before sunrise or after sunset, you must use a white headlight and a red taillight or rear reflector.
- You must either have reflectors on your pedals or wear ankle reflectors if riding at night.
- You must notify the police of any accident involving personal injury or property damage that amounts to $100 or more.
- You have the right to seek compensation if you have been injured in a bike accident caused by the fault of another motorist.
Help For Your Bicycle Accident Injuries
After a serious bicycle accident, you need a lawyer who will work with you and keep you informed of the progress in your case. The police may initially have only the motorist’s account of how the crash occurred. A motorist may try to shift the blame onto a bicyclist for causing a collision the motorist actually caused. As your accident attorney, we will make sure that police have your version of what occurred.
We negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to make sure that you receive the medical care you need. We understand the legal rights of bicyclists who have been harmed. If necessary, we will file a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist and their insurance provider to assert your rights.
At Kelly & Soto, we believe in client service. If you choose us, you will work directly with your attorney, not with a paralegal or a case manager. We will keep you informed at every step of our progress in resolving your personal injury claim.
The Boston accident lawyers at Kelly & Soto Law will work to help you obtain compensation for your crash injuries and loss. We understand how traumatizing any accident can be to both you and your loved ones. We strive to use all of our resources to process your claim efficiently and effectively. For a free consultation, call the Law Guys at Kelly & Soto Law at 1.800.LAW.GUYS.
Helpful Information On Cycling