Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers
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 & Associates Injury Lawyers 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 Massachusetts bicyclist were killed in collisions in the state 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 of 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 collarbones 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.