Bicycling is a way of life for many people in Massachusetts, and as one of the most bike-friendly states in the country, it offers a cheap and effective transportation alternative. Unfortunately, bike accidents are a common occurrence and can cause severe damage, given their small light-weight frames. Victims of bicycle accidents may face devastating personal injuries, loss of income, and in severe cases, loss of life.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bicycle accident, a Medford Bicycle accident lawyer can help you navigate your case. Reach out to an experienced attorney to get started on discussing your case today.
While most serious bicycle accidents take place as a direct result of a vehicle collision, other types of bicycle accidents occur as well. The most common causes of injuries to cyclists other than car crashes include:
Bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles often lead to severe injuries including broken bones, back and neck injuries, head trauma, spine injuries, paralysis, amputations, internal injuries, and brain damage. Depending on the extent of the injury, the recovery could require weeks, months, or years of rehabilitation.
Like drivers, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities to operate with reasonable care in roadways. There are additional biking regulations, including the use of helmets, bike lights, and sidewalk restrictions. Riders are required to follow all applicable traffic laws and regulations, such as signaling turns, obeying traffic signals, and yielding to pedestrians.
Specifically, Massachusetts law requires anyone under sixteen to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Since most bicycling accidents happen at night or before sunrise, the law also requires bicyclists to use a white front light visible from at least five hundred feet and a red taillight, visible from at least six hundred feet. Bicycles are entitled to ride on any public street or bikeway, unless there is limited access or specified otherwise or where this is limited access or in an express state highway. They are also allowed to ride on the sidewalks, except in business districts.
In most bicycle cases, drivers either fail to see the cyclist or does not respect the space afforded to cyclists. The cyclist may also have responsibility for failing to stop at a stop sign or red light. When injuries are the result of an improperly maintained roadway, a cyclist may file a premises liability claim against the property owner.
Under Massachusetts’s comparative fault law statute, a plaintiff must be less than 50% responsible for the accident to recover damages. If the plaintiff is determined to bear partial fault for the accident, the court will deduct that percentage of fault from the total amount of damages award. An experienced Medford bicycle attorney has the expertise to examine case specifics and injuries to guide the unique circumstances of each situation.
To bring a cause of action for a personal injury in Medford, a plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent and failed to act as a reasonable person would in a similar situation. Plaintiffs may seek compensatory damages to compensate for their financial and emotional losses, including medical expenses (examinations, treatments, and surgeries), lost wages, and pain and suffering.
There may be several contributing factors to a bicycle accident, and the right legal representation can help examine those factors and identify the theory of liability. A Medford bicycle accident lawyer will investigate and provide you with the legal assistance that you need to recover damages from the injury. Contact us today to see what a dedicated personal injury attorney could do in your case.