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Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Information About Massachusetts Bicycle Accident Claims
Bicycle accidents happen every day in Massachusetts (especially in Boston due to the high number of bikes and cars), and can cause very serious injuries. These personal injury accidents typically happen when a motorist fails to stop at a red light or stop sign, fails to yield, or comes into the lane of the cyclist.
Victims of these accidents are frequently confused about what they are supposed to do, and what their rights are.
No matter how the accident happened, it is important to have a qualified and experienced lawyer protecting your rights. We successfully handle, and successfully settle, these types of personal injury claims.
It is important to know the insurance company for the car that hit you will attempt to limit your rights as much as possible. Don’t let that happen.
We will go to bat for you and collect full and fair compensation from the insurance company for all damages you suffered in your bicycle accident.
Sometimes people try to handle these claims on their own. That usually turns out to be a bad idea because of the fact that the insurance company trains its adjusters to limit the rights of injury victims as much as possible.
Having representation on your side is essential in order to achieve a fair settlement for your case.
Common Massachusetts Bicycle Accident Injuries
Because they are exposed and unprotected by sheet metal like car occupants are, those injured in bicycle accidents can suffer from very serious injuries.
Factors such as excessive speeding or sudden movements by a car can cause a bicyclist to be thrown from the bicycle.
Bicycle accident victims can suffer:
- soft tissue injuries
- fractures (broken bones)
- bruising (contusions)
- head injuries
- scarring, and
- even death
It is important to seek prompt medical attention following a bicycle crash so that your injuries are properly documented.
Injuries that appear mild to moderate can become severe very quickly. Also, accurately telling medical personnel exactly how the accident happened is critical.
The reason is because the medical records will be closely reviewed by the insurance company. It is always problematic if the medical records contain language which does not mention that the injuries were caused by a bicycle accident.
Nationwide Bicycle Accident Crash Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014 bicyclists accounted for roughly 2% of all traffic deaths and 2% of all crash-related injuries. The NHTSA also found the overwhelming majority of bicycle-related deaths in 2014 occurred to males, with the age bracket of 20-24 comprising the largest number of fatalities.
Further, about 21% of bicycle-related deaths were due to intoxication of the bicyclist.
And according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center:
- Estimated bicyclist injuries in 2006: 44,000
- Estimated bicyclist injuries in 2015: 45,000 (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts)
- Change in estimated bicyclist injuries between 2006 and 2015: 2.3 percent increase
- The total cost of bicyclist injury and death is over $4 billion per year (National Safety Council).
Additionally, per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
- 660 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2002. This is 9 percent fewer than in 2001 and down 34 percent since 1975.
- Bicycle deaths are most likely to occur in summer.
- Deaths are most likely to occur on Fridays and Saturdays. The peak time is 3-9 pm.
- Ninety-eight percent of bicyclists killed in 1999 reportedly weren’t wearing helmets.
- Deaths of older bicyclists are an increasing problem.
- Seventy-one percent of 1999 bicycle deaths were riders 16 years and older. This compares with 32 percent of bicycle deaths in 1975.
- Four states (California, Florida, New York, and Texas) accounted for 43 percent of bicycle deaths in 1999.
- More bicyclists were killed in urban areas than in rural areas (64 percent compared with 36 percent) in 1999.
- Thirty-five percent of bicycle deaths in 1999 occurred at intersections.
- Fifty-seven percent of bicycle deaths in 1999 occurred on major roads, and 37 percent occurred on local roads.
- Fifty-nine percent of bicycle deaths among children younger than 13 and 27 percent of adult bicycle deaths occur on minor roads.
- Adult bicyclists are more likely than children to be killed on major roads (67 percent compared with 38 percent).
Common Causes of Massachusetts Bicycle Accidents
These accidents can arise in a variety of ways. Here are some common scenarios we find with these types of motor vehicle accidents:
- Improper left turns
- Following too closely
- Distracted Driving
- Improper lane changes
- Failure to stop at red light
- Failure to stop at stop sign
Determining fault for these accidents comes down to which party was negligent for causing the crash. That involves looking at the crash scene, contacting witnesses, reviewing the police report, etc.
As long as the bicyclist was no more than 50% responsible, then he/she may pursue a claim for pain and suffering against the insurance policy for the motor vehicle operator. Regardless of fault, the cyclist’s medical bills and lost wages will be paid up to $8,000.
We Handle All Bicycle Crash Cases
We represent bicyclists injured by:
- Car Accidents – These are the most common type of bicycle accident and are frequently caused by inattention, speeding, and other negligent factors.
- Dooring Accidents – We represent bicycle accident victims doored by motor vehicle operators and passengers. Dooring is illegal under Massachusetts law.
- Truck Accidents – These accidents can cause extremely devastating and catastrophic injuries.
- Taxi Accidents – Given the high number of taxis in Boston, these accidents are very common.
- Rideshare Accidents – Massachusetts bicyclists are frequently struck by Lyft and Uber Drivers.
- Motorcycle Accidents – Although less common, bicyclists injured by negligent motorcycle operators is a real problem.
Massachusetts Bicycle Accident Insurance Benefits
You are entitled to have up to $8000.00 in your medical bills and lost wages paid that are incurred following your Massachusetts bicycle accident.
These are “no-fault” benefits, also known as PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits and come into play even if the accident was your fault.
It is important to complete a PIP application as soon as possible in order to take advantage of PIP benefits. I am a Boston bicycle accident lawyer can help you with this paperwork.
You also may make a claim for pain and suffering damages. These damages compensate you for any physical injuries, or mental distress, you suffered in your bicycle accident. These damages are also paid by the same insurance company that pays you for your PIP benefits.
The amount of pain and suffering damages you may receive depends on factors such as how long you had to receive medical treatment for; the nature and extent of your injuries; whether there are any permanent injuries, whether you were partly at fault for the crash, and other factors as well are considered.
Depending on the facts and available insurance for your accident, you may need to look to your own personal car insurance for coverage. If the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance, you would then look to your own vehicle’s underinsured motorist coverage.
If the at-fault driver can’t be found, then you look to your own policy for uninsured motorist coverage. I always suggest buying as much car insurance coverage that you can afford.
If you don’t own your own vehicle, then you would look to any household members for coverage. If someone you live does have a vehicle, then you can look to that policy for coverage.
How Can A Lawyer Help Me?
These accidents can frequently cause very serious injuries given how exposed cyclists are when they are contacted by motor vehicles. These accidents can also be very complicated as liability and insurance coverage issues may arise.
We are experienced with investigating these accidents, and finding out precisely how the motor vehicle that hit you is responsible for your injuries.
We seek out any witnesses and obtain any video coverage that may exist of the crash. Our office will also collect any photos of your bicycle and the car(s) that hit you, as well as photos of your injuries, and the accident scene.
The next step in this process is to monitor all of your medical treatment. Once the treatment has finished, we then collect all your medical records, bills, and proof of lost wages. We then submit a settlement demand package to the insurance company.
Then, negotiations begin with the insurance company in order to reach a full and fair settlement for your bicycle accident case. Ideally, after back and forth negotiation, a settlement with the insurance company may be reached.
If a settlement is not reached, a lawsuit against the car that hit you will be filed. Depending on the type of injuries sustained, the case will be filed in either District Court or Superior Court.
We will fight for maximum compensation for your case.
What To Do After A Bicycle Accident
Taking the appropriate steps following a bicycle accident is critical. Here are some of them:
- Call the police
- Collect as much information about the person who hit you
- Photograph the scene
- Photograph your injuries
- Receive prompt medical attention
- Do not speak with any insurance adjusters
- Consult an experienced bicycle accident lawyer
Time Limits For Bringing A Bicycle Injury Claim
Massachusetts law is very strict with deadlines for filing bicycle accident lawsuits. Failing to timely file will cause a case to be lost forever.
You have only three years in Massachusetts to file a claim for injuries, lost wages and pain and suffering following your Massachusetts bicycle accident.
This is a strict deadline and these cases are usually most successful when promptly brought.
Delays only tend to hurt these cases. The reason is that witnesses and important evidence can be lost. Statutes of limitations are hard deadlines with few, if any, exceptions.
Also, just because you have three years to file does not mean it is wise to wait the full three years.
The statute of limitations for minors is three years from their 18th birthday (age 21).
Successful Bicycle Accident Settlements
We understand just how difficult, and painful, these accidents can be for victims. For many years we have proudly and successfully represented Massachusetts bicycle accident victims.
- We recently successfully settled a bicycle accident crash at a mediation session for a client. The case settled for $ 190,000 against a negligent automobile operator that injured our client. Our client suffered very serious injuries when the operator of the car made a right turn directly into our client’s lane of travel.
Attorney Earley has a long track record of success and is a Boston bicycle accident lawyer that is here to help you.
Call today for help with your case. You can reach us 24/7 and we will come to you if that is more convenient for you.
We are Massachusetts bicycle accident lawyers that represent injured workers in Boston, MA and Massachusetts including Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Revere, Lynn, Lawrence, Andover, Newton, Quincy, Medford, Plymouth, Worcester, Fall River, Bellingham, Weymouth, Natick, Stoneham, Wakefield, Reading, Wilmington, Burlington, Lynnfield, Saugus, Peabody, Danvers, Middleton, North Andover, North Reading, Woburn, Canton, Stoughton, Randolph, Dedham, Norwood, Mansfield, Taunton, Brockton Suffolk County, Middlesex County, Essex County, Worcester County, Norfolk County, Plymouth County, Bristol County and Barnstable County.
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