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Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle Accidents in Traffic

Bicycle accidents should not happen in a country that cares about the environment and the health of its citizens. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that investing in safer traffic lanes for bicycle riders can mean the difference between life and death. States with the least funding for bicycle lanes have the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and blood pressure. They also put cyclists at a disproportionate risk of being killed in a traffic accident. While only 10% of the population bikes in traffic, they account for 13% of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Massachusetts residents are lucky to have greater funding for bicycle safety, which has increased ridership by 122% since 2007. Although rare, bicycle crashes still occur: over 35% of these accidents involve a car.

Bodily Injury in Bicycle Accidents

Riding a bicycle does wonders for the body and the environment. In addition to drastically reducing your carbon footprint, it also provides the moderate aerobic activity required to help stave off illness and disease. Safe bicycling actually contributes to the overall health of the community. But in a car-crazed culture, cyclists are the ones who suffer greater injury in an accident. Even with helmets, they are less visible and more vulnerable to being hit by negligent drivers. Bicycle accidents can cause a variety of bodily injuries, including:

  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
  • Broken bones and teeth
  • Loss of a body part or function
  • Ejection from bicycle to pavement
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injuries, or
  • Death if run over by oncoming traffic
Bicycle Accidents Caused by Negligence

Most cycling accidents are preventable, but most of the time, a negligent driver is at fault. Motorists, for the most part, do not know traffic rules regarding cyclists and often fail to treat them as part of traffic. Motorists breach a legal duty to cyclists by when they engage in any form of negligent driving, including:

  • Operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI)
  • Unlawful use of bicycle lanes
  • Speeding and other traffic violations
  • Failing to leave a sufficient “buffer” zone
  • Illegal passing or overtaking at crosswalks

Cyclists injured by negligent driving are entitled to compensation from all liable parties, including damages for repairs, medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Premises and Product Liability in Bicycle Accidents

Like drivers, property owners have a duty to keep the premises safe for people who enter the property. Protecting cyclists from unreasonable harm requires the owner to eliminate or repair any dangerous conditions on the property. This could mean removing a fallen tree, posting proper warning signs, or even restraining a vicious pet. Property owners who breach this duty to cyclists may be liable for injuries caused by the dangerous condition.

Manufacturers are likewise responsible for the goods and products they make. All helmets, for example, must meet federal safety standards to constitute the “protective” gear required by state law. Bicycles must also be rider-safe to be sold on the market. Any defect in the model, make, or design of a product may result in product liability. In these cases, negligence is presumed, making manufacturers “strictly liable” for any injuries caused by their defective product.

Contact a Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

If you were injured in a bicycle accident, a knowledgeable Massachusetts personal injury lawyer can help. At Cappetta Law Offices, you will receive the highest quality legal representation from a seasoned litigator. Attorney Cappetta thoroughly investigates each case to give you an honest evaluation of your personal injury claim. You can trust him to listen to your needs and provide you with personalized attention. Cappetta Law Offices is dedicated to protecting your rights and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call (508) 969-9505 today for a free consultation or contact us online.