Boston Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have been injured by a vehicle while riding your bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact Rubenstein Law for a free consultation to see how we can help.
A bicycle accident can happen due to a variety of things. Some examples include a motorist, a poorly maintained roadway, a passenger opening the door of a parked vehicle, distracted pedestrians, and numerous other potential hazards.
Bicycle accidents have the potential for severe consequences such as damage to your bike, serious injuries, exorbitant medical expenses, and lost income. If you were injured in a bike accident due to another party’s negligence, Massachusetts law allows you to pursue financial damages from the at-fault party by way of a personal injury lawsuit. An injured person should work with an experienced Boston bicycle accident attorney to help them recover full and fair financial compensation after being involved in a Boston bicycle accident.
Boston bicycle accidents are almost always extremely harmful. If you were recently injured in a Massachusetts bicycle accident, it is important that you speak to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer you can depend on. Our Boston bicycle accident lawyers can help you calculate your appropriate damages and draw up a demand letter to the person or persons responsible for your bike accident. In the event that we need to go to trial, we will not hesitate.
Call Rubenstein Law for a free consultation today.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Boston
The majority of bicycle accidents are caused by the motorists with whom bicycle riders share the road. Motorists most often cause accidents due to inattention, distraction or negligence. Here are some common causes of Boston bicycle accidents:
A lot of bicycle accidents are the result of drivers failing to keep an appropriate watch for riders. These drivers might turn their vehicle into a cyclist who is riding beside them because they neglected to check their vehicle’s blind spots.
Following Too Close to Cyclists
Drivers attempting to pass a cyclist commonly underestimate how far away they are. If a driver does not leave enough space between their vehicle and the cyclist when passing, they can force them off the road or limit the amount of room they have to maneuver, making it impossible for the rider to avoid hazards such as debris and potholes.
Obstructions in the Bike Lane
Bike lane obstructions are another serious hazard for cyclists. Riders are permitted to leave designated bike lanes in order to circumvent parked vehicles, open manhole covers, and construction work. When they do so, however, drivers need to reduce their speed and increase the amount of space they give cyclists. When a driver fails to leave enough room or does not allow a bicyclist to momentarily share their lane, they put everyone in danger.
Another common cause of Boston bike accidents is when someone inside a car opens their door without looking, causing the rider to slam into it. Failing to look before you open a car door into a cyclist could constitute an act of negligence, and the cyclist could pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Common Boston Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents can leave cyclists with severe and even fatal injuries. The main reason that bicycle accidents are so serious is because bikes offer no protection. Even in full protective gear, a cyclist has little more than gloves and a helmet between them and the asphalt or motor vehicles. Bicycle accident injuries can vary from minor to catastrophic, and often require costly medical treatments.
If you were recently injured in a Boston bicycle accident, you may have sustained injuries ranging from contusions and lacerations to traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage. Bicyclists are often ejected from their bikes on impact, which results in additional injuries. When these accidents take place, there are usually other vehicles on the roadway. If there is even a moderate amount of traffic during an accident, the rider could be in danger of being run over by other vehicles. Needless to say, things get complicated very fast.
Even if the injuries you sustained in a bike accident seem fairly insignificant, it is crucial that you seek immediate medical attention. There are many bicycle accident injuries that do not manifest until several days or even weeks after an accident. By the time you become aware of them, not only will it be challenging to definitively link your injuries to the accident for the purposes of your personal injury claim, but your condition may worsen without initial care. This is why it is always a smart idea to seek prompt medical care and hire a reputable Boston bicycle accident lawyer.
Steps to Take After a Boston Bicycle Accident
Immediately following a Boston bicycle accident, there are a few steps you can take in order to protect your right to fair compensation. First and foremost, you should notify the police immediately and, as previously discussed, seek medical care. It is also a good idea to speak with any bystanders that might have seen what happened.
After police officers arrive on the scene, they will write up a crash report that details the events leading up to the accident. This police crash report could be an invaluable source of information to your Boston bicycle accident lawyer if you decide to bring a suit against the at-fault party. You can request a copy after the accident, or we can help you get it after you hire our law firm to handle your case.
Don’t be surprised if the negligent driver attempts to dissuade you from calling 911 after a bicycle accident, particularly if the incident appears inconsequential. It is, of course, in your best interests to notify police after a Boston bike accident. Never let a negligent driver tell you otherwise. They are simply trying to avoid any repercussions for the behavior.
Next, if your injuries allow, take pictures or video of as much of the scene as possible. These will be especially useful if the at-fault driver tries to flee before police arrive. Talk to potential witnesses and write down their contact details. Your Boston bicycle accident lawyer will contact them in the coming weeks to give statements that will strengthen your claim against the at-fault driver.
You also need to seek prompt medical attention. It is essential to your case to have medical records starting immediately following the accident. These records will be useful as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Massachusetts Statute of Limitations on Civil Injury Claims
According to Massachusetts law, the statute of limitations for a Boston bicycle accident case is three years. In other words, plaintiffs have three years from the day of their accident to bring a legal claim. If this deadline lapses before a claim is filed, they will be barred from collecting any compensation whatsoever. There are always exceptions to this rule, depending on the unique circumstances of your case. That’s another reason why it is so important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
Before they have enough confidence in a case to file a complete claim, lawyers often require months of advanced preparation and research. They also must collect evidence, and draw up briefs and complaints before a claim can be filed. Contacting an attorney too close to the statutory deadline will restrict your attorney’s ability to do their job to the best of their ability and will ultimately impact your ability to recover compensation.
When those with injuries take a lot of time to file a claim, it can also give the appearance that their injuries are not related to their accident or that they are not really serious enough to warrant damages. You should act quickly after being injured in a Boston bicycle accident. The longer you wait to contact an attorney and file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, the harder it is going to be for you to recover compensation for your losses.
Common Evidence in a Boston Bike Accident Case
It is important to furnish strong evidence if you want to achieve a successful resolution to your bike accident case. Videos or photographs of your injuries and damage to your bicycle as well as to any of the vehicles involved, along with testimonies from eyewitnesses can all serve as powerful evidence. It is equally important to show medical documentation of your injuries and that you have been following your doctor’s instructions regarding your recovery.
As time passes, the people who were involved in or who witnessed your accident will probably forget essential details about what they saw. Physical evidence like skid marks on the blacktop or the condition of your bicycle could also change or vanish altogether. When you reach out to a Boston bicycle accident lawyer right away after the accident, it allows more evidence to be collected and preserved, and sets the case up for a favorable outcome.
When you react early in the process, our Boston bicycle accident lawyers are able to send letters to businesses in the area, other motorists, or the defendant themselves in order to conserve any dash cam or surveillance camera footage that may have caught part of your accident. They will also ask for photos of the accident scene from the defendant so they can be preserved for the discovery stage of any potential trial.
You will also need proof of any injuries you sustained in the accident. This is a standard component in every personal injury case. Your lawyer can help you gather your medical bills, receipts, and other evidence that will show the court what damages you incurred and how much they cost you.
In order for those injured in bike accidents to win their lawsuits, they will have to show that the at-fault party, known as the defendant, was negligent in some regard. In bike accident cases, negligence is usually demonstrated as negligence per se by proving that the defendant violated a law intended to keep cyclists safe. For instance, a driver who was intoxicated or who ran a traffic light could be held liable for the accident because it was directly caused by their traffic violation.
A fair share of bike accidents are not the result of a specific transgression behind the wheel but of other reckless or unsafe driver behaviors. For instance, it is perfectly legal to play your car’s stereo while you are driving, but if a driver has a brand new stereo that they don’t know how to operate and all of their attention is focused on this one task, their distracted driving could cause a serious accident.
After you establish that the defendant was in the wrong, you then must prove that their negligence or recklessness was the direct cause of your accident. Proving that your accident would not have taken place but for the defendant’s actions is usually enough to demonstrate that they caused the accident. If, however, the defendant is able to show that you would have had an accident despite their actions, then they did not legally cause your accident.
Finally, in order to pursue compensation, you have to prove what damages you incurred. This is usually the easiest to prove since it can generally be shown by providing medical records, proof of lost wages, etc.
Reach out to one of the bicycle accident lawyers at Rubenstein Law for help building a compelling case. Having proper legal representation costs you nothing out-of-pocket and will help you gain a much more favorable outcome for your situation.
Massachusetts Comparative Negligence Laws
Although your bicycle accident injuries may have been caused by someone else’s negligence, not all Boston bicycle accident lawsuits are straightforward. Massachusetts abides by the law of comparative negligence, which can greatly influence the overall amount of compensatory damages you are awarded. Comparative negligence laws are just one of the many reasons you should work with an experienced personal injury attorney if you plan to sue the driver who caused your Boston bicycle accident.
Massachusetts' laws regarding comparative negligence states that if the plaintiff is assigned a percentage of fault for their accident, any award they receive can be reduced.
Most often, this law affects cyclists who were not wearing a helmet when their accident took place. In Boston, bike riders who are 17 and older are required to wear a helmet. Comparative negligence laws could impact your claim if you were not wearing a helmet during the accident and received a traumatic brain injury.
There are many other ways that comparative negligence laws can apply to bicycle accident cases, so hiring a qualified Boston bicycle accident lawyer is paramount to the outcome of your case and your financial future as well. Our personal injury lawyers can use their vast experience and considerable resources to categorically prove that your percentage of fault, if any, does not exceed the defendant’s.
Compensation for Boston Bike Accident Damages
Plaintiffs injured in serious bicycle accidents typically accumulate a lot of damages. These damages are proven during negotiations to establish how much financial compensation the injured person may be entitled to. The insurance company is more likely to settle for a reasonable amount if you can prove all of your damages.
Certain damages, called economic damages, are easy to quantify. Some common examples of economic damages related to bike accidents include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Diminished future earning capacity
- Property damage
These damages become much more challenging to work out if future damages are involved as well. For example, if you sustained a serious back injury and are no longer able to perform your previous job, you might be forced to look for a new job that pays less because it is less physically demanding. In this case, you could be entitled to claim anticipated medical bills and future lost wages. Your lawyer can work with financial experts in order to help calculate these anticipated damages and provide proof of their value during settlement negotiations and if necessary, in court.
Other damages, known as non-economic damages, are considerably harder to calculate. These damages are personal and emotional, with no affixed, inherent value. A few examples of non-economic damages related to Boston bike accident lawsuits include:
- Pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of fellowship
State law says that the economic damages must be greater than $2,000 before you can claim non-economic damages.
Every case is unique, so that is why it is best to have an attorney review your case and determine its overall value. This is why we offer a free consultation with our Boston bicycle accident lawyers.
Talk to Our Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
If an insurance company is trying to undervalue or devalue your claim, a personal injury lawyer is able to file a lawsuit and, if necessary, go to trial. To learn more about not falling victim to a greedy insurance company and receiving proper legal representation from our Boston personal injury lawyers for your bicycle accident, call (800) FL-LEGAL today and schedule your free case review. The Boston bicycle accident lawyers at Rubenstein Law are available to help so you can focus on healing.