Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you were struck by a car and sustained serious injuries while riding a bicycle in Boston, you need a strong legal advocate. Massachusetts bicycle laws outline certain rights and responsibilities and govern how drivers interact with bicyclists. 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 serious 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 bicycle accident lawyers at Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers are energetic advocates for bicyclists injured by other motorists. They are experienced working with victims of a bike injury and can help you navigate your bike accident case.

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident in Boston

If you are involved in a Boston bicycle accident, prioritizing your safety and protecting your rights is important. Here are the actions you need to take:

  1. Check for Injuries and Ensure Safety: First, make sure you are safe and check yourself for injuries. If you or anyone else is seriously hurt, call 911 right away. It’s integral to get medical help as soon as possible.
  2. Move to a Safe Location: Moving from the road to a safe spot to avoid further danger is a must if you can do so. This will help prevent additional accidents and keep you safe while you wait for help.
  3. Call the Police: Always report the accident to the police. An official police report is a key piece of evidence for your case. It helps document what happened, who was involved, and the injuries sustained.
  4. Gather Information: Collect details about the accident. This includes getting the drivers’ names, contact information, and insurance details. Also, note down the make and model of the car, the license plate number, and the driver’s license number. This will help when working with the insurance company of the driver.
  5. Document the Scene: Take photos or videos of the accident scene, your bike, your injuries, and any damage to your belongings. This visual evidence can be very helpful later.
  6. Get Contact Information from Witnesses: Ask for their names and contact information if there are any witnesses. Witnesses can provide valuable statements that support your version of events.
  7. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t feel badly hurt, see a doctor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent. A medical record of your injuries is a non-negotiable for your claim.
  8. Keep Records of All Expenses: Save all receipts and records of expenses related to the accident. This includes medical bills, bike repair costs, and any other related costs. These records are important when seeking compensation as part of your personal injury claim.

Lastly, contact a Boston bike accident lawyer before talking to insurance companies. Insurance companies may try to settle your claim for less than you deserve. A bike accident attorney will help protect your rights and ensure you get fair compensation.

Bicycle Laws in Boston, MA

If you enjoy cycling in the Boston area, knowing the rules related to cycling can make you less susceptible to bicycle accidents. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Use the Full Lane: Bicyclists can use the full lane on any street unless signs specifically prohibit it.
  • Ride in the Right Direction: Always ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Obey Traffic Signals: Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
  • Signal Your Turns: Use hand signals to indicate your turns and stops.
  • Stay Off Sidewalks in Business Districts: Bicycling on sidewalks is allowed only outside business districts unless locally banned.
  • Yield to Pedestrians: When riding on sidewalks, yield to pedestrians and give an audible signal when passing.
  • Ride Single File: When riding side-by-side, stay in one lane and don’t block traffic.
  • Wear a Helmet: Bicyclists under 16 must wear helmets approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Use Lights at Night: Have a white front light visible from at least 500 feet and a red rear light or reflector that is visible from at least 600 feet.

However, it is important to understand that even though you may comply with the bike laws in Massachusetts, drivers who share the road may not. If you were in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, our bicycle accident attorneys can help you achieve a fair settlement or verdict.

Motorists’ Responsibilities to Bicycle Riders

Boston drivers frequently drive too fast, given the traffic conditions around the city. Many serious bicycle injuries are sustained because automobile drivers fail to look 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 and likely to cause bicycle accidents.

  • Motorists and passengers must check for approaching bicyclists before they open their car doors into the path of any other traffic. If they fail to do so, they can be fined up to $100.
  • 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 make sure they yield to oncoming bike riders 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 bikes offer riders little protection. Eight Massachusetts bicyclists 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: Superficial scrapes, abrasion of full layers of skin, and the need to remove embedded gravel and debris from soft tissue. Although these common bicycle injuries might not be severe, they must be included in your injury claim.
  • Fractures: Fractures of the arm, leg, elbow, and spinal neck trauma.
  • Facial Injuries: Abrasions to soft tissue, facial fractures, broken teeth, and eye trauma.
  • Head Injuries: Concussion, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries if a rider is thrown head-first from a bicycle. Traumatic head injuries can be life-changing and can result in permanent disability and a life of physical therapy.
  • Chest Injuries: Rib fractures; broken collarbones and shoulder blades

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, bicycle accident injuries increased by 23%, and hospitalizations related to bike injuries increased by 120% in recent years. The largest increase was among riders older than 45 years old.

Types of Compensation Available in Massachusetts Bike Accident Lawsuits

The financial compensation available for Boston cyclists who have been in an accident can vary based on the type of personal injury. Here are the different types of compensation that may result from a Massachusetts bicycle accident lawsuit:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes all costs related to medical treatment, such as hospital bills, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any future medical care needed due to the accident.
  • Loss of Income: If the accident causes you to miss work, you can recover lost wages. This also includes compensation for any future income you might lose if you cannot return to work or need a lower-paying job due to your injuries.
  • Physical and Emotional Suffering: Compensation for pain and suffering covers the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident. This can include anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Any other expenses arising from the accident, such as transportation costs to medical appointments, can also be compensated.

An experienced bike accident lawyer can evaluate and maximize your potential compensation to offset medical costs and other expenses. An attorney will help you navigate the legal process and ensure that all aspects of your suffering and financial loss are covered.

The Boston bicycle accident lawyers at Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured cyclists and helping them receive the full compensation they deserve.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Boston

One of the biggest causes of bike accidents is the driver not seeing the cyclist, especially at intersections and while making turns. But that isn’t the only thing that can cause such an accident. Here are the most common reasons why a day out bicycling turns riders into bike accident victims.

  • Drivers Opening Doors (“Dooring”): A Boston bicycle accident can occur when drivers or passengers open car doors without checking for approaching cyclists, causing a bicycle crash when the door hits the rider.
  • Cyclists Not Stopping at Stop Signs or Red Lights: Bicyclists who run stop signs or red lights put themselves at significant risk of collision with motor vehicles with the right of way.
  • Cyclists Riding Into Oncoming Traffic: Riding against traffic increases the likelihood of head-on bike crashes, as drivers are not expecting cyclists to be coming from the opposite direction.
  • Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, debris, and uneven road surfaces can cause bicycle riders to lose control and crash.
  • Driver Behavior: Distracted driving, speeding, and aggressive driving increase the risk of a Boston bicycle accident.

How to Choose the Best Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Getting involved in a bicycle accident can be a traumatic experience, and seeking legal representation with a Boston bicycle accident lawyer should be a top priority. The right lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. You need to consider several factors when choosing a bicycle accident lawyer for your case.

Experience in Bicycle Accident Cases

When it comes to bicycle accidents, experience matters—look for a Boston bicycle accident lawyer who specializes in personal injury law and has a proven track record in handling bicycle accident claims. They will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to navigate the complexities of your case, protecting your rights and helping you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Local Knowledge of Boston

Choosing a lawyer familiar with Massachusetts law and regulations is non-negotiable. They will deeply understand the specific rules that apply to bike accidents in the area, ensuring that your case is handled effectively. Additionally, a lawyer with local knowledge will be familiar with accident-prone areas in Boston, which allows them to build a strong case based on their understanding of the local landscape.

Successful Track Record

Before choosing a bicycle accident lawyer, assess their past settlements and verdicts. A successful track record is a strong indicator of their ability to achieve favorable outcomes for bicycle accident victims. Look for testimonials and reviews from previous clients to gain insight into their reputation and satisfaction among past clients. Make sure that the attorney has experience working on personal injury cases involving a motor vehicle.

Approach to Client Communication

Effective communication is a must when working with a lawyer. Look for a bicycle accident lawyer who is accessible, responsive, and keeps you informed throughout the legal process. They should be available to answer your questions as the injured party, provide updates on your case, manage the insurance company, and address any concerns you may have. Clear and open communication will help build trust and ensure that you are well-informed about the progress of your case.

Contact Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers

Choosing a bicycle accident lawyer in Boston requires careful consideration and research. The right bicycle accident attorneys will have experience in handling bicycle accidents, a deep understanding of local laws, a successful track record, and a client-focused approach to communication.

If you need help from a Boston bicycle accident attorney, contact Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers. Our team will ensure the right legal representation to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve after a bicycle accident in Boston.

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MEET YOUR LAW GUYMICHAEL D. KELLY, ESQ.

Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.

YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AS A BICYCLIST

  • You may ride on any public roadway or bikeway except (1) those with limited access or (2) highways where signs prohibiting such riding have been posted.
  • You may pass a motor vehicle on the right.
  • You may ride on sidewalks unless local postings say otherwise.
  • You may race on any public roadway if you get approval from the appropriate police department (and Massachusetts Department of Transportation when applicable) in cooperation with a recognized bicycle organization.
  • You must obey all traffic laws and regulations.
  • You must use hand signals for stopping and turning.
  • Just like a car, you must give pedestrians the right of way, and if you are passing a pedestrian, you must use an audible signal.
  • You must always use a permanent seat and keep one hand on the handlebars.
  • If you are 16 years old or younger, you must always wear a bicycle helmet. The helmet must fit properly, and the chin strap needs to be securely fastened—you should only be able to fit one or two fingers between the strap and your chin.
  • If riding before sunrise or after sunset, use a white headlight and a rear reflector or red taillight.
  • You must either have reflectors on your pedals or wear ankle reflectors if riding at night.
  • You must notify the police of any accident involving personal injury or property damage that amounts to $100 or more.
  • You have the right to seek compensation if you have been injured in an accident caused by another motorist.

ADVOCATING FOR BICYCLIST RIGHTS

After a serious bicycle accident, you need a lawyer who will work with you and keep you informed of the progress in your case. The police may initially have only the motorist’s account of how the crash occurred. A motorist may try to shift the blame onto a bicyclist for causing a collision the motorist caused. As your accident attorney, we will make sure that police have your version of what occurred.

We negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to make sure that you receive the medical care you need. We understand the legal rights of bicyclists who have been harmed. Our lawyers will file a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist and their insurance provider to assert your rights in your bicycle accident case if necessary.

At Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers, we strive to provide the best client service. If you choose us, you will work directly with your attorney, not a paralegal or a case manager. We will keep you informed at every step of our progress in resolving your personal injury claim.

The Boston biking accident lawyers at Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers will work to help you obtain compensation for your crash injuries and losses. We understand how traumatizing any accident can be to both you and your loved ones. We’ll process your claim efficiently and effectively. For a free consultation, contact Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers today.

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