Bike accidents in Boston and other areas of Massachusetts are unfortunately a very common occurrence. In 2007, Mayor Menino even issued the Boston Bikes Regulation to protect bikers on the streets of Boston. Since then, bike ridership has nearly doubled and the city has added over 92 miles of bike lanes.
Riding a bike is an effective option for cheap and fuel-efficient intra-city travel. However, it isn’t always the safest option. Bike accidents can be severely damaging because their frames are much smaller and light-weight than all other vehicles. If injuries result from bicycle collision in Massachusetts, you have the option to file a claim against the driver that hit you. Consulting with a skilled Boston bicycle accident lawyer will increase your case’s chance of success.
Consulting a bike accident attorney in Boston for help in filing a lawsuit is wise. Seasoned attorneys are familiar with local law and can advise you with years’ worth of experience. Outside of the valuable consult, an attorney will allocate their resources and expert references to your case. With a lawyer comes civilian witness investigations, expert witness assessments, evidence documentation, and additional services that apply to your unique case. This investigation is thorough, ensuring your claim’s submission with meticulous details and zero errors.
With a free consultation, you can gain more perspective on your probability of success in the case. With a working business relationship with a lawyer, you can effectively build the best case you possibly can. The Boston personal injury attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law want to make Boston a safer place for everyone, and we will fight to get you the compensation you need to get your life on back on track.
If you have been injured in a bike accident, contact us today for a free evaluation and more information with our Boston bike accident lawyer.
Because Boston is in a no-fault state, all registered drivers must have both basic insurance and personal injury protection (PIP). The state expects residents to utilize their existing medical benefits to their cap. Boston law categorizes bicyclists as a type of pedestrian, changing the guidelines a little. The driver’s insurance company remains liable for the biker’s medical bills until reaching a $2,000 cap. After this cap, the biker must utilize their own insurance.
Massachusetts is a no-fault state that practices comparative negligence. Comparative negligence assigns a fault rating to both parties involved in a collision, rather than placing full fault on one party. However, that doesn’t remove 100% fault ratings from the equation altogether. If a bicyclist is obeying all bike and traffic laws and a car hits them, it is unlikely that they will receive much comparative fault.
A collision between a bicycle and a motor vehicle can be devastating for the bicyclist. A passenger car, bus or truck can total a bicycle and seriously injure the rider. The rider could get crushed beneath the vehicle or ricochet off the hood and suffer blunt force injuries. The average bicyclist involved in a traffic accident receives injuries that require emergency care. Serious bike accident injuries can stay with a victim for life. Many bicycle accidents are fatal.
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common types of serious bicycle accident injuries. The brain could sustain an injury from an impact between the skull and a fixed object, such as the asphalt or the hood of a car. Although a bicycle helmet could reduce the risk of a brain injury in a bike accident, it does not guarantee the rider’s protection. A brain injury could occur even with a helmet on. Common symptoms of a brain injury include confusion, disorientation, trouble communicating and permanent disabilities. If you or a loved one has a brain injury or another type of catastrophic injury from a bicycle accident in Boston, work with a lawyer from Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP for assistance.
The majority of bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Boston are 100% preventable. They occur when one or multiple parties breach their duties of care or break roadway rules. If a driver breaks the law and runs a red light, for example, this could injure or kill a bicyclist in the intersection. It is every driver’s responsibility to obey traffic laws, look out for bicyclists and respect the rights of other roadway users. Identifying the cause of the bike accident that injured you is one of the first tasks we can complete on your behalf as your lawyers.
At Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP, we work with professional investigators and accident reconstructionists to help our clients figure out who is responsible for their injuries. Our attorneys can revisit where the crash happened, analyze evidence, talk to eyewitnesses and take other steps to identify the cause of your collision for you. Then, we can file a lawsuit against the responsible party while you focus on healing. Our bike accident lawyers can help you understand liability and demand justice no matter who or what caused your accident in Boston
Bicyclists can claim numerous damages, the most prominent damage being medical expenses.
Medical expenses include examination, surgery, treatment, and any recurring medical costs, like medication. Awarding medical benefits also reimburse injury-related equipment.
Individuals can also claim lost wages during the time spent recovering. If the injury chronically impacts their ability to work, you can receive compensation to account for this diminished paycheck. Lost wages compensation is 75% of your original, pre-tax paycheck. This portion of the money is automatically yours to keep. The remaining 25% of wages are on the table for negotiation with the driver’s insurer.
Emotional damage includes damages like pain and suffering, and emotional distress. A bicyclist can also claim damage for embarrassment and humiliation. In cases of wrongful death, this extends to grief and loss of consortium.
You can file a personal injury claim in Boston after involvement in a vehicle collision if your case meets the medical bill and/or physical injury minimums. That is, either $2,000 in accrued medical bills, or the biker sustaining moderate bodily damage.
You must also possess a fault rating of less then 50% to file a claim. Anything under 50 is fair game, but higher ratings might require professional back up. This is one positive contribution that a Boston bicycle accident lawyer can make to your case. By combing through all evidence, an attorney increases your chances of receiving a fair rating.
If your bicycle crash was a hit-and-run accident, this could alter the insurance claims process. A hit-and-run describes a crash in which a driver flees the scene without stopping to check if anyone has injuries. In a hit-and-run bicycle accident, a motor vehicle driver may strike a bicyclist and take off without stopping. In these cases, the bicyclist will not know who to hold responsible. If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident on a bicycle in Boston, learn how to handle the claims process in your situation.
First, pursue initial coverage through your own auto insurance provider. File a claim immediately, explaining that you were in a hit-and-run crash. Provide the details of your injuries, along with medical records. Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state, your claim may end here, with a settlement from your own insurance policy. If you have serious injuries, however, you may eventually be able to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If the police find the driver who struck you and took off, you may be able to file a claim to damages against that driver’s insurance claim if your injuries are serious enough. A third-party insurance claim could result in greater compensation for your losses than filing against your own policy. Every bike accident case in Boston is unique. You may need help from an attorney to properly navigate yours.
If you believe you have grounds to file a claim for a bicycle accident in Boston, act quickly to seek damages from the defendant. Massachusetts has a statute of limitations on when claimants can file personal injury lawsuits. The statute of limitations is a law imposing a deadline on an injured victim’s ability to file. The statute of limitations in Massachusetts for most personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident or injury discovery. You also have three years to file a property-damage only claim in Massachusetts.
You may have more or less time to file your claim if an exception applies to the bicycle accident case. If you are a minor under the age of 18, for example, you have three years from the date of your 18th birthday to file, even if this is longer than three years after the accident. If your case involves a defendant who is a government entity or on-duty government agent, you will have a shorter time limit. You will have just two years to bring a civil claim against the Commonwealth.
In general, filing a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed will lead to an invalid claim to damages. The courts in Suffolk County will refuse to hear a late case. It is wise to act sooner than the expiration of your statute of limitations in Boston. This can not only ensure you meet the deadline but also help your case by providing more evidence of the defendant’s wrongdoing. If you wait too long to speak to an attorney and file a bicycle accident claim, important evidence in your favor may no longer be available.
With a vibrant bike riding culture, Boston is home to a number of great organizations dedicated to bikers and biking safety. If you would like to learn more about biking in the city or would simply like to get more involved in the cycling community, please visit these organizations below.
If you or your loved one were hurt in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, get in touch today with Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP. Our Boston bicycle accident lawyer will give you a 100% free case review. Call today at (617) 391-9001.