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.
Lawmakers in Boston continue to take steps to make the city a safer place for bikers, but accidents can still happen. In 2009, 37% of bike accidents involved a crash with a motor vehicle. Nearly half (45%) of bike accidents that result in EMS calls were because the cyclist sustained a brain injury from not wearing a helmet. As lawmakers continue to improve regulations throughout cities in Massachusetts, the attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law contribute in making the state a safer place for bikers.
Many cyclists injured in a bike accident are left wondering who will cover their medical expenses. While Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and the victims own health insurance may cover some of the costs, it may not be enough. Due to sharing the road with motor vehicles and limited physical protection that cyclists have, bike accidents can result in some of the most severe injuries on the spectrum.
Massachusetts allows for cyclists to recover up to $8,000 in personal injury benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. For accident victims who have sustained long-term injuries like spinal cord damage, or serious broken bones, this is not a very substantial amount to cover expenses. Victims may need to go outside their insurance and file personal injury claims to receive compensation. If your personal injury benefits are not enough to pay your medical bills, contact a competent attorney who will fight to get you the compensation you need.
The state of Massachusetts has a statute of limitations of three years on personal injury cases. However, if you’ve been in a cycling accident and are considering filing suit, contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you gather proper documentation and reports to build your case. When filing a claim outside of insurance, the plaintiff will have to prove the driver acted in a negligent manner, which caused the accident. Massachusetts follows comparative negligence rules, so victims who are partially at fault and can still receive compensation for their injuries.
As long as the victim is less than 50% at fault, he or she will be able to recover some expenses. Just like motorists, cyclists are expected to follow reasonable care and the rules of the road when traveling. Most cycling accidents (45%) occur at intersections, but due to determining who had the right of way in the intersection, determining fault in these types of accidents is not straight forward. As a cyclist, always make sure you are clearly visible by wearing bright colored clothing, blinking lights, and riding defensively.
For more information on bicycle rules and regulations in Massachusetts, check out our blog post here.
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.
When you contact an attorney, he or she will immediately begin building your case to decrease your liability percentage while increasing the defendants. The more liable the other party is, the more compensation you are eligible to receive. Working with an experienced attorney may get you a significantly larger amount than going through your insurance. You may be able to claim damages like:
The 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.