Legal Help After Bicycle Accidents in Massachusetts
Proven attorneys working to get you compensation for your injuries
Riding a bicycle is not only great exercise, it’s also inexpensive transportation that’s good for the environment. For all these reasons, many Massachusetts residents are biking to commute or for recreation. But that popularity comes with a price. Programs such as Blue Bikes mean that more riders are on the road, some who might not be very skilled or experienced. This increases the likelihood of serious, or even fatal, injuries. At Georges Cote LLP, our personal injury attorneys represent bicyclists who’ve suffered serious injury due to other people’s negligence. This includes distracted and inattentive drivers, governments who have maintained roads poorly, and even other cyclists. If you’ve been injured while riding your bike, we’ll investigate the circumstances and fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
What are the most common causes of bicycle accidents?
Since 2009, more than 100 Massachusetts bicyclists have died in accidents while riding, with a majority of these deaths occurring at intersections. Thousands more cyclists have been seriously injured, leading Boston and other cities to enact specialized safety programs to cut down on collisions. Some of the most common causes of these crashes include:
- Careless and aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding and failing to yield right of way
- Poorly designed or maintained roads
- Defective bike parts
- Cyclist error, such as failing to stop at a red light
To obtain compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, an injured cyclist must prove that someone else’s negligent act or omission directly caused the accident and therefore the injuries. We consult experts in accident reconstruction to determine exactly what happened, then we assemble the evidence necessary to build a compelling case. Our lawyers can also advise you regarding coverage under the at-fault motorist’s insurance policy as well as your carrier’s uninsured motorist coverage.
What are the laws related to bicycles and helmets in Massachusetts?
Section 11B of the Massachusetts Code spells out several legal requirements for riding a bicycle in the state. Cyclists are required to obey all the rules of the road. The law allows bicycles to pass motor vehicles on the left and to ride on sidewalks under certain conditions. Riders carrying packages must keep one hand on the handlebars at all times. Failure to obey these rules can be considered negligence in court.
Two laws are pertinent to accident cases involving children. First, riders under the age of 16 are required to wear bicycle helmets. Second, any passenger four years of age and under must ride in an approved baby seat. The law specifically states that the failure to observe these laws can be considered in a comparative negligence analysis, which could reduce an eventual damage award, or eliminate it completely.
The state’s comparative negligence law reduces the amount of compensation the victim can recover in proportion to the share of fault assigned to them. Someone who is 20 percent responsible for an accident can only collect 80 percent of the damages they incurred. As your legal representatives, we work to prove your case and fight back against victim-blaming to help you pursue the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Contact an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney for a free consultation
Georges Cote LLP advocates for victims of bicycle accidents throughout Massachusetts. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call 617-884-1000 or contact us online. We are located in Chelsea, but our attorneys can come to you if your injuries require.