In 2009, 630 bicyclists died in crashes and another 51,000 were injured according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This means these bicycle deaths accounted for two percent of all traffic fatalities that occurred during 2009. Of those killed, 17 percent were 14 years of age or younger.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, you know firsthand the emotional and financial devastation that can result. Massachusetts law allows you to take action against the person responsible for causing your bicycle accident so that you can be "made whole" by receiving damages or compensation. In order to get compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses, it is important to understand your legal rights. The knowledgeable Boston personal injury attorneys at the Law Firm of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC can help. Contact us today using our online form or at (617) 367-2900 to learn more about how we can help you to make your personal injury claim based on bicycle accidents.Massachusetts Laws on Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents may occur as a result of:
- Drivers not paying attention.
- Drivers not respecting the space afforded to bicycles on the roadways
- Unsafe road conditions including loose gravel, road debris, potholes or an uneven road bed.
- Rain-slicked roadways or other roadways affected by weather conditions.
In certain cases, this means that the bicycle accident is the fault of a driver of a vehicle who crashes into the bike. In other situations, the biker himself may be to blame or the city that designed and maintained the roadways may have been responsible for the crash.
Whenever someone else is responsible for causing or contributing to the bicycle accident, it is important to get legal help. You may be able to sue the driver responsible for causing the accident if you can prove he/she was negligent in some way that led to the crash and resulting harm. You may even be able to hold the government responsible for the poor road conditions, provided you meet the criteria for suing despite governmental immunity protections. The experienced Boston personal injury lawyers at the Law Firm of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC can assist you in determining if there is anyone to hold responsible and, if so, can work with you to build a case.
Damages that may be available when you are able to make a bicycle accident claim will typically include medical costs, lost income or wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. However, if you or someone in your family or household has vehicle insurance, you be unable to make a personal injury claim to collect these damages until you have met the "tort threshold" defined by Massachusetts law. This would mean you would need to recover from your own insurance provider under a type of coverage called personal injury protection, until and unless you met the tort threshold and were able to successfully make a claim against the party who hurt you.
To meet the tort threshold, you must show that you've been permanently disfigured or scarred, that you've broken bones, that you've sustained damage to the eyes or to your hearing, or that you have incurred more than $2,000 in medical bills and costs. This personal injury protection rule applies only in car accident cases and would not affect your right to sue a government entity or other party responsible for road design and maintenance.
To learn more about how a Boston bicycle accident lawyer can help you after a bike accident, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or using our online form.
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