Bethesda Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycles have always been a very economical type of transportation, however, in the last decade (specifically in the metropolitan area) bicycles are used every day for transporting to daily activities such as work. While there are many positive aspects of transporting bicycles, there are a lot of accidents that can occur as a consequence. Some are provoked by not being smart when riding, for example, crossing when the light is in red. However, many others are caused by another person’s negligence, especially those riding a motor vehicle. Some of the most common ways a person can become injured in a bicycle accident are through driver error. Someone operating a car or other motor vehicle must always pay special attention to bicyclists who may be in the area. Making left or right turns in front of a cyclist, not paying attention to space between their lane and the bicycle lane, side-swiping the rider, and even opening car doors are all ways an injury can occur. Head-on and side collisions may also occur as well, especially when going through an intersection or driving distracted. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, contact our Bethesda Bicycle Accident attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to fight for your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The number of bicycle accidents in Maryland continues to rise. With more residents in the DMV choosing to cycle, the risk of being seriously injured is high. Statistics released by the Maryland Department of Transportation reveals the shocking numbers of injuries and deaths. In the most recent year:
- 5 fatal bicycle crashes
- 603 injury crashes
- 147 property damage crashes
- 10 total fatalities
- 634 total number of people injured
Nationwide, bicycle accidents involving a car make up one-third of all bicycle accidents, with the majority of fatalities associated with a passenger vehicle, truck, or other vehicle striking a cyclist.
Montgomery County is one of the most dangerous areas in which to cycle in Maryland, with more than 18 percent of the bicycle accidents statewide taking place in the area. The most dangerous months for cyclists are June, July, and August, with the majority of bicycle accidents occurring on the weekdays when the streets and highways are busy with commuter traffic.
The report reveals the areas where bicyclists are most commonly hit by moving vehicles, as follows:
- On-road a crosswalk: 116
- On-road, not at crosswalk: 199
- In bikeway: 33
- At marked crosswalk: 48
- On the shoulder: 70
Bicycle Laws In Maryland
Bicycle laws regarding helmets, traffic, and equipment are relatively straightforward. The law considers bicycles a vehicle, therefore all traffic laws apply. In addition, bicyclists must also not:
- Wear any headset or earplugs that cover both ears
- Carry anything that prevents them from having both hands on the handlebars at all times, or obstructs their balance or view of the road
- Travel on roads with a minimum speed limit of 50MPH or higher
- Any rider or passenger under the age of sixteen must wear a helmet at all times when on roads, bicycle trails, or any other public property. Helmets must also meet or exceed the standards set by the American National Standards Institute, Snell Memorial Foundation, or American Society for Testing and Materials.
Additional equipment on the bicycle can include the following:
- A lamp on the front if riding on a highway with people and vehicles are not clearly visible at 1,000 feet
- A red reflector on the rear if riding on a highway with people and vehicles not clearly visible at 1,000 feet
- A bell or other sound apparatus that is not a siren or whistle
- All bicycles must have a brake system
Damages in Bicycle Accident Cases
The law operates on the fault system. This means that if the driver is liable, they have to pay the injured bicyclist damages. However, contributory negligence is a huge factor in determining driver liability. If the bicyclist is even one percent at fault, they are barred from receiving compensation. The two main ways someone would be able to receive compensation in a bicycle accident case would be through property damage, where the at-fault driver would have to pay for all injured property, including any items the bicyclist was carrying, and injury damages.
Injury damages further separate into two categories, non-economic and economic damages. Economic damages are the quantifiable and easily calculated damages, such as all medical bills, loss of income, and any other calculable damage. Non-economic damages are the non-quantifiable damages, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, damage to the marital relationship, and impairment.
The amount of damages a person can receive for their bicycle accident depends on several criteria; the severity of the injury, the length of time they were suffering, and whether they made a full recovery. Other things that influence the value of your case are:
- Loss in income
- Medical bills
- Pain and Suffering
- If any life-long disabilities resulted from the accident
Contact a Bethesda Bicycle Accident Attorney
Dealing with a personal injury case on top of any injuries you may already be suffering is overwhelming. Contact a skilled Bethesda Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible so you can focus on your recovery. Here at Malloy Law Offices, we will ensure no stone has been left unturned and will fight for the best possible outcome for your case. Our team of litigators is dedicated to helping them achieve the maximum possible in compensation, based upon the long-term consequences. We invite you to meet with our Maryland personal injury lawyers for a free case consultation. Call us today at (202)464-0727.