Bicycle Accidents

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Bicycle on Road

Bicycle accidents can happen suddenly, with devastating results. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, contact a highly experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to fight for your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

In 2016, Maryland saw a total of 851 bicycle accidents. Thankfully, the majority of these accidents were non-fatal, but not without consequence. These included property damage and injury to the bicyclist. Sixteen of these accidents ended with a bicyclist fatality. Nationwide, accidents involving a car make up one third of all bicycle accidents, with the majority of fatalities stemming from this type.

Bicycle Laws

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

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Some of the most common ways a person can become injured in a bicycle accident is 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 injury can occur. Head-on and side collisions may also occur as well, especially when going through an intersection or driving distracted.

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 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.

Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney

Dealing with a personal injury case on top of any injuries you may already be suffering is overwhelming. Contact a skilled Maryland bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible so you can focus on your recovery. They will ensure no stone has been left unturned, and will fight for the best possible outcome for your case.

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