Commuter Bicycle Accidents
Bicycling can be a great way to get around in a larger city. Boston has become very bike-friendly in recent years, with the city taking steps to encourage biking as an alternative to driving or using public transportation as a way to get to work or school. On any given day, there are thousands of cyclists making their way through downtown Boston, Cambridge, and the surrounding areas. At the same time, there are also tens of thousands of motorists, many of whom are on their phones or otherwise distracted, traveling just inches away from people who are making their morning or afternoon commute via bicycle. Commuter bicycle accidents happen with alarming regularity, and too many times they are serious or even fatal. If you have suffered a bike accident and need legal advice about how to pursue a claim, the Boston bicycle accident lawyers at the Bellotti Law Group are here for you.
Bicycling is both economical and healthy, as long as a negligent motorist does not swerve into a cyclist or back into a parking space in front of an oncoming bike. When a crash happens, it is almost always the person on the bicycle who suffers the most serious injuries. Cuts and bruises are inevitable, but there can be far more serious bicycle injuries as well. Permanent brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and even death happen all too often in Massachusetts biking accidents. Other than perhaps a small amount of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, the injured cyclist will only be able to receive compensation from the at-fault driver if he or she can make out a successful case of negligence against the driver.Proving Negligence in a Commuter Bicycle Accident Case
In a negligence case, the plaintiff (the person seeking to recover compensation) has the burden of proof in a civil claim against the defendant (the allegedly at-fault motorist or other responsible party). The plaintiff and their attorney must provide evidence to show that the defendant owed a legal duty of some sort to the plaintiff, such as the duty to keep a proper lookout. They also must show that the duty was breached, that the plaintiff suffered damages, and that the damages were a proximate result of the breach of duty. In order to be successful at trial, it is important to get as early a start as possible on the investigation of the bike crash. Evidence can disappear from an accident scene quickly. Witnesses may be difficult to find after a time, and their statements may shift if the defendant’s insurance company interviews them with an intent to put words into their mouth or slant their view of how the crash happened.
Massachusetts follows a modified rule of comparative fault, so plaintiffs who are found to be more than 50% at fault for a bike crash will not be able to recover any damages. If the plaintiff is found to be 50% or less at fault, he or she will receive damages in proportion to the defendant’s fault in causing the accident. Thus, the defendant has an incentive to place as much fault as possible on the plaintiff’s shoulders. In addition to the percentage of fault, if any, attributable to the plaintiff in a commuter bicycle accident, other factors that determine the amount of compensation to which he or she may be entitled include the nature and extent of the injuries suffered, the amount of past and future medical bills resulting from the injuries, the past and future lost wages caused by the accident, and the victim’s pain and suffering.Schedule a Free Consultation with a Bike Injury Lawyer in the Boston Area
If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a bicycle accident, you need to take legal action as soon as possible. In addition to risking the loss of evidence, failing to file a timely claim can result in the dismissal of a case based on the expiration of the statute of limitations. At the Bellotti Law Group, our attorneys are here to help injured bicyclists in communities such as Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Malden, Medford, Somerville, Newton, Waltham, Concord, Revere, Braintree, Quincy, and Weymouth. For a free consultation, call us at 617-225-2100 or contact us online.