Articles Posted in bicycle accident

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Dooring Accidents in Boston

A dooring accident (not really an accident in the legal sense) occurs when a person inside a vehicle opens his or her door into the path of oncoming traffic. This can include oncoming motorists, bicycle riders and even pedestrians, though pedestrians are not usually traveling fast enough on foot to suffer significant personal injury.

bicycle accident lawyerIn Boston, and other parts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, dooring is not only negligent, but it is also something for which a person can be issued a civil infraction in the amount of not more than $100 pursuant to Section 14 of Chapter 90 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.).  In this section, the law clearly states no person shall open the door of a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so without interfering with oncoming traffic, and the statute goes on to say this include bicyclists and pedestrians. This is the specific statute, which prohibits dooring a bike rider, and it was included as part of the legislatures efforts to improve bike safety in our area. Continue reading

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Every time you are on the road, regardless of your mode of travel, there is a potential for an injurious accident. Bicyclists are much more likely to be seriously injured in a collision than occupants of cars or trucks as a bike offers scant protection from a forceful impact. Even low-speed crashes can result in major injuries for someone on a bicycle.  It’s true that most crashes are the result of some type of negligence, meaning one or more of those involved breached their duty to use reasonable care on the roads. Enforcement of speed limits, anti-distracted driver laws and impaired driving statutes is important. But another effective way to reduce the odds of a serious bicycle accident is to invest in good traffic safety infrastructure. Well-designed bike lanes are an integral part of this.

As explained by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, a bike lane is a portion of the road designated by striping, signage and pavement markings that give bicyclists preferential or exclusive use. The goal is to create some degree of separation between cyclists and motor vehicle traffic so those on bikes can ride at their preferred speed without worrying (too much anyway) about conflict with motor vehicles. It creates better predictability of movements between both drivers and cyclists.bicycle accident lawyer
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An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities, a broad and sweeping bill directed at improving bicyclist safety in Massachusetts has survived its latest hurdle in the State House but now needs your support.

Boston bike injury lawyer

The bill, S.1905 and H.2877, covers a comprehensive range of critical traffic safety issues, including several pertaining directly to the rights and safety of bicyclists in Boston and across the Commonwealth.

The bill includes provisions relating to bike path crossing, a pet project of our own BikeAttorney.com attorney Andrew Fischer, a three-foot law and increased fines for double parking in bike lanes. Each section addresses current hazards cyclists face and impediments to damage recovery from negligent motorists.

Several elements of the bill have been floated in some form or another during prior legislative sessions. These efforts always stalled, typically an unfortunate victim of warring political interests. This bill presents a vital opportunity to protect Massachusetts bicyclists in a comprehensive manner, underscore their rights on the road and allow meaningful recourse against those who disregard their lives.

The Act (which we also credit in large part to the efforts of state and local Vision Zero coalitions and cycling advocacy groups like MassBike) would help reduce overall traffic deaths in the Commonwealth through a host of changes, including:

  • Amending the state’s texting-and-driving law;
  • Improving signage for bicyclists and pedestrians;
  • Requiring side guards on trucks contracted with the state;
  • Raising awareness of drowsy driving;
  • Introducing a traffic safety curriculum in public schools.

State senators and representatives need to hear from constituents that now is the time to act. The deadline for legislative action was extended, meaning voters have from now until March 2nd to contact their lawmakers and voice support for S.1905 and H.2877. Continue reading

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A civil lawsuit following a Boston bike accident is a case designed to obtain compensation for a plaintiff with respect to any injuries suffered as a result of defendant’s negligence. In many cases, civil defendants who are at fault in causing an accident will be given a civil motor vehicle infraction, but will not be charged with a crime.  In some cases, where there are allegations of operation to endanger or drunk driving, there will be criminal charges filed in addition to any civil personal injury lawsuit.  These criminal cases, or the lack thereof, do not control a subsequent civil case, but they may have an effect on the outcome.

Recent Tension Between Boston Bike Advocates and Prosecutors

truck accidentsAccording to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, a group of bike safety advocates in Boston are blaming the driver of a truck for his alleged involvement in a fatal bike crash, but prosecutors are declining to file criminal charges.  This fatal Boston bike crash occurred in 2015.  Prosecutors and police have said they believe the Boston bike rider who died in this accident was at-fault, and thus no criminal charges are warranted. Continue reading

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Boston bike crash victims of hit-and-run accidents face unique challenges in recovering damages.  While these cases are known as hit-and-run crashes, they are legally referred to as leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving personal injury.  The issue is who will pay damages suffered by the plaintiff in the event he or she is injured by a hit-and-run driver who is not identified.

bicycle injury lawyerWhen you are riding on a bike on the streets of Boston, no matter how careful you may be, there is always a chance of being involved in a crash.  One of the main reasons for this is because there are too many drivers on the road who regularly act negligently with respect to bike riders and this can lead to serious personal injury. If the driver stays on the scene of the accident and does the responsible thing, even if they were negligent in causing the accident, this will allow for plaintiff to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, if the at-fault driver flees, things can get more complex. Continue reading

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Bike commuting and even recreational bike riding has increased in popularity so much in recent years that it is not uncommon for people to be out on the roads on the coldest and windiest days in Greater Boston. While some will look at these dedicated riders who are trying to get to work or training for their next triathlon as somewhat overly-ambitious, to these riders, it is worth hitting the streets anyway.  The problem is there are many Boston bike crashes that occur in the winter due to the negligence of people driving in the snow in a manner that is not safe given the current conditions.  This is negligent conduct and can be the basis for filing a Boston bike crash lawsuit.

Standard of Care in Winter Whether is Still That of a Reasonable and Prudent Person

Boston Bike Crash AttorneyWhenever anyone gets behind the wheel of a car in Boston or anywhere else in Massachusetts, they owe a duty of due care towards anyone who might be foreseeably injured by not driving with the requisite amount of care.  This is known as the reasonable and prudent person standard and can be found in the proposed jury instructions for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is designed to explain the negligence standard to jurors in civil cases throughout the state. Continue reading

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Cars are designed to protect the occupants from serious or fatal injuries. This does not mean that there are not Boston car accidents involving serious or deadly injuries, but many car accidents do not result in significant injuries to the occupants. A bicycle on the other hand has no real protection from the impact in the event of the crash.  Bike riders should wear helmets, even though adults are not legally required to do so in Massachusetts. But even with a helmet, there is still a real chance of the rider suffering severe personal injury in the event of a bike crash.  This lack of protection should not be held against the rider in the event of crash that his not the rider’s fault. The law thus offers no such protection to defendants in a Boston bike crash lawsuit.

Boston bike attorneyAccording to a recent news article from the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, a 10-year-old boy from New England, who is a world-renowned golf prodigy, was seriously injured in what initially appeared to be a minor bike crash.  The boy was riding his bike when appeared to simply fall off.  When he fell, he landed on the handlebars with his stomach.  Despite hitting the handle bars, it appeared that this was not a serious accident and would only result in a bruise. Continue reading

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There is a lot of advocacy being done these days to promote bike ridership and also bike safety in places like the Greater Boston area. A lot of that work deals with the construction of bike lanes and making drivers more aware and educated about bike safety issues. While there has a been a lot of good that has come out of these efforts, there has also been more awareness brought to an entirely different issue.  According to a recent news article from Fast Company, less than a quarter of bike trips (including bike commutes) involve female riders.

Boston bike crashWhile this may seem obvious if you think of all the riders you see around Boston on a weekly basis, it is not an issue that is given much attention. There are various reasons for so few female bike riders suggested and realizing why this situation exists is the first step in getting more women out on the roads on bikes and bringing more equality to the growing community. Continue reading

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There are many ways a Boston bike crash involving a car can occur.  One of the more common ways involves cyclists in the extreme right lane, alongside a line of cars, with a car making a right turn. The problem is, many motorists don’t look for or see the cyclist and the result is a collision.

The National Law Review recently published an article about right turn bicycle accident lawsuits (we prefer to the term “crash,” though we know many people still commonly call them “accidents”).

Bike Commuting is Increasing 

bicycle accident lawyerThis type of bike crash is getting more common in Boston and cities across the nation as more and more people are using bikes as a primary mode of transportation including traveling to and from work.  According to the League of American Bicyclists, there is no question that biking as a means of commuting is getting more popular as time goes by.  This organization compiles various study results and keeps detailed statistics of how many people use bike riding as a primary means of commuting.  One way to measure the data is in terms of how many bicycles trips (not recreational use) are taken each year.  In 2001, there were 1.7 billion trips and by 2009, there were 4 billion trips.  This number is only continuing to increase as more time passes. Continue reading

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These days bike riding has become a popular form of transportation for adults as well as from of exercise.  There was a time when bike riding was mostly a kid’s activity. That has changed and most regular cyclists are over the age of 30. Still, it has remained a fun activity for children as well.  While a lot of the accidents we see in Boston involve commuters who are hit by cars on their way to work, we still see many cases involving young bike riders who are hit by cars.

bicycle accident BostonAccording to a recent news article from the Boston Herald, a young child and his father were struck by a car as the father was walking aside his son who was riding his bike.  Authorities have said the Boston bike crash resulted in serious personal injury to both the child and his father.  Witnesses have said  the car was a black sedan and had the word “Seniors” painted on the windows indicating that the car was being driven by high school senior. Continue reading