In an ideal world, there would not be any serious or fatal Boston bike crashes. While we clearly do not live in a perfect world, and many bike crashes will occur in the greater Boston area each year, there is no excuse for the driver not remaining on the scene of the accident, regardless of whether the driver believes he was at fault. The actual term is leaving the scene of a traffic accident involving personal injury, but people most often refer to these as Boston hit-and-run crashes.
According to a recent news article from CBS Boston Local, a 20-year-old woman was riding her bike through a traffic circle when she was involved in a collision with a vehicle that was also in the traffic circle. At this point, the driver in the car that collided with her left the scene of the Boston area bike crash without stopping, or even slowing down to see if she was badly injured. Fortunately for this bike rider, she was wearing a helmet and also a backpack. While a backpack is not an approved safety device of any kind, the position of the backpack and her body served as a buffer and she was able to walk away from the bike-car accident with only cuts and bruises, thus avoiding serious personal injury, though things could have been much worse as they often are in these types of crashes.
Following the accident, the police were called to the scene to check on the rider’s condition and also to begin an investigation that would allow them to located the alleged hit-and-run driver. Fortunately, there was another car in the traffic circle at the time this bike crash occurred and the driver of this car had a dash cam running that captured the entire incident. In the video, the female rider can be seen crashing into the side of the vehicle. Witnesses to the accident and a police spokesperson were not sure as to who was actually at fault in the crash. There are some who say the bike rider can be seen crashing into the car, while others contend it was the fault of the driver.
It should be noted that if and when this alleged hit-and-run driver is identified, he or she will be presumed innocent unless and until he or she is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a judge or jury of his or her peers as this is the standard of proof required in a criminal case. With respect to civil liability, it will be necessary for the plaintiff to prove it is more likely than not the defendant acted negligently, and is thus responsible for the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries. It should however, be noted that the clear majority of cases settle long before a trial will occur, so there may not be the necessity to prove the defendant liable by a preponderance of the evidence. Car insurance companies will take the time to determine the merits of a case that has or could be filed against them, and they will also take into account the cost of defending a lawsuit. Even if they believe they have a chance to win the case, they may still settle to avoid spending time and money fighting the allegations.
Regardless of who is at-fault in this particular accident, everyone can agree that the drive must have known he or she was involved in a collision with the bike rider and should have remained on the scene. As our Boston bike accident lawyers can explain, it is not always clear who is at-fault in an accident. In some cases, there is clear liability, such as when one car rear ends another, but in some cases, both parties will say it was the other party’s fault. In some cases an officer will issue a traffic citation as a result of the stories told by drivers or witnesses and in some cases, the officer will simply conclude it is not possible to determine fault.
It should be noted that if one party is listed as being at fault in the accident, this doesn’t mean the insurance company for the alleged at-fault driver will immediately accept liability and settle the case. This is because the fact a driver was given a citation is typically not admissible in court, so it will be up to a jury to determine who was at fault based upon the testimony of those involved in the accident, and those who witnessed the accident.
These can be somewhat complicated issues, so it is best to speak with an experienced Boston bike accident attorney about the facts of your particular case. One thing about which you should not worry is the cost of obtaining and really good Boston bike crash attorney. This is because the initial consultation will be completely free, and if you and the lawyer with whom you speak decide to work together, these cases are typically handled on a contingency fee basis. This means there will be no legal fees or costs paid by the plaintiff unless and until your attorney is successful in getting you an agreed upon settlement or wins a verdict from a jury at trial. In the event you are not successful, there will be no fees owed by the client.
In this case, the victim’s father has seen video and thanked the person who took it and provided it for police investigators. He also said the driver who taped the accident said he had considered chasing after the alleged hit-and-run driver, but decided the best thing to do was to allow the authorities to find him since they are trained professionals.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Boston bicycle accident (we prefer the term “bike crash”), call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-789 BIKE (2453).
More Blog Entries:
Better Bicycle Infrastructure in Massachusetts Will Take Time, Feb. 21, 2018, Boston Bike Injury Lawyer Blog