Baltimore Cycling Accident Lawyer
Cycling accidents on the road can involve serious injuries for the victims. Helmets and other safety gear only go so far to help avoid harm during a crash, and riders can suffer injuries that leave them with permanent disabilities or even kill them. If you or a loved one was injured or you lost a loved one in a cycling accident, the Baltimore cycling accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras Trial Lawyers might be able to help.
Our cycling injury attorneys represent injury victims and their families and work to get them compensation from the at-fault car, truck, or bus driver that caused their accidents. For help with your case and help getting compensation, call us today to schedule a free legal consultation. Our phone number is (410) 694-7291.
Cyclists Rights in Baltimore
Many bicyclists do not fully understand the rights they have. Other vehicles are required to share the road with bikes and owe cyclists certain rights. For example, if you are riding a bike, you have the right of way at a crosswalk if a motor vehicle is making a turn. This right of way also exists when a driver of an automobile or truck is crossing through a bike lane or the shoulder a cyclist is using.
If possible, the driver of a motor vehicle must give a cyclist at least three feet of space if they pass them on the road. Many accidents occur when a car clips a bike when traveling too close to a cyclist.
Every motorist in Baltimore and Maryland owes every other driver a duty to operate their vehicle safely, exercising reasonable caution to avoid accidents or collisions. This duty extends to bicyclists.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident in Baltimore
If you are involved in an accident while riding your bike, it is crucial to remember that you have the same rights as every driver on the road. Just like someone involved in a car accident, you are entitled to seek monetary compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
The first thing you should do after an accident is to seek medical treatment for your injuries. Depending on the seriousness of the crash and the severity of your injuries, you might have to be immediately transported to an emergency room for treatment.
In situations where you do not require urgent medical care, there are things you could do to help prepare for a potential lawsuit. If possible, take photographs of the accident scene, including the position of any cars and your bicycle. Include as many angles as possible. You should also take pictures of the surrounding area and your injuries.
If anyone saw the accident, be sure to get their names, contact information, and a short statement. There is no guarantee that the police would include every witness in their report. Baltimore police are typically very efficient and comprehensive at making out their reports when faced with an accident involving motor vehicles. However, because of the nature of bicycle accidents, their reports are rarely as thorough.
Having accurate contact information also allows our Baltimore personal injury attorney the opportunity to speak with them sooner rather than later. Additionally, you should get the information from the driver who hit you, including their driver’s license number, license plate, car registration, and insurance information.
An insurance adjuster will most likely contact you. it is essential to remember that insurance companies do not represent your interests and are looking to limit or deny any compensation if they could be required to pay. You should only offer short statements of facts and no opinions. Do not accept a settlement offer without speaking with our experienced Baltimore bicycle accident attorney. If you are being offered a fast settlement amount, the insurance company is likely worried about a lawsuit.
Common Causes of Cycling Accidents in Baltimore
Bicycle accidents can sometimes involve a bike and a pedestrian or two bicycles crashing into each other. However, the far more common situation is that a bicycle is hit by a car, truck or bus, leading to serious injuries for the bike rider. In most of these accidents, the driver is at least somewhat negligent, but there are some situations where the bike rider is actually at fault for the crash. the following are all common causes of cycling accidents in Baltimore along with explanations as to who is at fault:
Failing to Follow Bike Laws
Bikes are typically considered vehicles in Maryland. This means that they should ride on the street, or in the bike lane, if a bike lane is available. When on the street, cyclists need to stop at stop signs and red lights, and they can take the right of way in any situation where it would be appropriate for a car to do so. Many accidents occur when cyclists assume they are to be treated as pedestrians instead of vehicles or when drivers assume cyclists are pedestrians instead of vehicles.
Despite the general rule that a bike is a vehicle, there are exceptions that might allow you to ride on the sidewalk or get other benefits, and it is important to understand your local bike laws. Our lawyers can help you bike safely and legally to avoid accidents.
Right Turn Accidents
Many cyclists are injured when a car makes a right turn across their path or across the bike lane without looking. Drivers need to be aware that cyclists might come up on their right side, and it is their fault if they turn and hit a cyclist they should have yielded to. These injuries can occur at high speeds since the cyclist might not have time to slow down or stop before the car turns across their lane.
Obstructions in the Bike Lane
While cyclists might be required by law to ride in the bike lane, this can be extremely dangerous if there are obstructions in the bike lane. Construction vehicles, parked cars, traffic cones, delivery vehicles, and other blockages in the bike lane can make it impossible to ride safely in the bike lane, requiring cyclists to swerve out into traffic. This can complicate matters during a lawsuit that has to consider who is at fault, but cars typically need to give bikers a wide berth, and failing to yield to a cyclist making an emergency lane change could put a driver at fault.
Cyclists are usually required to ride in the bike lane or on the rightmost edge of the lane of traffic. This means that parked cars are often lined along the road just on the cyclist’s right. If someone in a car opens a car door into the cyclist’s path, the rider could crash into it and suffer serious injuries. it is important for people in cars exiting on the edge of the road to check for cyclists before opening doors, and avoid causing “dooring” accidents and injuries.
Common Injuries Suffered in Baltimore Bicycle Accidents
Like motorcyclists, bicyclists have little to no bodily protection if they are involved in an accident. Actually, motorcyclists will often wear protective leather clothing, boots, and a full-face helmet to help protect themselves from injury. In most cases, a bicyclist might have no more than a pair of shorts, gloves, and a t-shirt. Baltimore law does not require a helmet for any rider over the age of sixteen. Even if a bicyclist wears a helmet, it will not provide the same protection a motorcycle helmet does. This lack of protection means that there is little to protect a cyclist from the impact of a car or the ground.
When a cyclist’s body is struck by a moving car or is forced into the ground, many devastating injuries are likely. Hitting the pavement due to an accident’s force could result in fractured bones, spinal cord damage, or traumatic head and brain injuries. Some common injuries that a Baltimore cyclist could suffer if they are struck by another vehicle are listed below.
- Facial injuries
- Severe lacerations and cuts
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Ruptured or separated discs
- Serious bone fractures
- Injuries to internal organs
- Wrongful death
Maryland follows the harsh personal injury doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this legal doctrine, if a jury finds that you were partially at fault for an accident or your injuries, you could be prohibited from recovering any compensation from the defendant. it is possible that failing to ride without adequate protection could be found to have contributed to your harm. it is crucial to have our experienced Baltimore cyclist injury attorney protecting your rights.
Not every injury is physical. Cyclists often experience severe emotional trauma after a bicycle accident. Many cyclists are frightened to return to riding or suffer panic attacks when cycling through traffic. it is not uncommon for an injured cyclist to require therapy or medication due to post-traumatic stress disorder. Furthermore, a bicyclist who was involved in a devastating accident could suffer from anxiety, nightmares, depression, insomnia, or other forms of mental distress and anguish. Under Maryland law, an injured party is entitled to receive monetary compensation for their emotional pain as much as their physical injuries and financial losses.
Many cyclists sustain head or brain injuries that result in more than emotional trauma. These head injuries could result in memory loss, confusion, cognitive difficulties, and the impairment of ordinary motor functions. These types of injuries, along with the physical impact of a bicycle accident, could adversely affect an individual’s ability to enjoy their life. In addition to your financial losses, physical pain, and mental distress, our Baltimore personal injury attorney will fight for your right to recover for your loss of enjoyment of life.
Suing for Bike Accidents in Baltimore, MD
If you were injured in a bike accident, you may be able to sue the person who caused the crash. Every accident is different, and proving that they were at fault might be a complex part of your lawsuit. However, once you prove that their negligence caused your injuries, you should be entitled to receive financial compensation for any of the physical injuries or financial harms you face from the accident.
To prove that another driver or someone else in a car was at fault for your accident, you must prove that their actions were unreasonable or violated legal duties they owed you. For example, some instances of reckless driving or inattention on the road are patently unreasonably behind the wheel and should be considered negligent. Other acts violate specific traffic laws, such as running a red light and crashing into a cyclist or failing to signal and cutting across a cyclist’s lane of travel.
Once you prove they were at fault for your crash, you must also prove the injuries you suffered. You can seek compensation for medical bills by providing a record of the injuries you suffered and the cost of treatment. You can also seek damages for lost wages the accident and your injuries caused you by providing financial statements and pay stubs. Lastly, your testimony about the pain and suffering you faced and the other impacts the injuries had on your life can allow you to seek compensation for these intangible harms.
Call Our Cycling Accident Injury Lawyers in Baltimore for a Free Case Consultation
You may be entitled to financial compensation for injuries you or a loved one suffered in a cycling accident in Maryland. If your accident took place in Baltimore or the surrounding areas, the Baltimore cycling accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras might be able to help you file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries. Call us to set up a free legal consultation before accepting any money from the at-fault driver or their insurance company. To schedule your free legal consultation, call us today at (410) 694-7291.