If you were injured in an auto accident as a cyclist, your injuries are more likely than not substantial. Make sure you get full compensation from the help of a Baltimore bicycle accident lawyer. Baltimore streets are packed with vehicles coming and going from work, tourists visiting the city, and mass transportation. These cars and buses frequently overlook bicycles that are commuting on the same roads, regardless of bicycle lanes.
Bicycle riders have little more than the helmet on their head to protect them from an accident. The Baltimore bicycle accident lawyer Randolph Rice can ensure that a proper claim is filed on your behalf to seek the money you deserve. Contact his office today to discuss your bicycle accident in Baltimore and speak with a personal injury lawyer about your accident claim.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Baltimore Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
There is no upfront cost to hire a bike accident attorney when you retain one on a contingency basis. There would be no out of pocket cost since the lawyer and the law firm will “front” all of the costs to investigate, pursue, and if need, try your case in court. The lawyer will be paid from the insurance settlement or verdict in your claim.
That means there is no obligation or expense for you to retain a bike crash lawyer in Baltimore. If you have additional questions about the legal fees for a bike collision lawyer, contact our office to speak with a lawyer about the details.
When Should I Hire a Baltimore Bike Accident Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer after a bicycle accident in Baltimore should be one of the first things you do within the hours if not days after a crash. The insurance company for the driver is already investigating the accident and working on a plan to deny your claim. Insurance companies and their adjusters want to put some blame on the bicyclist so they can claim contributory negligence.
If they can place even 1% of fault on the cyclists, then they will deny a claim and pay nothing to the injured biker. Hiring a lawyer will ensure you have someone on your side fighting for your rights and ensuring the claim is fully investigated. In addition, a bicycle injury lawyer in Baltimore will work to make sure your medical bills are reimbursed, you lost wages recovered and you are compensated for the pain and suffering you endure.
Maryland Law on Bike Accidents
State law on bicycle accidents is based on an at-fault system. An at-fault system means that the person who hit the bicyclist is liable for any harm or damages that resulted from the accident if the driver was at fault. Under Maryland state law, bicycles are considered to be vehicles. Therefore, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities that drivers of automobiles do.
The same laws also apply to bicyclists as they do automobiles. Separately, there are also laws that are specific to bicyclists. These laws include:
- Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals
- A bicyclist that is riding slower than traffic must stay in the right hand lane and as close to the side of the road as possible.
- Bicyclists can move to the left when making an attempt to turn left, passing a stopped or slower moving vehicle, or to avoid road hazards.
- When there is not a bike lane, a bicyclist may use the shoulder of the roadway.
- A bicyclist may not ride in travel lanes where the speed limit is more than 50 miles an hour.
- When a speed limit is more than 50 mph, a bicyclist may ride on the shoulder of the road.
- Bicycles may not be ridden on expressways or highways unless approved by the State Highway Administration.
- All bicycles must have brakes that are able to stop the bike from a speed of 10 mph within 15 feet.
- If operating a bicycle in low visibility conditions, bicycles must be equipped with a headlight visible at a distance of 500 feet and a red rear reflector visible at a distance of 600 feet.
- A bicycle may not be equipped with a siren or whistle. However, a bell or other audible device is permitted.
- Any rider under 16 years old must wear a helmet.
Bike Safety Laws in Baltimore
There are important laws in Baltimore that dictate how motor vehicle operators and bicyclists act in relationship with one another.
When motor vehicle operators, as well as bicyclists, fail to obey these laws, very serious accidents can occur resulting in bicyclists being very seriously injured and even killed. This article will review some of the important bike safety laws in the state of Maryland.
If you are involved in an accident due the violation of one of these laws, it is a wise idea to quickly obtain the assistance of a seasoned attorney like attorney Randolph Rice who has the experience and knowledge necessary to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Bicycle Laws that Motor Vehicle Operators Must Follow
There are several important laws that motorcyclists must follow to make sure that bicyclists are treated with a great degree of safety. Some of these laws include the following:
Motor vehicle operators are prohibited from opening the door of their vehicle with the intent to injure or strike any person riding a bicycle.
Motor vehicle operators are required to exercise a sufficient amount of care to avoid colliding with a bicyclist.
A motor vehicle operator passing another bicycle must pass at a safe distance and leave a safe amount of space. Motor vehicle drivers are also prohibited from passing bicyclists at any distance closer than 3 feet.
Right of Way
Motor vehicle operators must give the right of way to bicyclists when making a turn. Motor vehicle operators must also give the right of way to bicyclists when crossing occupied bicycle lanes.
Motor vehicle operators are prohibited from throwing objects at any bicyclist on the road.
Laws that Bicyclists Must Follow in Baltimore
In addition to the laws that motor vehicle operators must follow, there are also some important regulations that bicyclists in Baltimore must follow. These regulations include the following:
- Application of Traffic Laws. All Maryland traffic laws apply to bicyclists.
- Highways. Bicycles are not allowed on any roads where the speed limit is 50 miles per hour or greater.
- Passengers. Bicyclists are prohibited from carrying passengers unless their bicycle is specifically designed to do so.
- Traveling on the Right Side of the Road. A bicyclist must ride as close to the right side of the road as it is possible and safe to do. Exceptions apply when a bicyclist is avoiding pedestrians, making a left turn, passing a slowed or stopped vehicle, traveling on a lane that is too narrow to safely do so, and traveling on a one way street.
Equipment Required for Bicycles in Baltimore
There are several important bike safety laws regarding what features bicycles must contain as well as what features bicycles can not have. Lamps are required on a bicycle if a bicyclist will be riding on a highway where people and vehicles are not clearly visible at 1,000 feet. Reflects are also required on the back of a bicycle if it will be used under these conditions.
Additionally, bicycles must be equipped with adequate brakes. Bicyclists are also prohibited from equipping their bicycle with a bell or any other type of audible device.
Helmet Laws in Baltimore
Helmets must be worn by everyone under the age of age of 16 in Maryland who rides a bicycle. This includes people who ride as passengers on a bicycle. Helmets are required to meet the standards established by the American National Standards Institute, the American Society for testing and Materials, and the Snell Memorial Foundation
Cyclist Protection from Injuries
The lack of protection and safety features that commonly protect a passenger in a vehicle are not present when a cyclist is hit by a car or truck. Baltimore has a number of bicycle lanes, but most roads don’t provide a designated lane for bicycle riders. More often than not, a cyclist must share the road. Unfortunately, most drivers don’t give riders the room and space they require when passing. This struggle over lane space can cause serious accidents and injuries if the bicycle is struck.
Maryland has instituted a bicycle accident safety program intended to provide a safe passage and helpful tips to drivers when they approach a cyclist. In addition, the government runs a public safety campaign to address the dangers of vehicles striking bikes on Baltimore roads.
Why Are Bicycle Accidents So Serious?
The difference in weight, momentum and speed play a huge factor when bicycle accidents occur. A bicycle rider may weigh between 120-250 pounds with a bike that may weigh 30 pounds. Most passenger vehicles weigh between 3000 to 6000 pounds with commercial vehicles tipping the scale at 20,000 lbs or more.
The difference in weight plays a huge factor in a bicycle accident in Baltimore. Another factor is speed, speed of the vehicle that strikes the bicycle will dictate the severity of the injuries. However, low-speed impacts with bicycles can cause serious injury and damages.
Steps to Take After a Baltimore Bike Accident
Immediately after a bicycle accident you should call the police. It is always a good idea to have a police report regardless of how serious the accident was. It is helpful to have a police report if any insurance companies are going to be contacted. A police report also prevents parties from changing the story of what actually happened.
You should then contact a medical professional if there are any injuries. Again, these reports will be helpful if you plan on contacting any insurance companies. After making sure that all parties involved are medically ok, you should then consider State law and how it is applied to bicyclists. Contacting a Baltimore bike accident attorney can aid you in this process.
Juries and Settlement Values in Bike Accident Claims
Juries will consider multiple factors when analyzing a bike accident claim and how much money you are entitled to. These factors include:
- who was responsible for the accident,
- whether that person is legally responsible,
- whether you were contributorily negligent,
- police reports, medical reports, and so on.
Preparing the adequate materials for juries and negotiating appropriately for settlements is a cumbersome process. Hiring a Baltimore bike accident attorney will ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
Tips for Drivers When Encountering a Bicycle
When drivers approach a bicycle, they should follow these simple tips to avoid injury or a bicycle accident:
- Always be on the look-out for cyclists.
- Do not tailgate a bicycle, cyclists may not know you are behind them.
- Bicycle riders may use the entire lane and driver should treat the bicycle as another vehicle.
- When passing a bicycle, give at least 3 feet of clearance.
- Treat a bicycle as any other vehicle on the road and obey the right-of-way rules.
- Don’t enter a bike lane immediately, merge into the lane before turning.
- Don’t open your door while parked on the side of the street until you check for a cyclist.
- When entering a roadway, look for other cars and bicycles.
- Do not text and drive, distracted driving may lead to you missing a bicycle.
- Notify cyclists of your intentions by using your turn signals.
Tips for Bicyclists to Avoid an Accident
Bicyclists have a duty to follow the rules of the road and be aware of their surroundings. By following these tips, you can prevent an accident while in your bicycle:
- Follow the rules of the road.
- Stop for all red lights and stop signs when riding a bicycle.
- Ride with the flow of traffic, pedestrians are suggested to walk against traffic.
- When turning or stopping, use hand signals.
- Use a bike lane when present.
- Do not ride on sidewalks.
- Wear a helmet at all times.
How Bicycle Accidents Happen and How to Prevent Them
Bicycle accidents in Baltimore can happen at any time of the day or night and often result in serious injury or even death. Driver and cyclists that follow the rules of the road can greatly decrease the likelihood of an accident. Bicycle accidents are traumatic and often result in serious injuries and require long term medical care and physical therapy to recover from.
Bicycle Traffic Laws in Baltimore
Bicyclists must follow the rules of road as they apply in certain situations. Some of bicycle laws in Maryland include Maryland Transportation Article 21-1205 (a) Each person operating a bicycle at a speed less than the speed of traffic shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable and safe, except when:
- Making or attempting to make a left turn;
- Operating on a one-way street;
- Passing a stopped or slower moving vehicle;
- Avoiding pedestrians or road hazards;
- The right lane is a right turn only lane; or
- Operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle or motor scooter and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
- If you are hurt in an accident, contact the Baltimore bicycle accident lawyer Randolph Rice.
What is the Maryland Law for Passing on a Bicycle?
According to Maryland Transportation Article 21-1205(c) a bicyclist on a roadway shall exercise due care when passing a vehicle. If you were struck by a passing vehicle that did not show the appropriate level of car, speak with a Baltimore accident lawyer today to discuss your rights.
Do I Have to Wear a Helmet While Riding a Bicycle in Baltimore?
A person riding a bicycle in Baltimore must wear a helmet is at all times while a bicycle is being operated on any highway, bicycle way, or other property open to the public or used by the public for pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
In addition to the those riders, a person under the age of 16 who is riding on a bicycle, including a person under the age of 16 who is a passenger on a bicycle in a restraining seat attached to the bicycle or in a trailer being towed by the bicycle.
What Type of Helmet Must a Bicyclist Rider Use in Maryland?
Any bicycle rider required to wear a helmet, must use a helmet that meets or exceeds the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American Society for Testing and Materials for protective headgear for use in bicycling.
The Baltimore bicycle accident lawyer Randolph Rice recommends that all riders wear a helmet to decrease the chances of serious head trauma. Read more about the Law Offices of Randolph Rice annual Christmas Bicycle Giveaway.
Seeking Money for Bicycle Accidents in Baltimore
Compensation for a bicycle accident usually comes from the insurance company that insures the driver that strikes a bicycle. The insurance company for that driver will attempt to minimize the compensation they pay to any injured party. With the help of a Baltimore bicycle accident lawyer, you will be able to seek the full compensation and recovery from the negligent motorist.
Don’t wait to speak with a lawyer. The insurance company for the driver and their lawyers are working to discredit your claim and minimize the money they will have to pay. Contact our bicycle accident lawyers today to learn how the Law Offices of Randolph Rice can help you. Their firm does not require any up-front payment to take your accident claim. Their injury lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the money to pay for your medical bills, reimburse lost wages and compensate your suffering.
More Bike Accident Information
If you have been involved in a Bike accident in Baltimore, you likely have questions in regards to whether you are entitled to compensation and/or legal remedies. A Baltimore bicycle accident attorney will be able to analyze your case and make sure that you are adequately compensated if another party is legally responsible for the harm that resulted from the accident.
Many bicycle accidents result from pedestrians and motorist’s negligence. Such negligence may include a driver or pedestrian failing to yield to a bicycle despite traffic signs, a car passenger opening their car door without checking for oncoming traffic, or a motorist failing to check their blind spots. If a driver, pedestrian, or passenger is found to be negligent, you may be entitled to compensation. To determine this, you should contact a Baltimore bike accident lawyer.