Are There any Special Rules of the Road Regarding Bicyclists?
Boston Attorney Representing Injured Bikers
In a bustling city like Boston, choosing a bicycle to go about your daily business can be a great alternative to traditional motor vehicles. Some people enjoy bicycles so much that they commute to work or run errands while cycling. Whether you choose to engage in cycling as a part-time hobby or as a full-time mode of transportation, it is important to understand the traffic rules that apply to cyclists, especially when traversing the more crowded areas of Boston’s metropolitan center. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates P.C., we have handled numerous bicycle accident cases on behalf of residents located throughout Massachusetts. As a result, we are knowledgeable regarding the special rules of the road regarding bicyclists that may impact your case. Whether you abided by any applicable cycling rules at the time of the accident could have an impact on your ability to recover compensation. If you were hurt in a bike accident, contact us today to start learning more about how an experienced Boston bicycle accident lawyer can help you protect your legal rights.
Special Rules of the Road Regarding Bicyclists in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has enacted a series of laws for bicyclists. Additionally, some of the major cities in the state have enacted local laws regarding bicycle safety and the use of bicycle lanes. It is important to look up the bicycle laws for your city or any cities in which you plan to cycle.
According to state law, cyclists must abide by all traffic laws and regulations, including giving the right-of-way to pedestrians and alerting pedestrians before passing them. Riders who are 16 years old or younger must wear a helmet while cycling. Individuals are permitted to bike on any public road, street, or bikeway except for limited access or express state highways where there are signs posted prohibiting bicycles. You can ride on sidewalks outside of business districts unless the local laws of that business district prohibit traversing the sidewalk.
Cyclists can use either hand to indicate when they are turning or stopping, and they are allowed to pass cars on the right. If you are transporting a child or other passenger inside of an enclosed trailer behind the bike that provides adequate restraint and protection, the child does not need to wear a helmet. Riders are required to keep at least one hand on the bicycle handlebars at all times and to use a white headlight and rear reflector if riding 30 minutes before sunrise or 30 minutes after sunset. If your bike does not come equipped with reflectors on the pedals, you must also wear ankle reflectors.
If you are involved in any accident where a personal injury happens or there is property damage in excess of $100, you must notify police. This is a good idea in most cases because the police report can help determine who is liable for the injury and whether the other party violated any traffic laws at the time of the accident. There are many additional state-based bicycle laws, so it is wise to speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after a collision.
Seeking Compensation After a Bike Injury
If you suffer injuries in a bike accident, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries. In this lawsuit, you must show that the defendant failed to operate his or her vehicle with the same reasonable care and skill that a prudent person or driver would have used when facing a similar situation. This includes paying attention while driving, refraining from distracted driving activities like texting, and not driving while intoxicated. After showing that the other party failed to use appropriate care behind the wheel, you must show that his or her failure was the direct cause of your injuries. Massachusetts has adopted the modified comparative negligence approach to personal injury which allows the defendant to present evidence of any fault on the part of the plaintiff that contributed to his or her injuries. If the defendant can show that the plaintiff was 51 percent or more at fault for his or her injuries, he or she will not be allowed to recover compensation. This can include evidence showing that the plaintiff failed to abide by bicycle laws at the time of the accident.
Finally, the plaintiff will be asked to provide documentation substantiating the amount of damages that he or she is seeking in the lawsuit, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Meet With an Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Boston
We know how traumatic a bike accident can be for the victim, especially if it involves large vehicles like trucks or delivery vans. We understand special rules of the road regarding bicyclists, and our team will work diligently to investigate your claim and to collect as much evidence as possible. We will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf as well. We are available to serve clients in areas around Boston, Waltham, Lowell, Cambridge, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Norwood, Dedham, Brookline, and Peabody. Call us at (800) 262-9200 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today, and ask any question you may have about working with a seasoned injury attorney.