Since 2002, five bicycle accidents have resulted in fatalities in Barnstable.
Granted, none of these fatalities occurred in Hyannis. However, this doesn’t mean Hyannis residents are immune from the dangers of bicycle-vehicle collisions.
Barnstable is not a place where bicycle accidents often happen. Even though a bicycle accident fatality hasn’t occurred in Barnstable since 2014, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen again. When you get in a bicycle accident, your bicycle is the last thing you need to worry about.
The unexposed, unprotected nature of riding a bicycle can lead to permanent injuries. Liability laws involving vehicles and bicycles are intricate. With both of these factors in mind, you need to find a Hyannis bicycle accident lawyer to help with your case.
At Goldberg & Weigand, LLP, our personal injury attorneys have fought for the people of Hyannis for over 25 years. We don’t let insurance companies push our community around, so call our office today.
How Many Bicycle Accidents Happen in Hyannis?
Since 2002, Hyannis itself has seen no bicycle accident fatalities. However, Hyannis has seen 32 bicycle accidents in that same period. When you zoom out to Barnstable, that number rises to 221.
Out of the 221 recorded bicycle accidents, 165 ended with non-fatal injuries and the other 49 ended in just property damage. For a sleepy town like Hyannis, around two bicycle accidents, a year with a vehicle is too many.
As for Barnstable, that’s around 12 bicycle accidents a year in the city with about nine resulting in injuries.
Summer continues to be the most hazardous time to ride a bicycle in Barnstable. Of the ten accidents so far in 2019, seven have happened since May. Three of those accidents occurred in Hyannis.
Who Is At Fault in a Bicycle Accident?
Just like any other motor vehicle, bicycles have to follow Massachusetts state traffic laws. If you ride a bike on public roads, you need to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Obey local traffic laws
- Wear headlights, taillights, and reflectors at night
- No more than a pair of cyclists riding side-by-side
- Bicyclists under 16 must wear a helmet
- You can’t transport a baby under the age of one a bike
Cars and trucks must be prudent in the following practices when sharing the roads with bicycles:
- Avoid dooring accidents
- Allow a Bicyclist to Pass on your Right Side
- Don’t make a right turn after passing a bicycle
- Give bicycles enough distance when driving
- Yield for bikes when making a left turn
The burden of responsibility falls on car drivers for making the roads safe for bicyclists. Car driver negligence is the number one cause of bicycle accidents and fatalities in Massachusetts. If you see a bicyclist on the street, make sure you are giving them enough space to ride safely.
How Much Compensation for a Bicycle Accident?
A bicycle accident settlement can yield a substantial amount of money based on the following factors:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Replacing Your Bicycle
The no-fault laws in Massachusetts make receiving a bicycle accident settlement complicated. Unless you’re an avid rider or a triathlete, your bicycle probably doesn’t have an insurance policy. So to receive any type of compensation, you’ll need to go through the vehicle driver’s insurance policy.
How to Report a Bicycle Accident With a Car
When you get in a car accident, no-fault laws make your auto policy pay for damages before the party. This won’t be the case in a bicycle accident unless you have an insurance plan on the bike. So to get your policy in motion, report the accident and fill out the official accident report provided by the Massachusetts DMV. Send extra copies to:
- Barnstable City Police
- Local DMV
- All Insurance companies involved
Even more important than that, a doctor needs to evaluate your injuries right after the accident. Make sure to call 911 immediately after the crash so an ambulance can take you to the emergency room. A doctor will document your injuries, and from there, a Hyannis bicycle accident lawyer will build your case.
Your attorney’s job can be further complicated if the insurance company or police conclude the bicyclist is at fault. If this is the case, your bicycle accident case will have to go to court and be proven you share less than 50 percent of the blame.
If your attorney can argue for a smaller percentage of blame, the higher your compensation amount will be.
Hoe to Claim a Bicycle Accident on Personal Property
If your bicycle accident wasn’t caused by a car, your claim becomes even more complicated. According to Massachusetts law, a bicycle on the sidewalk must be ridden:
“…outside business districts when necessary in the interest of safety, unless otherwise directed by local ordinance”
This means the bicycle rider bears the burden of liability on busy sidewalks. In short, don’t ride your bike on the sidewalk in Hyannis city limits. Your accident would be hard to fight in court.
However, opportunities exist to file under premises liability if your accident was caused by a broken sidewalk, foreign object, or dog. A homeowners insurance or facility liability policy will pay out a settlement in these situations.
Whether another vehicle or faulty cement caused your bicycle accident, the personal injury attorneys at Goldberg & Weigand, LLP are here to advocate for your damages in court.
Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Hyannis
Insurance companies will find every way to make sure your bicycle accident isn’t covered. You need a strong advocate in court, so don’t pick just any personal injury lawyer in Hyannis.
At Goldberg & Weigand, LLP, our personal injury attorneys have 50 years of combined legal experience helping people in Hyannis get their lives back on track.
Peter Goldberg and Blair Weigand are deeply rooted in Hyannis. We love our community and won’t let an insurance company push anyone around.
Our Hyannis office takes calls 24 hours a day, so give us a ring at 508-775-9099 for your free, confidential consultation.