Boston Bicycle Accident Attorney
In 2007, the Boston Department of Transportation instituted a program to add more bicycle parking and take other steps to make the city more friendly to bicycles. Over the next eight years, ridership doubled, and by 2019, 1.6 million bicycle trips were taken in one year by riders with Boston’s bikeshare program BLUEbikes.
At the same time biker ridership in Boston started growing, so did the advent of smartphones embedded with social media apps that increased the public’s addiction to their phones, even while driving. After 40 years of declining auto accident rates, the number of crashes started going up again in 2010, and they have been climbing every year since. Bicyclists and pedestrians have fared the worst because of this.
Whether riding a bicycle to work or to get to the T, going out for a small shopping trip, or just for exercise or recreation, riders these days are at an increased risk of getting seriously injured, a Boston bicycle accident attorney can help. These accidents can cause catastrophic injuries such as fractures or traumatic brain injuries to cyclists who are nearly completely exposed and vulnerable when getting struck by a multi-ton motor vehicle.
The Law Office of Joseph R. Linnehan, Jr. has successfully represented thousands of accident injury victims in Boston over the years. If you get hit while riding your bike, we know how to build a strong case that proves the driver’s negligence and fault in causing the accident, and we know what it takes to secure a valuable settlement with the insurance company or a jury verdict in court that provides substantial compensation for the injuries caused. Call our office for a free consultation, and let us help you get the medical care and compensation you need and deserve.
Causes of Boston Bicycle Accidents
A lot of things are going on at once on crowded, busy Boston city streets. Cyclists have to exercise a reasonable degree of care and stay alert to stay safe, and drivers likewise have a duty to be respectful and careful when sharing the road with bicycles. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Boston include negligent drivers who commit the following errors:
- Invading bike lanes set aside for cyclists
- Making sudden stops in traffic
- Opening doors into traffic without checking for an oncoming bike
- Failing to signal turns or lane changes
- Crowding cyclists out of the lanes they are rightfully occupying
- Passing a bicycle and returning to the lane too quickly
Drivers who make these mistakes can and should be held accountable for the devastation their negligence or recklessness has caused.
Boston Bicycle Accidents and Massachusetts Bicycling Laws
Massachusetts law devotes an entire section specifically to bicycle operation and required equipment. In addition to these requirements for cyclists, other sections of Mass law put specific mandates on automobile drivers in regards to bicyclists, including rules regarding passing cyclists. These laws are summarized below:
- Cyclists are required to follow all the rules of the road applicable to other road users, including obeying traffic lights and stop signs, signaling turns or lane changes, and riding in the same direction of traffic.
- Cyclists are entitled to ride on all Boston city streets unless prohibited by a posted sign. Where no bike lane exists, cyclists are entitled to occupy the center of the lane. Two cyclists can also ride abreast in a single lane.
- While encouraged to use the street, cyclists may ride on the sidewalk when necessary for safety unless prohibited by a posted sign. If using the sidewalk, cyclists must yield to pedestrians and ring a bell or signal audibly when passing a pedestrian. Sirens and whistles are not allowed.
- Street-legal bicycles must have permanently attached seats and brakes that meet legal requirements. To drive at night, the bicycle must have a white headlamp on the front of the bike and a red light or reflector on the back, along with visible reflectors on the pedals or other parts of the bike or the rider’s clothing visible from the sides.
- In approaching or passing a person on a bicycle, the operator of a motor vehicle must slow down and pass at a safe distance and a reasonable and proper speed.
- Massachusetts passing laws require drivers to pass at a safe distance to the left of the bicycle and not return to the right until safely clear of the overtaken bicycle. If it is not possible to overtake a bicycle at a safe distance in the same lane, the driver should use all or part of an adjacent lane if it is safe to do so or wait for a safe opportunity to pass the bike.
- A driver who overtakes a bicycle cannot then turn right unless the turn can be made at a safe distance from the cyclist at a reasonable and proper speed.
- A driver making a left turn must yield the right-of-way to a bicycle coming from the opposite direction that is in the intersection or so close that turning would create an immediate hazard.
- No person shall open a door on a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Violating this law is punishable with up to a $100 fine.
Automobile drivers and bicyclists alike must obey applicable traffic safety laws to avoid devastating bicycle accident crashes. A driver who “doors” a cyclist or causes a crash with an illegal lane change can be held liable for the damage caused, and the fact they violated a law specifically designed for traffic safety can help hold them liable. Even if they were guilty of general negligence or reckless behavior (such as crowding a cyclist out of their lane), drivers can still be held responsible regardless of whether they were ticketed for a moving violation. The Law Office of Joseph R. Linnehan, Jr. has decades of experience representing accident victims, including child and adult bicycle riders, and recovering significant compensation to help them deal with the harm caused to them by a negligent driver.
Get Help After a Bicycle Accident in Boston
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in Boston, call the Law Office of Joseph R. Linnehan, Jr. at 617-275-4200 for a free consultation with an experienced and successful bicycle accident injury attorney. There’s no fee unless and until we are successful in recovering compensation on your behalf.