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Maryland Bicycle Accident Attorneys

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Maryland recognizes bicycles as non-motorized vehicles and in a different category compared to cars, trucks, and motorcycles. This places the burden of responsibility on the cyclist similar to that of pedestrians. When a crash involves a bike and a car or other vehicle, it is usually the bicyclist that fares the worst, often resulting in the cyclist being seriously injured or even killed.

When you are involved in an accident while riding your bicycle, you need a bike accident attorney who understands Maryland bike laws. You need the knowledge and experience of the attorneys at DuBoff & Associates.

Common Causes of Bike Accidents

There is a common misconception that the majority of bike versus car crashes are due to the negligence of the cyclist. However, recent data shows that in most bike crashes are caused by motorists.

The most common causes of bike accidents include:

ONE IN THREE CRASHES ARE CAR VS.BIKE! These types of crashes make up the majority of cyclist fatalities.

Common Cyclist Injuries in an Accident

BIKES offer little protection to the rider, a cyclist is exposed to some potentially serious injuries, including:

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Broken leg
  • Joint dislocation
  • Nerve damage
  • Fractured clavicle
  • Jaw injuries
  • Brain injury
  • Paralysis
  • Hand fracture
  • Dental injuries
  • Elbow fracture

Maryland Bike Safety Laws

Maryland bicycle laws require all cyclists to wear a bicycle helmet if they are operating their bike on a road, highway, bicycle path, or public property. It is also illegal do anything that would cause harm to a cyclist while they are on the road. For instance, throwing an object at or in the direction of a person who is riding on a bicycle violates Maryland Transportation Section 21-1209. Dooring is also illegal. This is the practice of opening the door of a motor vehicle as the passenger or driver, with the intention to hit, injury, or otherwise interfere with anyone riding a bicycle.

Since Maryland sees bicycles as vehicles, they must obey all traffic signals and it is generally illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. However, some local ordinances do allow it and when the law allows a bike to be ridden on the sidewalk, it can also be ridden in the crosswalk. Montgomery County allows bicycles to ridden on a sidewalk as long as there are no designated bike lanes and bicyclists must yield to pedestrians.

When a cyclist is traveling slower than the traffic on the road, they must ride on the right side of the roadway, as close to that right side as is safe and practical. The only exceptions include:

  • When the cyclist is making a left turn
  • When they are on a one-way street
  • When passing a vehicle that is slower or stopped
  • When avoiding road hazards or pedestrians
  • When the right lane is a turn lane
  • When the lane is too narrow for the bicycle and another vehicle to operate safely side by side

Filing a Claim for Damages for a Bicycle Accident

When you file a claim, there will be several factors considered to determine your settlement amount on your bike case. The person who was responsible for the accident and if they are liable (can be held legally responsible) is a primary consideration, as well as whether or not the cyclist contributed to the accident, due to negligence. Investigators will analyze police reports, medical reports, witness statements, and other documentation related to the accident to determine damages.

Damages you can claim for bicycle injuries can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Physical Pain and Mental Suffering
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Permanent injuries

What to Do After a Bike Accident

If you have been in a bicycle accident, follow these tips:

  • Do not discuss the accident with the other driver; say as little as possible. If you say, “I’m fine” any injuries you have may be downplayed during settlement negotiations. Say I don’t know or thank G-d I’m alive!
  • Do not try to negotiate with the other driver
  • Wait for the police to arrive
  • Complete a statement so that your version of the accident is included in the accident report
  • Get contact information for the driver and any witnesses
  • Document what happened as detailed as possible and keep it for your records
  • Promptly Seek medical attention for any injuries, even if they seem minor. This provides documentation for your injuries and medical treatment.
  • Preserve the evidence. Save your bike, clothing, helmet, and any other gear in the exact state they were as a result of the accident. Do not wash your clothing or try to repair your bike. Take pictures of all your damaged gear.
  • Get an attorney who cares and can assist you in your time of confusion and pain. Now!

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident you probably have a lot of questions. How do you pay for your medical bills? What do you do about lost time at work? At DuBoff & Associates, 301-495-3131 we can help. Our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys know how to navigate the court system and negotiate settlements so that you get the compensation you deserve. Call today (Contact us now)- for your free consultation then let us handle your case so you can get on with the business of healing.

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