Articles Posted in Bicycle Acidents

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It’s summer fun and sun and vacation time.  Vacationers from Peabody, Danvers, Saugus, Salem, Lynn and Wakefield are taking their activities outside to enjoy the balmy breezes and dry pleasant air.  Kids of all ages are pedaling the bike paths and rail trials all over the North Shore. Motorists are enjoying the scenery, taking day trips to the beautiful sandy beaches and strolling the outdoor shopping centers, such as the Lynnfield Market Street.  The North Shore in the summertime is abundant with tourists and residents appreciating all that Massachusetts and the North Shore have to offer.  Unfortunately, along with the crowds enjoying outdoor activities, comes the potential for accidents.  If you are injured while participating in a summer activity, you should consider speaking with an experienced injury lawyer.

commerce-acts-books-477966-mBicycle accidents, car accidents or slips and falls can cause serious injuries, medical expenses and lost time at work.  Talking to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney could go a long way towards getting you a fair settlement for your injuries.  If you have severe injuries, expensive medical bills, or significant loss of wages because of your injuries from an accident, you should consult with a lawyer who practices in the areas of accident and injury law.  Some personal injury lawyers may focus on one area of personal injury in particular, such as slip and fall accidents or car accidents or wrongful death.  One good way to find an experienced accident attorney is by referral, another is to speak with family and friends or search the internet to see what other people have to say about the attorney that you are considering.

If you have an injury from an accident and seek compensation from the wrongdoer, you can expect them to have a lawyer or trained claim handler to review and respond.  This person is not looking out for you.  Rather, they may be trying to trick you into saying something that can be misinterpreted or taken out of context and then be used to reduce or deny your claim.  Level the playing field, don’t wait, get your own skilled lawyer to help as soon as you can.

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The North Shore of Massachusetts is a great place to go bike riding.  Whether it’s for shopping, recreation or to go to and from work, bicycling saves money on gas and is terrific exercise!  According to the Boston Globe, some North Shore towns, including Beverly, Lynn and Salem are taking initiatives to support bicycle riding in the North Shore by increasing bike lanes, off road paths, and signage.  Bike lanes and off road trails are popping up in other towns too, like Lynnfield, Wakefield and Saugus.  As biking grows, bicycle safety has taken on a new importance.

commerce-acts-books-477966-mAccording to Mass.gov, 15 bicycle-related fatalities and 131 bicycle-related serious or incapacitating injuries were reported in 2012.  In 2008-2012, the highest number of fatalities occurred on Mondays in August and September.  During the same timeframe, males accounted for 79% of all bicycle fatalities.  In Massachusetts, bicyclists must adhere to all applicable motor vehicle laws.  Children 16 years of age and under, operating or riding as a passenger on a bicycle, must wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet.  The helmets must be approved helmets with a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission certification sticker.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that bicyclists take the following precautions to prevent accidents on the roadways:

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On the North Shore, bicycle riding is a very popular mode of transportation during the summer months. Some choose to take the opportunity to bike to work while others use a bicycle for more leisure activities. Perhaps pedaling along the ponds, rivers, streams or beautiful beaches that line the coast of the communities we live in. It is a great way to enjoy a sunny summer day with friends and family, while taking in the breathtaking Massachusetts views. Not to mention it is a great physical work out! However, biking can be a dangerous activity. According to an article on the Insurance Journal website highlighting the findings of a report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Spotlight on Highway Safety: Bicyclist Safety, the number of bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways is trending upward.  According to the report there were 722 bicyclist-motor vehicle fatalities in 2012; up from 621 in 2010.

commerce-acts-books-477966-mIn a 2014 study conducted by the Boston Globe, the reporter found that collisions involving bicycles in the Greater Boston suburban area increased by 9 percent from 2010 to 2012, while statewide the number jumped 13 percent during the same three-year period. That same study showed that nearly 70 percent of the crashes resulted in injuries. In many situations collisions are caused by automobile drivers who fail to follow the basic rules of the road ignoring basic safety precautions. Further, the Globe report states that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation used a $461,851 federal grant to help train and educate police about the bike law in some Massachusetts communities including Lynn and Salem, as these cities were targeted because of the number of bike crashes. When a driver of an automobile is negligent and is responsible for causing an accident with a bicycle rider, the driver can be held accountable for the bike rider’s injuries.

There may also be additional claims against the driver’s employer or owner of the vehicle if the accident occurred during the commission of the driver’s employment. According to media reports, in 2013, Alexander Motsenigos was struck and killed by an 18-wheel truck while riding his bike in Wellesley. Motsenigos had been training for a triathlon and at the time of the incident he was lawfully riding a specialized bike with his helmet on. As he was riding he suddenly was stuck and pulled under the truck. The driver was hauling crushed concrete from Cambridge to Natick and according to police, drove off after the collision. The driver when later questioned by police, denied that he hit the cyclist. After criminal charges were not filed against the driver, Motsenigos’ family filed a civil suit in Norfolk Superior Court naming the driver of the truck, as well as his employer, C.J. Mabardy and Truck Leasing Family Limited Partnership, which owned the truck. The accident lawsuit alleged that the driver recklessly and negligently tried to pass Motsenigos when it was not safe to do so, despite the driver being familiar with the roads. The civil suit also alleged that the driver was an “extremely dangerous driver who should not have been behind the wheel of a truck” as apparently the driver had three decades of motor vehicle infractions and a seven page driving history with 19 license suspensions. The case is scheduled to go to trial in late 2015.

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Now that cooler weather is here, it is a great time to get back on your bicycle. In fact some of the top cyclists in the world did just that when they descended upon Boston recently for the TD Bank Mayor’s Cup. What a glorious weekend as the riders enjoyed perfect warm, sunny and early fall North Shore weather.  There are plenty of trails to enjoy in Massachusetts, but even if you’re not near a designated bike-path such as the Minuteman Bikeway or Stony Brook Reservation, you have the “the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways.” M.G.L. ch. 85, § 11B.

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