Many New Jersey drivers do not realize that bicycles have the legal right to use most roads, or that bicyclists generally have the same rights and responsibilities as a car when riding on the road. In short, bicycles are entitled to use the roads. And motorists are required to share the roadways with cyclists. Unfortunately, some drivers act aggressively toward cyclists. Others simply do not look out for bicycles, often because they do not expect to see them on the road. Even if drivers are alert, a bicycle can blend into the visual landscape and be overlooked, resulting in tragic crashes. Seeking counsel from an experienced attorney, like Davis & Brusca, the bicycle accident lawyers Trenton, NJ trusts, is a good idea if you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident.
Some common causes of bicycle accidents include:
In New Jersey bicycles must abide by the same traffic rules as a car. In addition, there are some specific regulations that apply to bikes. For instance, New Jersey law requires that any cyclists under the age of 17 wear a helmet that is properly fitted and fastened. Bicyclists over the age of 17 should also wear helmets, even though they not legally required to do so. Cyclists are also required to ride “as near to the right roadside as practicable,” and to exercise caution when passing stationary vehicles or cars proceeding in the same direction. This helps to prevent the cyclist from impeding the flow of traffic.
Injured cyclists have the same access to the insurance claim process and the legal system as drivers who are involved in auto-on-auto or auto-on-truck accidents. Negligent drivers can be held liable for injuries, pain & suffering, lost wages, and other economic harms. In certain circumstances, a third party may be liable, such as a landowner, municipality, or the manufacturer or retailer of a bicycle.
When a bicyclist sues to recover damages for their injuries, the focus will be on the circumstances of the accident (i.e., who is “at fault”) and the severity of the injury and other harm caused. Irrespective of whether or not it is fair, you should also expect there to be a strong attempt to “blame the cyclist”. An attorney, like Davis & Brusca, the bicycle accident lawyers New Jersey has come to trust, can help you determine whether you have a viable legal claim and can help ensure you are treated fairly.
Shockingly, it is not uncommon for a motorist to flee the scene after hitting a bicyclist. There are a variety of reasons. It may be that they didn’t see the cyclist. It may be because they don’t have car insurance. Or it may be that they are afraid and think they can “get away”. Victims of hit and runs have options. In certain circumstances, the cyclist’s own insurance company may cover the claim. Trust the experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Davis & Brusca to investigate your case and evaluate your legal rights.
After an accident, you should seek medical attention for any pain. Even if you do not notice an injury immediately following the accident, and even if you think “it will go away”, you should get checked out as bicycle accident injuries may take days or weeks to become clear. File a police report and obtain the names and contact information of the other party involved in the accident and any witnesses. Take pictures of the accident scene and your injury, and keep a journal of your injuries and physical limitations. And, seek out counsel from an experienced attorney, like Davis & Brusca, the bicycle accident lawyers New Jersey relies on, for additional guidance.
As bicycle accident attorneys in Trenton, NJ, the lawyers at Davis & Brusca know that the first reaction of many people when they hear of an auto vs. cyclist crash is to assume the cyclist was at fault. Despite this common misconception, national statistics reveal that in the majority of bicycle accidents, it is the driver of the vehicle who caused the crash.
Bike accidents are handled in the same way as other motor vehicle crashes and injured victims are entitled to pursue damages under New Jersey law. Just like other vehicle accident victims, a bike accident victim can seek financial compensation for all their medical expenses, loss of income, and other losses they may have suffered because of their injuries.
If the bike accident is a hit-and-run, where the vehicle driver takes off, the victim may be able to file the claim with their own vehicle insurance policy, under their uninsured/underinsured coverage. One of our Trenton, NJ bicycle accident attorneys can assist you if this happened to you.
There are certain types of driver behaviors that frequently trigger a bicycle accident. These include:
There are accidents in which the cyclists may have contributed to the cause of the crash, however, that does not mean they cannot pursue an injury claim. Under New Jersey’s comparative negligence law, a victim can still pursue damages even if they are partially to blame, as long as they are less than 50 percent at fault. The amount of damages they receive, however, would be reduced by their percentage of fault.
If you are a cyclist, there are steps you can take to help lower your risks of being injured in a bike accident. Remember to obey all traffic laws as you are riding. Always wear a helmet and other protective clothing and gear to help minimize injury if you are hit by a vehicle.
If you have been injured in a bike accident and would like to speak with one of the skilled Trenton, NJ bicycle accident attorneys from Davis & Brusca, LLC to find out about your legal rights, call us. We are ready to meet with you and discuss how we can help. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.