Bicycle accidents happen for a variety of reasons. In many cases, though, the cause of the bicycle accident was not the biker, making him or her an innocent victim in the crash. In these cases, the cyclist deserves to be compensated for their losses, as putting the costs of the accident their shoulders would be unfair.
That is where the personal injury attorneys at the Baltimore law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help. By representing you or your loved one in court, we can ensure you get the care you need to make the full recovery you deserve.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents in Baltimore
Back in 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performed an extensive survey of pedestrians and bikers in the U.S. The survey asked numerous questions to determine how walkers and bikers interacted with motorists and suggested ways that could make them safer on the roads of America.
According to the study, out of the people who rode a bike within the past two years, 3% of them reported being hurt badly enough that they needed to seek medical attention for their injuries. Out of these hurt cyclists, the six most common ways for a biker to get hurt on the roads of America are:
|Hit by Car||29%|
|Roadway or Walkway in Bad Repair||13%|
|Dog Ran Out||4%|
A significant portion of those hurt while biking – a whole 29% - reported being hurt when they got hit by a car. Another 13% said they were hurt because of a poor road condition, while 4% more said they were hurt when a dog ran out at them while they were riding.
In each one of these cases, accounting for nearly half of all bike accident injuries, the biker was not at fault for the crash and deserves to be compensated for their losses sustained in the rash.
Bike Accidents Involving Motor Vehicles
The most common – and, unfortunately, the most severe – accidents that a biker can suffer involve other motor vehicles. These crashes frequently result in very serious injuries to the biker because cyclists have almost no protection or safety mechanisms that shield them from the impact of a crash and because cars often run into the thousands of pounds. The force of these collisions, coupled with the lack of protection that bikers can rely on to shield them from harm, often lead to serious injuries to the biker.
These types of crashes can be caused in a variety of ways.
One of the most prominent and dangerous problems on the roads of America, today, is distracted driving. Drivers split their attention between the road and a huge array of distractions, including:
- Phone calls
- GPS devices
- The car radio
- Music devices
- Personal hygiene
- Roadside advertisements
- Street signs
These distractions take their eyes off the road for long enough that they might not have time to notice and correctly respond to road hazards or potential dangers. This includes bikers who are abiding by the rules of the road, but who the driver is not expecting or does not see.
In a more general sense, many bike crashes can be caused by drivers who are acting negligently behind the wheel. While distracted driving is one way for drivers to be negligent, there are other examples of negligence that do not involve an element of distraction.
For example, many drivers who are attentive while behind the wheel are nonetheless negligent if they fail to check their right-side rearview mirror before making a turn to the right. In these situations, any biker who is riding legally as close to the right side of the road as possible will be put into harm's way by the driver's negligence.
Drivers who are under the influence of either drugs or alcohol are also known to cause bike accidents in Baltimore. Many drivers already fail to take bicyclists into account when they drive, and intoxicated drivers are even less likely to be able to keep them safe, as their motor skills and attentive abilities are severely limited by the effects of alcohol or drugs.
Bike Accidents Involving Poor Road Conditions
In addition to other drivers causing bike accidents, crashes can also be caused by poor road conditions. In these crashes, while the biker was the only one involved in the accident, the cyclist was still not to blame for the accident and their resulting injuries.
These crashes can be complex because finding out who was responsible for the poor road conditions often leads to the local town or municipality, who may claim to be immune from a lawsuit. This defense often requires an experienced personal injury attorney to overcome.
Bike Crashes Caused by Dogs
Dogs are also a constant hazard for bikers in the Baltimore area. Territorial and feeling threatened by passing bikers, dogs are known to chase bikers away from their owner's yard. Frequently, these efforts take them down the street if they are not restrained by a leash or fence, and are often startling to bikers. The presence and dangers of a dog can force bikers into evasive maneuvers that put them at risk of getting hit by a car or can make them fall.
In these cases, the biker was, once again, not at fault. Instead, the fault can lie with the dog's owner for not reasonably restraining their dog and preventing the crash from happening.
Baltimore Bike Accident Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian
Being involved in a bike accident in Baltimore can be a life-changing event. The injuries that you sustain can take years to recover from, and the costs of your recovery can cripple your finances. Having legal help to guide you through the process of a personal injury lawsuit can be the best way to protect your interests and your future.
This is why the personal injury attorneys at the Baltimore law office of Gilman & Bedigian represent injured bikers in the city and the rest of Maryland. Contact us online for the legal help you need in this difficult time.