Bicycle Accidents

Assigning Fault in Bicycle Accidents

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Bicycle Accidents, Personal Injury | 1 comment

It can be both difficult and frustrating to bring an action against a negligent motorist. The laws in some states are more restrictive than others to the plaintiffs, mostly because there are states that make use of a pure contributory negligence rule when determining if a plaintiff is or is not eligible for compensatory damages in cases of bicycle accidents.

Much like pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents can happen out of the blue, and even if a car is not speeding, the damage can be devastating. The average number of people admitted for injuries due to bicycle accidents in the US a year is 500,000, and that is 2010, 618 people died. It is entirely possible that some bicycle accidents are partly the fault of the bicyclist, but in most cases the driver is mostly responsible. However, mostly responsible will not cut it.

Under the pure contributory negligence rule, if the plaintiff is in any way responsible for the accident, even to the smallest degree (1%), recovery of damages will not be happen. Some states have laws that require the plaintiff be completely fault-free, something that can be difficult to prove without the proper documentation such as witness accounts and maybe closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, if available.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can navigate the complex shoals of the tort claim legal process. If you have sustained injuries or a family member died as a result of a bicycle accident, don’t attempt to file the case on your own. Have competent legal representation on your side; there are usually no up front fees for the good lawyers in the area, and the contingent fee is normally 20% of the award. Additionally, the knowledge of a trained and certified lawyer can do a lot to build a successful case that has better chances of reaching the stage where an award can be won.

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