Car Accidents and Bikes in Massachusetts
Car accidents involving bicycles are increasingly common as the country’s bicycling population grows and drivers fail to pay attention or learn the laws. When a car accident involves a bicycle, the bicyclist is likely to sustain more serious personal injuries than the motor vehicle operator.
Drivers and bicyclists follow many of the same driving laws in Massachusetts with a few variations. Both are allowed to use the full motor vehicle lane, but bicyclists can also ride two abreast or individually on the right-hand shoulder of the road. Both cars and bicycles are required to stop for red lights, though a few exceptions apply for bicycles.
Car accidents involving bikes can occur anywhere, but are most frequent in city areas such as Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. Along with state laws, drivers and bicyclists may be required to follow additional regulations in these communities and in college areas. They often happen at intersections, where drivers are required to yield to bicyclists turning.
Massachusetts Bicyclist Protections
Massachusetts law provides different compensation for bicyclists and drivers in motor vehicle accidents. If a bicyclist is injured in a car accident, the driver’s automobile insurance automatically pays the first $2,000 in damage under Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, even if the bicyclist was at fault. These benefits may pay up to $8,000.
Additional compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering may be sought from the driver or automobile owner’s insurance.
Massachusetts Driver Protections
Motorists injured in an accident caused by a bicyclist have different rights. Drivers can seek compensation through a bicyclist’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, or against the cyclist individually in small claims court.
When a motorist or passenger is injured in a car accident, the driver at fault must pay the first $2,000 in PIP benefits. They may pay up to $8,000 depending on whether the injured party has health insurance and other criteria. The injured party may obtain up to $8,000 in lost wages. When medical bills exceed PIP benefits, additional compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering may be obtained through Bodily Injury and Wrongful Death coverage.
The Massachusetts car accident lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston are experienced in handling cases involving car accidents and bicycle accidents. If you have been injured in an auto accident, we have the experience, expertise and resources you need to handle your case. We have over 80 years combined legal experience and have handled thousands of complex car accident cases from the insurance claims level through trial and appeal.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is critical to learn your rights for seeking compensation for your injuries. You may face a Statute of Limitations restricting the time you have to file a claim.
Contact the Breakstone, White & Gluck today toll free at 800-379-1244 or use our contact form. We have experience handling bike accident cases throughout Massachusetts, including in Boston, Charlestown, Cambridge, Quincy, Braintree, Lexington, Concord, Acton, Winchester, Arlington, Somerville, Allston and Brighton.
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