Left hook bike accidents

Left Hook Bicycle Accidents in Boston, MA

Left hook bicycle accidents occur when a driver turns left without checking and strikes a cyclist, often with the front of the vehicle. A common scenario is the driver and cyclist will enter an intersection from opposite directions and collide, resulting in the bicycle accident. But drivers can also turn left out of a driveway or parking lot and cause a devastating injury.

Massachusetts General Laws state, “When turning to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway an operator shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, including a bicycle on the right of the other approaching vehicles, which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.” M.G.L. c. 90 § 14.

When making a left-hand turn on a one-way street, Massachusetts drivers must travel in the traffic lane closest to the left side of the road and as close as they safely can to the curbing or edge. Cyclists are allowed to travel to the right of vehicular traffic.

When left hook bicycle accidents – or left cross accidents – occur, the victim and their attorney must demonstrate the driver was negligent and caused the crash and the cyclist's injuries. Often, the motorist may have failed to look for cyclists or misjudged the cyclist’s speed. Cell phone use and distracted driving are prevalent in Massachusetts and these behaviors directly impact safety conditions for cyclists. Many drivers use their time waiting at traffic signals to check voicemail, email or their social media accounts. This draws their attention away from checking for cyclists and pedestrians.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), recent years have set new records for fatal bicycle accidents across the United States. In Boston, a growing concern is large trucks which fail to yield to cyclists and hit them from the right, either in bike lanes or intersections. These are often called right hook accidents. According to the NHTSA, large trucks struck cyclists from the right in roughly 20 percent of all fatal bike collisions in 2016.

But more than 75 percent of all cyclists were killed after contact with the front of a vehicle, including vehicles traveling through an intersection or turning left. Many were hit by the frontside of a bus or light truck.

Potential Injuries after Bicycle Accidents in Intersections

After a left hook accident, a cyclist may suffer serious injuries which require emergency medical attention, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Fractured hips
  • Skin abrasions
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Broken jaw or facial bones
  • Dental injuries

Who is Liable after a Bicycle Accident in Massachusetts?

Cyclists should consult an attorney after a bicycle accident. Massachusetts law provides cyclists up to $8,000 in personal injury protection benefits to pay for one’s initial medical bills and lost earnings. These are no fault benefits available through the driver’s auto insurance policy.

Many bicyclists suffer more than $8,000 in financial losses, along with their physical pain and time lost to recovery. In Massachusetts, cyclists may also be entitled to additional compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, scarring and disability, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. A spouse may also be entitled to recover certain monetary damages.

When seeking these damages, an attorney must demonstrate the driver’s negligence and failure to use reasonable care.

In addition to pursuing compensation through the driver’s auto insurance policy, the cyclist may be able to recover from their own policy, if they have one. Many drivers are operating company vehicles at the time of a bike crash, including truck drivers and limousine drivers in Boston, Worcester and other Massachusetts cities and towns. In these situations, cyclists may be able to seek compensation from the company's insurance policy. Uber, Lyft and other rideshare vehicles are also required to carry liability insurance under Massachusetts law.

From Our Experience: Left Hook Accidents

Breakstone, White & Gluck reached a $350,000 settlement for a cyclist who turned left at an intersection and was struck by a driver who rolled through a stop sign.

Free Legal Consultation with our Boston Attorneys

After a bicycle accident, learn your legal rights. Under Massachusetts law, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston personal injury law firm specializing in the handling of bicycle accident claims. We are aggressive in investigating bicycle accidents and pursuing compensation for our clients.

Our attorneys are experienced and thorough in reviewing potential sources of compensation. This is critical because Massachusetts drivers may only carry the minimum coverage requirements, which may be inadequate. Cyclists may require multiple sources of compensation to heal and resume their lives.

For a free legal consultation, contact our Boston bicycle crash attorneys at 800-379-1244 or use our contact form. Our attorneys represent cyclists who have been injured by negligent drivers across Massachusetts, including in Boston, along with communities in Central Massachusetts and on the South Shore, Cape Cod and the North Shore, including Salem, Peabody and the communities of Cape Ann.