Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The great city of Baltimore is a dense, highly-populated city, surrounded by dense, high-populated areas like Washington, D.C. As such, it has its share of accidents, including bicycle accidents.
Bike riding is dangerous in highly-populated areas; but the fact is, bicycle accidents can happen on any road, at any time, for any number of reasons.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed in an accident and are looking for legal assistance from a skilled bicycle accident attorney, John J. Leppler can help you recover full financial compensation.
Bicycle Accident Statistics in Maryland
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 932 bike riders were killed in accidents with motor vehicles in 2020 throughout our nation, up 9% from 2019. Although bike rider deaths have decreased 16% since 1975, they have increased 36% since reaching their lowest point in 2010.
So, while they are not as prevalent as car accidents or motorcycle accidents, the risk of being in a bike accident is still very real for people traveling in and around Maryland. The state reported that:
- 734 bicycle or pedalcycle crashes occurred in the state of Maryland in 2021, down slightly from the five-year average of 782.
- 583 of those 734 crashes in 2021 led to people getting injured
- An additional 145 crashes also caused property damage.
- Tragically, six people paid the ultimate price following their involvement in bicycle accidents.
Close to 40% of all bicycle accidents in Maryland are in Baltimore County and Baltimore City residents seem to be particularly prone to those accidents.
Bicycles vs. Motor Vehicles: A Disastrous Clash
Most bicycle accidents come in two forms: (1) falling, which is the most common, and (2) colliding with a motor vehicle, which is the most dangerous. Bicycle vs. motor vehicle isn’t really a fair match, because bike riders almost always come out on the short end of these accidents. Bike riders present a very narrow profile on the roadways, making them hard to see by automobile drivers, especially distracted or impaired drivers.
Further, bicycles are not surrounded by a protective metal covering, leaving very little protection between the bike rider and the street or motor vehicle.
How a Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help if You’ve Been Injured
A personal injury lawyer can help you if you’ve been involved in a bicycling accident in a variety of ways, including:
- Protecting Your Legal Interests. Injuries caused by bicycle accidents aren’t always immediately symptomatic. A Baltimore bicycle lawyer can secure compensation for future care. Your legal interests should be protected for as long as you need them.
- Prioritizing Your Claim. From the very moment of your accident, a bike accident attorney will stand by your side and make sure you recover every penny of compensation you’re entitled to. Remember, an insurance company’s job is to make money; in other words, to pay out as little as possible. They are very good at convincing people to accept low-ball settlements with the lure of quick money. We’ll help you obtain a favorable settlement, or will take them to court.
- Avoiding Legal Hazards. Remember to avoid communicating with an insurance company before contacting us. Do not allow your communications to be recorded, and don’t sign any written document. In fact, don’t say anything beyond the most basic incontrovertible facts. Contact us first and we’ll handle the insurance company for you.
- Developing a Strategy Uniquely Tailored to Your Circumstances. A bicycle accident lawyer in Baltimore understands the nuances of the law, including the potential technicalities, paperwork requirements, and loopholes. We’ll help you avoid any errors that may cost you money.
- Gathering Evidence and Proving Fault. A successful claim revolves around proving fault supported by evidence, which is often difficult to obtain. This is beyond the experience of typical laypersons, but a Baltimore bicycle attorney like John J. Leppler is an expert.
- Helping You Rest Easy and Recover. A bicycle injury attorney does nothing but recover money for you. We are the experts, and you can simply hand the claim over to us, and we’ll deal with the insurance company and opposing party. We’ll let you know when we need anything from you, so you can relax and focus on your recovery.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Maryland
Bicycle accidents can happen for all kinds of reasons. In some cases, the cyclist is at fault, and they need to take responsibility for what happened.
However, most bicycle accidents can be from other factors. Those are the times when you will need the services of a bike crash lawyer. Continue below to learn more about the common causes of bicycle accidents.
The most frustrating part about being in a bike accident is that many of those are from negligent drivers. You will often find careless drivers who fail to look for cyclists before they turn. That kind of incident tends to happen to those drivers who do not know about relevant right-of-way laws.
Some drivers also fail to signal their intent to move and may hit a cyclist next to them. Many drivers also tend to move too closely to cyclists, which can sometimes lead to crashes. Driver error can also come in the form of a motorist simply not paying enough attention. Distracted driving has become more common among motorists since the rise of smartphones. Those distracted drivers pose a danger to everyone on the road, including cyclists.
Deliberately Harmful Actions Directed at Cyclists
Road rage is real, and some motorists give in to it occasionally. Bicycle riders become easy targets for motorists in the middle of rampaging.
In their fit of rage, some motorists may open their car doors suddenly to impede the movement of a passing cyclist. Such actions are incredibly dangerous as they can lead to cyclists getting badly hurt. There is no excuse for any motorist doing something like that. Connect with a bike crash attorney immediately if someone tries to do that to you.
Poor Infrastructure in Baltimore County
A high number of bicycle accidents is often symptomatic of a community that is not doing enough for its cyclists. Sure enough, that is the case in places like Towson and Baltimore City. The Baltimore County locales are noticeably lacking in terms of cycling infrastructure. They do not give cyclists many lanes to use so they can get around congested roads safely.
Cyclists are also more prone to accidents when they use damaged roads. Bicycles cannot traverse damaged roads as easily as cars can. That makes cyclists more likely to fall victim to accidents. If infrastructure support is not there, bicycle accidents will continue to occur at sustained rates.
Faulty Bicycles or Bicycle Parts
A bicycle accident may also happen because of an issue affecting the two-wheeler itself. This could be the case if the manufacturer made a huge error while designing or manufacturing the bicycle. Companies that sell faulty replacement parts for bicycles can also be responsible for accidents.
Bicycle Laws in Baltimore
Cyclists must know about the bicycle laws in the state of Maryland so they can tell when they need the services of a bike accident lawyer. With that knowledge in hand, you can protect yourself better in the event of an accident.
Drivers Should Not Pass Too Closely to Cyclists
Drivers of motor vehicles must, by law, give cyclists sufficient space. To be more specific, no driver of a motor vehicle is allowed to pass any closer than three feet to a cyclist provided that the cyclist is operating their vehicle legally. If you receive injuries from a driver who got too close, you should call a bicycle injury attorney and seek assistance.
Drivers Must Exercise Due Care to Avoid Collisions with Cyclists
Another relevant law that could prove crucial in bicycle accident cases states that drivers must exercise due care to avoid crashes with cyclists. This is crucial to keep in mind because it can greatly affect the outcome of your lawsuit.
As long as you and your bike accident attorney prove that the driver did not exercise due care while moving close to you, the chances of your lawsuit succeeding will remain high.
Drivers Cannot Open Their Car Doors with the Intent to Interfere or Hit Cyclists
Aside from being dangerous, drivers should never open their car doors when a cyclist is nearby unless they want to get in trouble with the law. Maryland prohibits that kind of action.
You and your Baltimore bicycle accident lawyer can sue an offending motorist if you believe they opened their car door intending to hit you or at least interfere with your movement.
Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
Lawsuits about bicycle accidents typically fall into one of two major categories. They are often lawsuits that allege negligence against a motorist or product liability claims.
- Negligence Lawsuits: If a driver’s careless driving leads to an accident, you can sue them for being negligent. As we noted earlier, motorists must remain at least three feet away from bicycles and exercise due care when passing them. There are other manifestations of motorists being negligent around cyclists. You and your bike accident lawyer must clearly establish negligence on the part of the driver if you want to win your case.
- Product Liability Lawsuits: Product liability claims are toward manufacturers who fail to provide safe products to cyclists. The issue with the defective product could be a flaw in its design or an error that arose during manufacturing. In either case, you should file a lawsuit against the manufacturer to hold them accountable.
What Types of Compensation Can You Expect after a Bicycle Accident in Maryland?
The compensation you may receive from your bicycle accident case will likely be from economic and non-economic damages. Take the time to learn about those damages to bring a better lawsuit to court.
The economic damages in any given personal injury case are supposed to provide compensation for tangible losses the plaintiff suffered. In personal injury cases, the most common examples of economic damages are medical expenses. If your lawsuit succeeds, the defendant must pay for your hospital bills. They must also pay for future treatment that you may need to manage your injuries.
The defendant must also pay for property losses due to the accident. The court may order the defendant to pay for your bike if it became destroyed following the crash.
Non-economic damages compensate plaintiffs for their intangible losses. The pain and suffering you experienced because of the accident cannot be quantified, but you must still receive compensation for it. You must also receive compensation for lost opportunities, reduced quality of life, and similar losses.
What Are My Rights as a Bicyclist in Maryland?
Maryland makes its roads easier to navigate for cyclists by giving them the right-of-way in many situations. Notably, drivers must yield to cyclists if they intend to turn. Drivers must also yield the right-of-way to cyclists if they are occupying bike lanes or shoulders.
Cyclists are also allowed to ride on certain sidewalks. Check first before using them as pathways so you can stay out of trouble. A cyclist can also ride from a sidewalk to a crosswalk to maintain their progress. Drivers must allow cyclists to use those crosswalks without delay.
Let a Baltimore Bicycle Accident Lawyer Handle Your Bicycle Accident Claims
At Leppler Injury Law, we understand the law and nuances of bicycle accidents. We offer a wide array of important services that you won’t find at larger firms, such as free consultations, a contingent fee basis, an experienced track record with a 98% success rate, 24/7 accessibility, same-day responses to messages, aggressive tactics toward insurance companies and opposing attorneys, and personalized and customized attention to the details of your unique case.
Contact an accident lawyer online or by phone at (443) 955-1989 for a same-day response to schedule your free consultation.
Some of the locations we serve are Baltimore City, as well as locations in Baltimore County including: Towson, Rosedale, Dundalk, Cockeysville, Lutherville-Timonium, Lochearn, Overlea, Parkville, Essex, Glen Burnie, Ferndale, Pikesville, Carney, Catonsville, Randallstown, Reisterstown, Perry Hall, Hampton, White Marsh, and more.