There’s no dispute that a bicyclist who is hit by a car is likely to suffer serious injuries. Reach out to Lovenberg & Associates, P.C. today to learn about key differences in the law for cyclists and how to start the claims process if you’ve been hit.

In 2017–the most recent year for which published data is available–there were 11 bicyclist fatalities reported in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, a slight increase from the previous year. In addition to the number of fatal bicyclist crashes, there were also dozens of non-fatal crashes. For example, to-date in 2020, there have been 71 reported bicycle-involved crashes, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. 

For obvious reasons, bicycle accidents are much different than are motor vehicle crashes. If you are a cyclist who has been injured in an accident in our state, reach out to Boston attorneys at the law office of Lovenberg & Associates, P.C. for legal counsel today. 

Bicycle Laws in Massachusetts

If you’re involved in a bicycle crash, whether or not you were operating your bicycle in violation of the law or negligently at the time of the crash will be considered in determining liability for your damages. Important bicycle laws in Massachusetts include:

  • You must obey all traffic signs and signals
  • You must use hand signals to indicate your intents
  • You must head a headlight and taillight if riding when it’s dark out (30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset) 
  • You must wear a helmet if you are 16 years old or younger (there is no helmet law for those older than 16)
  • You have the right to ride in the street, but you must give pedestrians the right of way and not ride more than two cyclists abreast. If riding two abreast, you must move to single-file if doing so allows for faster traffic to pass

If you are found to have breached one of the above laws–or any other bicycle law–and there is evidence that the negligence per se contributed to your crash, your recoverable damages amount could be reduced.  

Who’s Most at Risk for Involvement in a Bicycle Crash?

According to data published by and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the key differences between bike and car crashes is who’s most likely to be involved in a crash. Data shows that in Massachusetts, those who are most likely to be involved in a bicycle crash are males who are riding between the hours of 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. Nationally, the average age of pedacyclists (a term that includes both pedestrians and bicyclists) to be killed in a crash has risen from 39 to 44.

Avenues of Recovery for Injured Cyclists 

When a driver is injured in a crash, they have the option to file a claim against their personal injury protection (no-fault) benefits, or to file a claim against the at-fault party if injuries are serious. Injured bicyclists, however, are neither required to carry insurance nor limited to the no-fault system. If a cyclist is injured, they can file a claim directly against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, or file a lawsuit against the driver for damages. 

Call Our Boston Bicycle Accident Attorney Today 

If you’ve been in a bicycle crash, you need an attorney who understands the nuances of filing a bicycle accident claim vs. a car accident claim. At the office of Loverberg & Associates, P.C., our Massachusetts bicycle accident lawyer can help. Call our firm today at (617) 973-9950 or send us a message to schedule your free consultation.