While Maryland traffic deaths in total increased 17.3 percent from 2014 to 2015, Maryland bicyclist fatalities doubled in that same time period, according to the Capital Gazette. If you were hit by a car, bus, truck, or other motor vehicle while riding your bike, taking legal action against the negligent party should be one of your top priorities. Paying medical bills caused by the crash, missed work, permanent impairment or disfigurement, and property damage can all quickly eat away at your savings in an incredibly short period of time. And, even if you have medical or motorist insurance, you could still be left with the majority of the bills, all because another person did not give you the care and respect to keep their eyes and mind on the road.
In Recent Years, Traffic Fatalities Increase, Bicyclist Fatalities Double in Maryland
It is easy to see why there are so many crashes these days simply by spending a few hours on Maryland’s roads and observing the actions of other drivers. Texting while driving or at stop lights is not just common, but has become the norm. Frustrated by slower moving traffic, drivers will use every foot of pavement to swerve around those in front of them, hoping to shave off a second or two from their daily commute or trip to the grocery store. While everyone dislikes being stuck in traffic and, most of the time, distracted or aggressive drivers are nothing more than an annoyance, to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable road users, a distracted or aggressive driver could mean death. With no protection other than the clothes on their backs and possibly a thin foam helmet, a bicyclist is completely exposed to thousands of steel pounds moving three to five times faster than their own speed. The injuries are always one-sided, and, according to research, in some cities the driver is at fault 93 percent of the time.
Proving Fault in a System Designed Against Bikes and Pedestrians
While the road systems of Maryland and the U.S. are certainly not designed for the safety, well-being, or convenience of pedestrians or bicyclists, that does not mean that vulnerable road users have no rights. Bicyclists have many of the same rights as motor vehicle traffic, such as being allowed to ride out towards the middle of the lane if the shoulder is unsafe, having the right of way to side street traffic, and having the right of way over vehicles to the left traveling in the same direction that desire to turn right (this is commonly referred to as a ‘right hook,’ and is one of the most common types of car-caused bike crashes). In order to be financially compensated for your injuries, property damage, and other costs, you must be able to prove negligence on the part of the driver. This can be accomplished, in part, with the use of the official police accident report, as well as with the assistance of your attorney and any investigators or expert witnesses employed by your attorney.
Call a Pasadena Bike Crash Attorney Today
If you are a victim of a car vs. bike collision, do not hesitate to call Frame & Frame today at 410-255-0373 for legal assistance. Our Pasadena attorneys are prepared to help you immediately with your case.