Posted on June 08, 2015 in
People ride bicycles for many reasons. For some, it is an environmentally friendly and economical way to travel to and from work. Students ride bikes to school, others enjoy the health benefits that cycling offers, and many simply enjoy the recreational pleasure of riding. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of legislators and law enforcement officials, bicycle accident injuries in New Jersey claim lives every year across the state.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 712 people were killed and 50,000 were injured in bicycle accidents across the nation in just one year. When a car accident causes a collision with a cyclist, there is a significant chance that major and fatal injuries will occur. A bicyclist is no match for an average vehicle weighing approximately 4,000 pounds. A helmet can reduce the risk of serious brain injury, but many other severe and often life threatening bodily injuries result from bicycle accidents involving cars. The most common injuries associated with bicycle accidents include broken bones, internal organ damage, nerve, tissue, and ligament injury, traumatic brain injury, amputation, and skin lacerations.
New Jersey Bicycle Laws
In New Jersey, bicycles are considered vehicles, and bicyclists are responsible to follow the same traffic laws that apply to cars and trucks. Cyclists are responsible for traveling as close to the right of the road as is safely possible, and bikers under the age of 17 are required to wear a properly fitted and secured safety helmet.
New Jersey bicycle laws also require cyclists to have a white lamp in the front of their bike and a red reflector on the back. This ensures that motorists can see the biker during the hours of limited sunlight. Bicycles must also have brakes that are in good working order and properly maintained, and have a working bell or horn on the bike.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
In most cases, the bicyclists are not at fault in an accident with a car. Drivers of cars and trucks are responsible for obeying all traffic laws; including yielding to bicycles at intersections, passing safely, and adhering to local speed limits. According to the League of American Bicyclists, car accidents involving bicycles are most often caused by the following:
- Failing to stop and yield to a cyclist when coming out of a driveway or parking lot.
- Ceasing to come to a complete stop at a traffic light or stop sign.
- Crossing over into the bicycle lane.
- Speeding and distracted driving.
- Reckless passing.
- Turning a corner or merging into the path of the cyclist.
- Traveling too close to a bicyclist.
- Poor visibility.
Some accidents are just that – unavoidable collisions due to extenuating circumstances. But when a motor vehicle driver injures or kills a bicyclist due to carelessness, negligence, or disobeying the law, they are responsible for the cost of the injured party’s medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In some cases pot holes, uneven road surfaces, and debris can cause a bicycle accident. In these cases, the local municipality, city, or state responsible for the roadway could be held liable. It is the duty of these agencies to ensure that their roadways are maintained properly and that dangerous traffic patterns have been addressed.
What to do if You are Involved in a Bicycle Accident
If you are involved in a New Jersey bicycle accident, attention to your injuries is your first priority. Calling the police is essential to helping you document the accident, as well as facilitate the gathering of important evidence. If you believe you are injured or appear to have serious wounds, an ambulance should be called. Once you are stable, it is imperative to get the personal information of the driver involved with your accident. Name, home address, phone number, email address, and insurance information are vital to recovering compensation for your bicycle accident injuries.
Witness testimony is crucial and can be written, videotaped, or given to the police at the scene. You will also need their personal contact information. Taking pictures or videos of the accident scene, or securing pictures and videos taken by witnesses or bystanders is very valuable evidence in the case of a dispute or trial. Contacting a competent and experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is essential to a successful outcome. Your lawyer will gather all necessary information, meet deadlines for filing claims, and protect your rights throughout the claims process.
New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore Advocate for Victims of Bicycle Accidents
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The highly skilled and experienced New Jersey bicycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore are dedicated to protecting your rights and securing the largest amount of compensation you are entitled to receive. New Jersey laws on bicycle safety are taken seriously and our professional and competent New Jersey bicycle lawyers will ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries, medical expenses, and loss of wages.
Call us today at 856-761-1222 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Cherry Hill and Newark, New Jersey, allowing us to serve clients throughout the state. We also have offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland to serve victims of bicycle accidents.
People ride bicycles for many reasons. For some, it is an environmentally friendly and economical way to travel to and from work.