With heavy Baltimore traffic, more residents are deciding to walk and bike to work. While bicycling can be a quick way to get around, it’s also becoming increasingly more dangerous. Negligent drivers are at risk of colliding with and seriously injuring a cyclist. Our Baltimore bicycle accident lawyers are prepared to represent crash victims and work to get them the compensation they need to recover.
When bicyclists are only minorly injured or seemingly unscathed after an accident, many of the incidents go unreported. Unless someone calls the police to the scene, there’s a high chance that no one will record the incident at all. Not only does this skew statistics, but it doesn’t hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. At Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC, we believe all accident victims deserve the chance to have their voices heard and be given the opportunity to recover in peace.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in Baltimore?
The most recent data from the Maryland Department of Transportation reported a total of 864 bicycle crashes in 2017. Of those accidents, 138 resulted in property damage, people were injured in 715, and there were 11 fatal crashes. In total, 765 people sustained injuries and 11 died.
In Baltimore and Baltimore City, 308 of the 864 crashes occurred. As a result, 241 people were injured and three people died. So, of the 24 counties in Maryland, nearly 36 percent of accidents occurred in Baltimore and Baltimore City.
It’s also crucial to note that the majority of bike accidents occur between May and October—which makes sense because there are more people out on bicycles in the summertime. While the day of the week does not matter as far as frequency of crashes goes, the majority of crashes do occur between 2-6 p.m.
The number of fatalities has fluctuated, but the persons injured and the total number of crashes has risen every year since 2013. This could be because there are more bicyclists on the road and more drivers distracted by technology.
Injuries Associated with a Bicycle Wreck
Bicyclists are exposed to the elements when riding. Even while wearing protective gear, the proper clothing, and a helmet, sustaining serious, life-threatening injuries in an accident with a larger motor vehicle are very possible. How severe the injuries are is based on the speed the vehicles were traveling, the type of accident, and the health and age of the cyclist. Our lawyers will calculate the complete cost of your injuries, so you can receive full compensation.
Some of the most common injuries are bone fractures, especially those in the face, hands, arms, and legs. While some broken bones can be set and will heal properly, severe breaks may require multiple surgical procedures and extensive physical therapy. In some cases, especially if a bone is crushed, amputation could be necessary.
Head, neck, and spinal cord injuries are also possible. Even with a helmet, a person could sustain serious head or brain trauma that could result in devastating consequences. The neck and spinal cord are delicate, so it doesn’t take a significant amount of force to cause damage.
Road rash is also a concern with bicycle crashes—especially if the cyclist has any exposed skin. It’s not uncommon for bicyclists to wear shorts and a t-shirt in the summer. If they are hit by a car, their skin could come in contact with the road and damage could result from the friction.
Bicycle accident-related injuries can take time to heal. While you’re recovering, our bicycle accident lawyers can focus on building a strong case on your behalf.
Ways to Prevent a Bicycle Collision
By law, bicycles are considered vehicles, like any car or truck, when traveling on a road. This means that cyclists have the same rights as motorists and are required to abide by the same responsibilities. While our lawyers are here to represent crash victims, we also want to aid in the prevention of accidents. There are steps both bicyclist and drivers can take to reduce the number of collisions, injuries, and deaths.
How Cyclists Can Reduce Their Crash Risk
Prior to heading out, a cyclist needs to make sure their bike is in working order. Their tires should be properly inflated, and their breaks should work well. It’s also important to note that if the bicycle is too big for the rider, it’s harder to control. Bicyclists should also wear the proper equipment and attire, including a helmet, bright clothing, reflective gear, and lights or reflectors if riding at night. It’s also important to plan the route of travel ahead of time. Choosing paths with less traffic and slower speeds can improve safety.
While riding a bicycle, cyclists need to stay focused and alert at all times. Practicing defensive riding is crucial. Looking for potentially hazardous situations or negligent drivers can prevent a crash. Like drivers, cyclists should also avoid distractions.
Responsible Drivers Share the Road
Drivers need to remember that cyclists have the same rights as they do on the road. They should be aware of the possibility of bicycles traveling near them, so they can yield or stop when necessary. It’s also important to pass a bicyclist like any other vehicle. Drivers should give the bicycle room, pass efficiently, and move back over into the proper lane once it’s safe.
The Legal Representation You Deserve
It can be challenging and stressful to take legal action on your own while focusing on recovering from serious injuries. Hiring a Baltimore bike accident lawyer will allow you to focus solely on healing physically and emotionally because our attorneys will handle the paperwork and phone calls for you.
If you or a loved one was involved in a bicycle accident you believe was caused by a negligent driver, you have the right to file a claim against them. Negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult, but we’re here to handle that for you. For a free consultation and advice on how to proceed, get in touch with one of our bicycle accident lawyers today.