If you live in or commute to Washington, DC, you know the bicycle has become a popular mode of transportation in the city. People love it because it’s great for the environment, great for improving their health, and of course, gets the biker out of traffic jams of the area’s traffic clogged main streets and parkways.
Traveling by bike is generally easy to add to the daily routine with some small adjustments. Depending on where you live, it can even be faster than traveling by car. But unfortunately, an increase in and delays caused by vehicular traffic also means an increase in bicycle accidents.
If you or a loved one have been struck by a vehicle while on a bicycle, you will likely need a bicycle lawyer in DC to ensure that you get a fair settlement.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Washington, DC is full of busy roadways as employment opportunities have increased and more people have become aware of the health benefits associated with cycling. Bicyclist injuries and deaths have motivated local lawmakers to make certain adjustments in both the structure of DC streets and in the law, as well.
The City Council has authorized numerous “bike only” travel lanes and has also changed the local negligence law to now make it easier for injured cyclists to recover damages. Even with these improvements, there will, unfortunately, still be injuries. Sometimes you can do everything in your power as a bicyclist to abide by the law and follow proper safety procedures, and still be injured by someone else’s negligence.
Common causes of bicycle injuries include:
- Distracted drivers
- Drunk drivers
- Aggressive /overly anxious drivers
- Getting “doored”
If the driver of a motor vehicle is not paying attention to his or her surroundings or is distracted, that person will probably fail to notice you on your bicycle and as a result, may well hit you and your bike, likely resulting in serious and/or life-threatening injuries. Sometimes, the vehicle causing injury is stationary to discharge passengers and/ or the driver wants to leave the vehicle.
People then exiting that vehicle open the door, and the cyclist— while intending to pass that vehicle— cannot stop in time as the door to the stationary vehicle is flung open suddenly into the cyclist’s travel path. This is called “being doored” and unfortunately, is an all too common occurrence.
Visitors to the city often ignore the bike lanes and fail to pay adequate attention to cyclists and traffic conditions confronting them. This does not excuse them from complying with legal requirements; the local law makes it easy to bring claims against them as long as they can be identified.
When You Should Call a DC Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have complied with the traffic regulations while on your bicycle but still end up struck by a vehicle or a vehicle door which suddenly opens and you are injured as a result, call 911 immediately or have others on the scene call for you.
After receiving medical attention for your injuries, the very next thing you should do is contact an experienced lawyer who has had experience with bicycle injury cases. Our attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm are available to discuss your rights and to represent you in working toward a fair, reasonable settlement.
Bicycle Lawyer in DC
Sustaining injuries in a bicycle accident can have debilitating consequences. Let our attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm help you find appropriate medical care, communicate with the insurance companies to advocate and fight for a fair, reasonable settlement on your behalf. Contact our office today at 202-785-5111 for an immediate, free and no obligation consultation.