Take a ride through Washington, DC, you will probably see dozens, if not hundreds, of people riding their bikes throughout the city. Not only is cycling an extremely healthy mode of transportation, but it is also quite convenient for those who live within on near D.C. even without regard to the money saved by this mode of transportation, which can be substantial when utilized on a frequent basis.
After all, you have probably seen charges are for parking meters and commercial garages. So, you would think D.C. would have ample bike lanes throughout the streets. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Lack of Bike Lanes Means More Risk for Accidents
If you were to look at a map of DC, you’d be alarmed at how many streets throughout the District lack bike lanes. While there are plenty east of 12th Street and between New York Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, once you get closer to the White House, it is almost as if bike lanes disappear. They are practically nonexistent from 17th Street west to the Potomac River north of Constitution Avenue. South of the National Mall, bike lanes are pretty few and far between in Southwest DC as well.
A 2016 study by NATCO showed that between 2006 and 2013, across seven major U.S. cities (New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Minneapolis, Portland, and San Francisco), bike lane networks grew, which led to an increased number of cyclists on the road, which actually translated to an improved safety rate for cyclists.
Without bike lanes, riders are forced to share the street with vehicles, which increases the likelihood of an accident. Also, many cities (DC included) have bike lanes blocked by vehicles, which also makes cycling more dangerous.
What to Do If You are in a Bike Accident
While bike lanes certainly help improve safety for cyclists and motorists, nothing is genuinely foolproof, and accidents are still going to happen. And they can happen anywhere–in the city, a small town, or even outside your own home.
Take TV personality Simon Cowell, for instance. The former American Idol star was testing out a new electric bike at his home, fell off, and required five hours of surgery for a severe back injury. Now, this is not the type of bike accident that a lawyer would typically take on, because it happened within the confines of his home, but we’re sharing this as an example to show it is proof that riding a bike, even by yourself at home, always carries an element of risk.
However, increasing the risk of any cyclist is the possibility of negligent drivers who are not driving responsibly and putting the safety of any cyclist—not matter how careful– at risk.
What a bike accident lawyer in DC would typically handle is an accident involving a cyclist and a driver or vehicle occupant, where the person in the vehicle displayed negligence that caused the cyclist to be injured. For example, getting ‘doored.’ When a person in a vehicle opens their parked car door into the path of a biker and that biker is injured, that is very likely to be a viable case if the door was opened suddenly with no time for the cyclist to stop.
Or, if the driver of a vehicle veers into a bike lane, causing the biker to crash or fall, that is likely to be a viable claim if the cyclist was injured. Also, if a car strikes a cyclist from behind or otherwise violates traffic regulations and injures a cyclist as a result, this is indeed a case.
If you find yourself in one of these situations, here is what you should do:
- Seek medical attention. If you are unable to call 911 yourself, have someone else do it. Even if you do not feel as if you have been seriously injured, that may not actually be the case. If you are able to walk away from the accident relatively unscathed, you should still visit an emergency room or your doctor to get a complete evaluation.
- Call the DC Bike Accident Lawyers at The Lapidus Law Firm. There are many, many bike laws in DC, and they can be confusing. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with bike accidents in DC and will provide the expert legal advice you need if you are involved in an accident. It is during this point in the process that your medical records become extremely important. One of the many aspects when you retain our services is obtaining your medical records and other necessary documents as evidence of your injuries and continued care for recovery.
DC Bike Accident Attorney
As your DC Bike Accident Attorneys, we will examine your case thoroughly. We will communicate with doctors, insurance companies, and witnesses to make sure everything is covered.
And then we will work tirelessly to try and get you a fair and reasonable settlement. You have rights as a cyclist, and The Lapidus Law Firm is here to protect those rights. Call us today at (202) 785-5111 to schedule a free, no-obligation Zoom consultation.