1.5% of people killed and 2% of people injured in traffic accidents are bicyclists. In addition, it is estimated that one in 20 bicyclists are injured each year. Although some bike accidents are the cyclist’s fault, studies estimate that reckless motorists cause over 90% of bicycle accidents.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Many people do not realize that they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, and they end up settling for far less than they deserve.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we have years of experience helping cyclists get the compensation they need and deserve. We understand the complex laws that apply to bicycle accidents, and we are here to help you get the justice you deserve.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, there are a few things you should do to protect yourself and your legal rights:
- Get medical help immediately. Even if you think you are not injured, it is important to get checked out by a doctor. Many injuries do not manifest themselves until days and can sometimes get worse during the weeks after the accident occurred.
- Collect evidence at the scene of the accident. Take photos of the accident scene, gather witness contact information, and make a note of any road hazards that may have contributed to the accident.
- Contact a DC bicycle accident lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help you protect your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Advocating for the Rights of Injured Bicyclists in D.C.
Sharing the road is the law in Washington DC. When a car fails to yield the right-of-way to a bicycle, the driver can and should be held responsible for any injuries that occur.
Unfortunately, bicycle accident cases tend to be a bit more complex than the average car accident case, simply because the right-of-way – and who was violating it – is so often in question. As a result, insurance companies may refuse to compensate bicycle accident victims by trying to pin a portion (or all) of the blame on the cyclist.
If you have been seriously injured in a Washington, DC bicycle accident caused by a reckless driver, our firm is here to help. We can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that the facts of your case are accurately represented. We will fight tirelessly to help you obtain the fullest measure of compensation that you are entitled to.
Proud Partners of WABA & the Local Cycling Community
Our firm is a proud Partner and Legal Resource Member of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA). This advocacy organization works to improve safety for bicyclists throughout the D.C. Metro area. Having spent over 50 years representing victims and families in DC, Maryland, and Virginia after preventable bicycle accidents upturned their lives, our firm fully supports efforts to make public roadways safer for everyone.
Our partnership with WABA allows our team to support legislative advocacy efforts, safety awareness campaigns, and community outreach programs. This partnership also allows us to provide our experienced legal counsel to riders and their families who have suffered harm due to the negligence of others in Washington DC.
Making Public Roads Safer for Bicyclists in Washington DC
As part of our support of WABA and the cycling community, we encourage local bicyclists to do their part in helping compile data that can help further advocacy efforts and make public roads safer. The Bicycle Crash Reporting Form offered by WABA is designed to gather information about bicycle crashes that can aid in protecting the rights of cyclists. Even if you were not injured in a collision, your information is still helpful. Click here to visit the Bicycle Crash Reporting Form.
Roadway Risks & the Rights of Cyclists
It is important to keep in mind that having the right of way does not mean you will not be struck by a vehicle. Being “right” can also mean being killed or permanently injured. Drivers have a legal responsibility to look out for bicyclists and respect their right of way as if they were other motor vehicles. When they fail to do so, a bicyclist is far more likely to be catastrophically injured or killed than another driver or passenger.
Reasons why your right-of-way may not always protect you:
- Distracted drivers
- Intoxicated drivers
- Defective vehicles (such as brake failure)
- Poor visibility due to weather conditions, visual obstructions, or blind spots
- Road conditions (hydroplaning due to standing water, etc.)
- Faulty traffic lights
- Improperly marked roads and bike lanes
- Drivers who don’t know the laws in your city, county, or state
- Road rage
- Drivers or passengers who open their doors without checking for bicyclists (known as dooring)
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Even though auto collisions do not cause most bicycle accidents, car accidents with a bicycle are responsible for most severe injuries and deaths. About one-third of bicycle accidents involve a collision with a motor vehicle. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, 843 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2019.
Automobiles can be involved in bicycle accidents without ever striking the cyclist. If it runs a bicycle off the road, there can be minor to severe injuries and, in some cases, death.
Bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles usually happen for one of three reasons:
- Drivers do not watch for or see bicyclists
- Drivers do not respect bicyclists’ right to share the road
- Inexperienced or uneducated bicyclists
Bicycle Defects and Other Causes
Roadway defects in bike paths, bike lanes, and other roadways can cause a crash. Bicyclists can also be injured by defective bicycles due to design flaws or manufacturing errors. In some cases, other bicyclists or even pedestrians may be responsible. In any situation where a preventable bicycle accident was caused by negligence, injured victims may have the right to pursue financial compensation for their damages.
The legal process of obtaining the fair amount of compensation you deserve can be difficult and hotly contested by insurance providers that want to minimize payouts. For these reasons, working with an experienced lawyer who knows how to hold at-fault parties and insurers liable for the harm they caused is key to protecting your rights.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common cause of death in bicycle accidents. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, two-thirds of all bicycle-related deaths are caused by a traumatic brain injury. In addition, about 50,000 children in theU.S. sustain bicycle-related TBI each year, with over 400 dying from their injuries.
The actual number of bicycle-related TBI may be much higher because brain injuries are not always readily apparent, and injuries from cycling accidents often seem too minor for emergency room treatment.
Other common bike accident injuries include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Knee injury
- Facial injuries
- Severe road rash and scarring
These types of injuries can have a devastating impact on your life, and you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What We Can Do For You
The Washington, D.C. bicycle accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a bicycle accident, gathering the evidence needed to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Recovering Damages in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
Many factors go into determining the value of your bike accident claim. These include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys have experience evaluating cases just like yours to determine what they may be worth and will work hard to get you fair compensation for your injuries.
We Get You Results
For more than 50 years, the Washington DC lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones as the result of someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements:
- $3.5 million for a man who suffered a brain injury when a District of Columbia police officer opened his door into traffic and “doored” him.
- $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury as a result of a rear-end collision.
- $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury as a result of a doctor’s inappropriate use of a chemical product.
- $4.8 million on behalf of a severely injured man when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan.
- $4.5 million for a woman who was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident after being struck from behind by a transit bus in a crosswalk.
See additional examples of our case victories and settlements on our “Case Results” page.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your bicycle accident claim, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.