Washington D.C. has statewide mandatory helmet laws for children. Bicycle riders under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet. However, it is strongly recommended that all bicycle riders wear helmets. Wearing this protective gear is the best way to avoid serious injury.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, it’s important to know your rights and how to seek compensation for your injuries. 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.
Why Should I Wear a Bicycle Helmet?
Although bicycle helmet laws in D.C. do not apply to bike riders over the age of 16, wearing helmets is the best way to protect yourself from an injury. Bicycle helmets are important because they help protect your head and brain in the event of a fall or collision. A properly fitting helmet should be comfortable, stable, and not obstruct your vision. It is also important to ensure that your helmet is fastened correctly, so it doesn’t come off in an accident.
Wearing a helmet can help reduce the risk of serious head injury or death in the event of a crash.
Approved Bicycle Helmets in Washington D.C.
All helmets sold in the United States must meet federal standards, but not all are created equal. When choosing a helmet, look for one approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Helmets approved by the CPSC protect against skull fractures and other traumatic brain injuries when the helmet is used properly.
There is no such thing as being too careful regarding safety. By following bike helmet laws and taking some simple precautions, you can help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience while riding your bike in D.C. To stay up to date on bicycle helmet law across the United States and general bicycle helmet information, go to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) website.
How Long Do Helmets Last?
Most helmets have a lifespan of three to five years. However, it is important to inspect your helmet for wear and tear signs regularly. If you notice any cracks, dents, or other damage, it’s time to replace your helmet. Additionally, if you’ve been in a crash while wearing your helmet, you should replace it immediately.
Bicycle Safety in Washington D.C.
Along with wearing a helmet, you should take other safety precautions while riding in D.C. Here are a few tips:
- Ride with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic laws
- Use hand signals when turning or stopping
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Wear reflective clothing if riding at night or in low-light conditions
- Use a front light and rear reflector or taillight
Following these safety tips and laws can help ensure that you and those around you stay safe while enjoying the many benefits of bicycling.
Possible Injuries in a Bike Accident
Bike helmets are not foolproof; even with the best safety precautions, accidents can still happen. If you’re involved in a bike accident, there is a potential for serious injuries. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
If you are injured in a bike accident, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. You may also want to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you determine if you have a case and guide you through the legal process.
Comparative Fault in Washington DC for bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable users
In most comparative fault systems, each driver is assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. For example, in a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction, this means that if one driver is considered 80% at fault and another 20%, then each party will pay their proportional share of damages based on those percentages (e.g., $100,000 total in losses equals an award worth $80,000 from Driver A to B since they caused more harm than anyone else). Washington, DC, has a comparative negligence statute that only applies to bicycles, pedestrians, and other vulnerable users. Washington, DC’s law, is one of the best laws in the country. If you were a bicyclist, pedestrian, or another vulnerable user and were 50% negligent or less, you can recover 100% of your damages.
File a Personal Injury Claim for Injuries After a Bike Accident
If you are a bicycle accident victim, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover damages. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Filing a personal injury claim can be complex, so it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our team of experienced personal injury lawyers can help you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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 in 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 due to someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements:
- $3.5 million for a bicyclist 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 due to a rear-end collision.
- $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury due to a doctor’s inappropriate chemical product use.
- $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 of 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.