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Bicycle Accidents

Washington, DC Bicycle Accident Attorney

Advocating for the Rights of Injured Bicyclists in DC

1.5% of people killed and 2% of people injured in traffic accidents are bicyclists. It is estimated that one in 20 bicyclists are injured each year. Although some bike accidents are the fault of the cyclist, studies estimate that over 90% are caused by reckless motorists. 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 accidents 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. 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 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.

To learn more about how we may be able to help, call our team at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a FREE consultation: (202) 644-8303.

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), an advocacy organization that works to improve safety for bicyclists throughout the DC Metro area. Having spent over 45 years representing victims and families in DC, Maryland, and Virginia after their lives were upturned by preventable bicycle accidents, our firm fully supports efforts to make public roadways safer for everyone.

Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Our partnership with WABA allows our team to support not only legislative advocacy efforts, safety awareness campaigns, and community outreach programs, but also provide our experienced legal counsel to riders and their families who have suffered harm due to the negligence of others 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 crash, 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, but 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

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

About one-third of bicycle accidents involve a collision with a motor vehicle. Although not the majority of bicycle accidents, auto collisions with a bicycle are responsible for most severe injuries and deaths. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, 92% of bicyclist deaths in 2005 were caused by collisions with motor vehicles.

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

Bicyclists can also be injured by defective bicycles, due to design flaws or manufacturing errors. Roadway defects in bike paths, bike lanes, and other roadways can cause a crash. In some cases, other bicyclists or even pedestrians may be responsible. In any situation where a preventable bicycle accident was caused by the negligence of another, 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.

Bicycle Accident Injuries

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common cause of death in bicycle accidents. About 50,000 children in the U.S. sustain bicycle-related TBI each year, with over 400 dying from their injuries. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, two-thirds of all bicycle-related deaths are caused by a traumatic brain injury.

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 bicycle accident injuries include:

  • Crush injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Neck injury
  • Back injury
  • Knee injury
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation
  • Facial injuries
  • Severe road rash and scarring

Call (202) 644-8303 for Your Free Consultation

If you or someone you care about has recently been injured in a bicycle accident that was not your fault, allow a Washington, DC personal injury lawyer from Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. to review your case and determine if you may be eligible to recover compensation. Call (202) 644-8303 for a FREE consultation.