Each year there are approximately 20 to 30 bicycle accidents resulting in serious injury and 2 to 3 cyclist fatalities. The top rated personal injury lawyers at the Law Firm Marin and Barrett, Inc. serve Rhode Island and are dedicated to winning justice for cycling accident victims and their families. RI Bicycle Accident Attorney Matthew Marin has been ranked by the SuperLawyers organization as a “Rising Star” and a “SuperLawyer” from 2014 through 2022. Call today to schedule a free bike accident case evaluation. Our personal injury attorneys are available at 401-298-9116 to take your call and stand ready to fight for the justice and financial compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a free, no obligation bicycle crash case evaluation today with the skilled bike accident lawyers at Marin and Barrett, Inc.
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Do I Need A Local Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Personal injury cases, especially those involving bike riders, can be complicated and should be handled by an experienced and skilled team of personal injury attorneys. Obtaining legal representation can give you the time you need to heal physically and emotionally while still ensuring that you will be able to receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Data from 2018 shows that fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion. Having the right legal team represent your interests in your bicycle claim or that of a loved one can be the difference in hundreds of thousands of damage awards.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE INJURED IN An ACCIDENT?
If you are able to do so, immediately call 9-1-1, or indicate to either the driver or others that they need to do so. The vast majority of bicycle accidents result in serious injuries. Even if you feel you are able to get up and walk away, it is important that you have experienced medical personnel examine you immediately. Ask the police officer to create an accident report for the incident.
Once you have been evaluated by on-scene medical personnel, make sure you collect the information from the other driver including their name, phone number, insurance information, and their license plate number. If possible, use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene including the location of the collision, damage to the vehicles and any injuries you have.
TALK TO A LAWYER BEFORE YOU TALK TO INSURANCE COMPANIES
It is important to remember that the driver’s insurance company and their adjusters are not working in your interest – no matter how concerned they seem over the phone. Their goal is to limit their liability and thereby limit your compensation. To limit their liability they will investigate the accident looking for factors that may limit the responsibility of their driver in the accident. This is what they are looking for when they are talking to you. We always recommend that you call a skilled personal injury attorney for a no obligation consultation. With our experience we can deal with the driver’s insurance company with a goal towards getting you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer from Marin and Barrett, Inc. before you talk to any insurance representative. We can provide you with guidance about how to describe the bicycle crash to the adjuster, conduct our own investigation into the accident and what happened, and help you get the medical care and medical treatment you need.
Our injury team fights to get you justice. If you or someone you love has been injured in a cycling accident, you have the right to hold that negligent party personally responsible. You have the legal right to demand compensation for medical bills, medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We understand that a Rhode Island bicycle accident can be a traumatic experience and stand ready to help fight for your recovery and we are available 24/7 to help at 401-298-9116.
RHODE ISLAND BICYCLE INJURY LAW FIRM: HOW CAN WE PROVIDE HELP FOR INJURED BICYCLISTS?
Whether riding for exercise, commuting, or for fun, bicycling on Rhode Island roads comes with risks. Because of these known risks, most bicycle riders take measures to minimize danger from riding on Rhode Island roads, which include wearing a helmet at a minimum, to bicycling on less traveled roads or at specific times of the day in which there is less traffic.
Regrettably, despite the proactive and preventative measures one can take to avoid the chances of being in a motor vehicle collision while cycling, it is virtually impossible to eliminate all risks of being involved in a motor vehicle accident while on a bicycle. Distracted drivers, aggressive drivers, negligent drivers, and faulty equipment on vehicles all routinely contribute to bike accidents.
WHAT EVIDENCE MIGHT HELP MY BIKE ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Every bicycle claim is unique. Evidence that may be important for one claim might not be for another claim. Therefore, it is vitally important to seek the counsel of the best Rhode Island personal injury lawyer for guidance about the best way to investigate and handle the particular facts of your case.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., we can tailor our legal strategy to the individual nature of each bike accident claim. Using our experience we will be able to conduct an investigation to obtain time-sensitive evidence and bring in necessary expert testimony and file motions and subpoenas to compel disclosure of evidence that is being withheld.
Some examples of evidence that might be useful to your bicycle accident case include:
THE POLICE REPORT
Rhode Island law requires a car accident to be reported if it results in the bodily injury or death of any person or it results in damage to property in excess of $1,000. (Rhode Island General Laws Section 31-26-3.2). The accident report should include details about the cause of the crash, any injuries suffered, and possibly witness statements. Both your attorney and the insurance company will obtain a copy of the accident report as part of the investigation.
CHEMICAL TEST RESULTS
Alcohol is a large contributing factor in a high percentage of cycling accidents. Statistics show that among fatal bicycle accidents, 37 percent had alcohol involvement for either the automobile driver (or bicycle driver). If the driver that hit you was impaired, the arresting Police Officers from the arresting Police Department will create a police report that will contain the chemical test results. These results can be used to prove negligence and liability.
CELL PHONE RECORDS
One of the leading causes of cycling accidents in 2022 is distracted driving. In most cases, cell phone providers will not voluntarily provide those records and our experienced attorneys will not hesitate to file a subpoena to obtain the driver’s cell phone records if they will contribute important evidence to your claim.
If your accident happened in front of a business or an intersection, it might have been caught on surveillance video. If there is a dispute about who was at fault, the surveillance video footage from the accident scene might be critical evidence.
Our investigation will include speaking with all eyewitnesses and asking them to provide testimony if it is helpful to the case.
EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY
Injuries from bicycle accidents can be very serious and it is common for the testimony of medical and economic experts to testify in the proceedings. This testimony can be used to prove the severity of the injuries and the total value of any future medical bills and lost career earnings.
PHOTOS OF PROPERTY DAMAGE, SKID MARKS, AND INJURIES
Photographs of property damage, damage to your bicycle and or helmet, skid marks, and injuries can be used to prove negligence and contradict the other side’s assertions about fault in the accident.
BICYCLIST INJURY STATISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL BICYCLE INJURY CLAIM IN RHODE ISLAND?
When you are injured in a bicycle accident and a negligent party is to blame you have the legal right to demand just compensation. But in order for a bike accident victim to have a valid personal injury claim and receive financial compensation, he or she must prove four elements in civil court (or through a negotiated settlement agreement). First, that the defendant (driver of the automobile) owed the bicycle accident victim a duty of care at the time of the accident. Second, that the responsible party failed to fulfill this duty of care through either distracted driving, speeding, driving while impaired/drunk, or another form of negligence). Third, these negligent actions caused the accident. And fourth, that the victim sustained damages (physical, emotional, and or mental) as a result.
WHAT ARE THE BICYCLE LAWS IN RHODE ISLAND THAT PROTECT BICYCLE RIDERS?
Rhode Island has numerous laws that provide protections for bike riders, including:
Helmet Law – R.I. Gen. Law 31-19-2.1 – requires any person under age of 15 riding a bicycle to wear a protective helmet.
Safe Passing Laws – R.I. Gen. Law 31-15-18 – requiring that a driver of an automobile must pass a bicyclist by driving on the left of the motorcyclist at a safe distance, that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver’s lane of travel, and returning to the lane of travel once the automobile is safely clear of the overtaken bicycle.
Where to Ride – R.I. Gen. Law – 31-19-6 – requiring any person operating a bicycle on a road in Rhode Island to ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practical, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction except where official traffic control devices (signs of pavement markings) specifically direct bicyclist to do otherwise.
“Dooring” Law – R.I. Gen. Law 31-21-14 – requiring that no person open the door of an automobile on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, available to moving traffic, unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks, shoulders, or bicycle lanes. In addition, no person shall leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic, including pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks, shoulders or bicycle lanes, for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.
CAN I RECOVER IF I WAS ALSO AT FAULT IN MY BICYCLE ACCIDENT?
Were you partially at fault in causing your bicycle accident or injury? If so, don’t worry. You are still entitled to a financial recovery as long as someone else also shares blame in causing the accident. The amount of your recovery will be reduced by your proportional share in the fault. Because of this, it is vitally important that you gather evidence that limits your responsibility in the accident.
WHAT ARE COMMON BICYCLE INJURIES?
A collision between an automobile and a bicyclist can result in catastrophic injuries for the person riding the bicycle. Unlike automobile accidents involving two or more cars where passengers have the benefit of a steel structure, airbags, and seatbelts, there are fewer protections for bicyclist accident victims when automobiles strike them. This lack of protection from serious injury, similar to pedestrian accidents and motorcycle accidents, is why cyclists involved in a car crash are 1.5 times more likely to be killed than passenger vehicle occupants.
Fortunately, most bicycle accidents are not fatal accidents. Some of the most common injuries include:
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)
Even with a helmet on, the force generated by a crash can cause brain injuries extended beyond a mere concussion. Sometimes these injuries will not be symptomatic immediately, but the effects stemming from traumatic brain injuries can be devastating.
NECK – BACK – SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Impact or whiplash to the neck and back can cause spinal cord injuries, potentially resulting in full or partial paralysis and respiratory problems.
Skin abrasions caused by sliding on pavement can result in agonizing pain, scarring, as well as a heightened risk of infection.
BROKEN BONES AND INTERNAL INJURIES
With such a high degree of force broken bones and internal injuries and bleeding are commonplace in victims of a bicycle accident.
Whether from the pavement, a burn, or broken glass and debris, facial lacerations and fractures are a common and unfortunate result of bicycle accidents. Severe cases may involve plastic surgery or partial transplants.
Unfortunately, a significant percentage of bike riders may not survive the crash. If your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident you may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact the local personal injury attorneys at Marin and Barrett, Inc. if you or a loved one has suffered injuries requiring medical care or medical treatment in a cycling accident in Rhode Island. We can help you recover the fair compensation you are entitled to and we are available 24/7 at 401-298-9116.
TYPES OF BICYCLE CLAIMS OUR RHODE ISLAND LAWYERS HANDLE:
The Rhode Island roadways are only safe if all involved obey the traffic laws and walk signals. They become dangerous when individuals break the rules, fail to pay proper attention to the road, and fail to properly yield the right-of-way. Far and away the number one cause of serious bicycle accidents in Rhode Island is negligence. The most common causes of these accidents include:
- Cars swerving into designated bicycle lanes
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Dooring (parked car door is opened into a rider)
- Distracted Driving and Distracted Drivers
- Aggressive Drivers Injuring Bicyclist
- Alcohol-related Accidents
- Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way Accidents
- Accidents involving 18-wheelers, scooters, and government vehicles
- Accidents Resulting in Catastrophic Injury
- Accident Wrongful Death Claims
- Poorly Designed Intersections Resulting in Bike Accidents
- Large Cars and SUV Accidents
A skilled Providence bike accident attorney can investigate your bicycle claim and find out its probable cause and identify the at-fault party or parties. Do not give up home if you think you contributed to the accident in some way. Rhode Island law follows a pure comparative fault system. This means that if you were the victim in a bicycle collision, you can recover a certain amount of compensation for your injuries even though you were negligent in some way, regardless of your degree of negligence.
WHAT DAMAGES ARE AVAILABLE TO RHODE ISLAND BIKE ACCIDENT VICTIMS?
As we will explain in more detail below, you are more likely to suffer serious injuries when you are a bicyclist. Your recovery from those injuries can seem overwhelming and difficult. Treatment may require extensive medical care and lengthy rehabilitation. This can often result in medical bills totaling tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Your injuries, treatment, and rehabilitation stemming from a bike accident may limit your ability to continue working. With no income, the total financial costs of a bicycle accident can be daunting. At Marin and Barrett, Inc., we stand ready to help you recover the financial compensation to which you are entitled. That financial compensation that you can recover for a bike accident claim can often include:
ECONOMIC DAMAGE – such as tangible out of pocket costs which are often established with bills and invoices
- Medical expenses, including past, present, and future bills for medical treatment
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Costs of medical devices and modifications and accommodations to your home or vehicle
- Costs of assistive devices
- Expenses for in-home healthcare and household services
- Lost wages, both from missed work and missed future earning potential
- Household bills
- Damage to your bicycle
NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES – which include general intangible damages. These damages affect quality of life, but are oftentimes more significant, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety and post-traumatic stress (emotional distress)
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Lifestyle Impairment
In the event that loved one has died in a bicycle accident you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim for those left behind. Of course no amount of money can bring your loved on back or provide adequate compensation, but you nevertheless may be able to recover for funeral and burial costs, loss of income, and loss of companionship.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., our lawyers will fight for every dollar you deserve. On these types of cases it is often helpful to work closely with expert witnesses to ensure that your injuries and damages are valued fully and the responsible party is held accountable. This extra effort makes sure that you recover all you deserve for your bicycle crash injuries.
RHODE ISLAND BICYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Rhode Island has done an admirable job of maintaining low bicycle accident deaths over the past five years. In 2018, there was one bicycle fatality in Rhode Island, which is up from 2 in 2016 and 2017. Over the past twelve years there have been a total of 12 bicycle fatalities in Rhode Island.
The number of serious injuries as a result of bicycle accidents has also decreased in Rhode Island over the past decade. According to a report from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, the number of serious injuries as a result of crashes involving automobiles and bicycles are the following:
2018 – 12 serious injuries
2017 – 14 serious injuries
2016 – 12 serious injuries
2015 – 23 serious injuries
2014 – 17 serious injuries
2013 – 18 serious injuries
2012 – 23 serious injuries
2011 – 33 serious injuries
Although the number of serious injuries as a result of bicycle accidents and bicycle fatalities in Rhode Island continues to drop, even one fatal bicycle accident or serious injury is tragic. If you have had a loved one killed in a bicycle crash due to another’s negligent actions, call the attorneys at Marin and Barrett, Inc. for aggressive legal representation.
HOW TO AVOID BEING IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT
Bicyclists who commute in areas without proper bicycle paths or sidewalks are at an increased risk of death or injury. When bicycle paths are not available, bicyclists should stay on the shoulder or sidewalk and should travel with the flow of traffic (same direction). The bicyclist also needs to obey the same traffic control devices.
Bicyclists should practice safe habits:
- Wear helmets (children under age 15 are required to wear helmets)
- Maximize your visibility – wear bright or reflective tape, especially at night
- Obey all traffic control devices
- Travel on the far right of the road if there is no bike lane/path
- If riding on the sidewalk give the right of way to pedestrians
- Do not wear headphones when riding on the road
- Keep a proper lookout when approaching an intersection to identify negligent motorists
- Be prepared to brake suddenly if a car cuts you off
- Avoid a car’s blind spot while approaching from behind or while waiting at a traffic signal
RHODE ISLAND IS HOME TO SOME OF NEW ENGLAND’S MOST DANGEROUS INTERSECTIONS
According to statistics, intersections are involved in approximately 40 percent of all motor vehicle accidents. This percentage increases substantially when accidents involve bicycles. A recent report by GoLocalProv found that Rhode Island was home to 10 of New England’s most dangerous intersections. These intersections are:
- Exit 9 on I-295 and Route 146 in Lincoln, RI
- Route 37 and US Route 1 (Post Road) in Warwick, RI
- Route 146 and Sayles Hill Road in North Smithfield, RI
- I-95 at Exit 14 and Route 37 in Warwick RI
- I-295 at Exit 6 and US Route 6 in Johnston, RI
- RI 2 (Reservoir Ave) and RI 12 (Park Ave) in Cranston, RI
- RI 138 (Spring Street) & Wincheck Pond Road to Soap House Lane in Hopkinton, RI
- US Post Road and Kings Factor Road to RI 216 (Ross Hill Rd) in Charlestown, RI
- I-95 at Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue Curve) in Providence, RI
- I-95 at Exit 29 (US 1 / Broadway / Cottage Street) in Pawtucket, RI
RHODE ISLAND BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER
Dozens of bicyclists are injured in Rhode Island every year. If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a bicycle due to the negligence or recklessness of another, you have the right to file a claim for damages. The money you recover can help to cover expensive medical bills, make up for lost income while you recover from your injuries, and compensate you for the emotional stress of the bike crash and your injuries.
Drivers responsible for causing injuries to bicyclists will likely have to provide payment under their auto insurance policies. Additionally, injured bicyclists may be able to obtain additional compensation under their own auto insurance policies. Even if the driver that hit you or your loved one has been cited with a moving violation or drunk driving charges, you may be able to take additional legal action against them. Our team of RI bicycle accident lawyers can help.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., our Providence personal injury lawyers including Attorney Matthew Marin, Attorney Kensley Barrett, and Attorney Nicholas Parrillo have seen first-hand how an accident can turn your life upside-down. We’re here to help you assert your legal rights and recover the money you deserve. Don’t delay, there is a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim and recover and if you wait too long to pursue a claim you may be barred by Rhode Island’s statute of limitations. Call us 24/7 for a free, no obligation case review and initial consultation. We can help you secure a fair settlement for your claim.
To Learn More About Your Rights and Receive a Free Initial Consultation from local Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorneys, Contact us 24/7 at 401-298-9116
YOU ONLY PAY IF WE WIN