Drivers are told to share the road and keep a careful eye out for bicyclists, but it doesn’t always happen. If you were injured by a motorist while riding your bike, a leading DC bicycle accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long can help you get the compensation you deserve.
We help victims of bicycle accidents claim a wide range of damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Whether you’re ready to pursue legal action or you’re not sure if a legal claim is the best path for you, one of our top Washington, DC vehicle accident lawyers would love to meet with you for a free consultation.
If you were injured in a bike accident, then the lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help you take legal action. You should not have to pay the consequences for someone else’s mistakes. Our bicycle accident lawyers in DC can help you file a claim to recover the compensation you need to pay for injury-related costs, such as medical care and lost wages. Recently, our firm obtained a settlement of $3 million in a bike accident claim against WMATA. In that case, we worked on behalf of a bicyclist who suffered severe leg injuries when he was struck by a Metro bus.
How Bicycle Accident Claims Work in Washington DC
Bicycle accidents can leave victims severely injured, even fatally. Bikers that are hit by a car can recover damages through a lawsuit, as they are protected by the laws and regulations in Washington DC.
Under DC law, bicyclists have all the same duties and privileges as motor vehicles. As with car accidents, bicycle accidents should be reported to the police. The police will come to the scene to investigate the accident, including interviewing the involved parties and witnesses and gathering evidence to decide the fault of the accident. A biker hit by a car should gather evidence, too, including pictures or videos, and get basic information from the driver.
To claim compensation for damages, losses, or even death after a bike accident in Washington DC, you must prove the negligence or wrongful act of the at-fault party. An injured biker should receive medical care and document injuries, medical conditions, or treatments necessitated by the accident.
Insurance policies often cover bike accident damages, but oftentimes, insurance settlements outside of court won’t fully cover the full costs of the medical expenses, suffering, or death that was directly caused by the accident.
Our Recent Settlements
A $975,000 settlement in a product liability case resulting from a defectively designed bunk bed which caused the death of an infant.Read More
A $1.4 Million judgment entered for the widow of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty while assisting in a traffic accident.Read More
A settlement of $2.45 Million in a Maryland malpractice action for severe injuries suffered by a 69 year old patient during routine heart surgery.Read More
What are common bike accident injuries?
Like crashes involving pedestrians, bicycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to the cyclist, since a bike rider has little to no protection from the force of the vehicle. Some of the most common cyclist injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury. These injuries may have long-term symptoms and effects, including permanent impairment. Wearing a bike helmet can help decrease your risk of brain trauma, although insurance companies cannot reduce your settlement if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
- Spinal cord injury. The force of impact with a vehicle or surrounding objects may cause neck and spinal cord injuries. Depending on the extent of the damage, permanent paralysis below the site of the injury may result.
- Bone fractures. Broken bones and multiple fractures may require surgical intervention, extensive healing times, and serious permanent disability.
- Nerve, muscle, and tissue damage. In some cases, a cyclist may suffer extensive and potentially disfiguring lacerations and degloving injuries. This may cause permanent impairment if nerves and muscles are damaged.
- Wrongful death. All too often, cycling injuries may be widespread and serious enough to cause wrongful death. This is especially true if the accident occurs at high speeds.
A bicycle injury may require extensive treatment and rehabilitation. Additionally, you may be unable to return to cycling, work, or your previous quality of life. You may be entitled to substantial compensation in these situations.
This should cover the cost of your medical bills, bike repair or replacement, and other damages, including full compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. However, insurance companies often try to dismiss bike accident claims or offer low settlements. To obtain a full and fair offer, consult with one of our bicycle accident lawyers in Washington, DC.
How common are bicycle crashes in Washington DC?
Bicycle accidents are much more common than you might realize. According to the Washington DC’s District Department of Transportation, over the past five years, an average of 334 crashes involving bicyclists occur each year in DC. In just a six-month period between March and August 2019, there were 409 bicyclist-related accidents.
Fortunately, most of these accidents did not include a fatality. According to DC’s Vision Zero, the number of biking-related fatalities averaged just 1.5 deaths per year.
Yet, the number of bikers in DC continues to increase. Recent statistics have found the number of bicyclists rose almost 25% between 2006 and 2019, from approximately 40 million to nearly 49 million. This makes DC the second largest number of bicyclists on the streets.
Leading the increase of bikers on the streets is the popular Capital Bikeshare program. Introduced by Washington, DC in September 2010, the bike-sharing program allows bikers to rent a bike for a specific amount of time. Despite having an excellent safety record, getting into an accident with a bike-sharing vehicle is still a possibility.
Although the rise of bicyclists can benefit the city and the environment, this also means there will be an increase in bicycle accident cases and injured cyclists as well.
Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Washington, DC
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What are the most common types of bicycle accidents?
A bike accident can occur in virtually any circumstance, especially if a negligent or distracted motorist fails to notice a bicyclist. While cyclists cannot always avoid crashes caused by negligent drivers, you may be able to lower your risk of serious personal injuries by being familiar with common types of bicycle accidents, such as:
- Accidents due to failure to yield the right of way. One of the most common causes of bicycle accidents is negligence or ignorance concerning the right of way. At stop signs and lights, cyclists have the same rights and privileges as vehicles. Therefore, motorists must yield when the cyclist has the right of way, although they often fail to do so.
- Left-cross accidents. A right hook accident happens when a motorist turns left across oncoming traffic and strikes a cyclist traveling in the opposite direction. This usually happens when drivers fail to notice oncoming bike riders.
- Right-hook accidents. These accidents occur when a motorist turns right, striking a cyclist traveling in the same direction. This may happen at an intersection, where the cyclist has the right of way, or at other turns, such as parking lot entrances and driveways.
- Dooring accidents. If a cyclist is riding along a line of parallel-parked cars and a motorist suddenly opens a car door, then the cyclist may be unable to avoid striking it. The cyclist may be thrown over the open door, sustaining serious dooring accident injuries.
- Sideswipe accidents. When motorists misjudge the amount of space between the car and a cyclist riding to the right, a sideswipe may result.
- Rear-end collisions. If a negligent motorist fails to stop behind a cyclist or travels too closely, then a rear-end collision may occur. This can cause severe injuries to the cyclist, especially if he or she falls under the vehicle.
What Happens if You Get Into a Bike Accident?
Like any type of vehicle accident, what you do following a Washington DC bicycle accident is crucial to your accident claim.
- If you get into an accident, your first step is to get to safety and call 911. Wait for the police to arrive so you can file a police report.
- While waiting for the police, make sure you get the contact information of everyone who is involved in the accident. It’s also a good time to get photos and videos of the accident scene, including damage to your bicycle, the car involved and your injuries.
- Once the emergency services arrive and you give your statement to the police officer, get checked by medical
professionals, even if you don’t think you’re injured. Unfortunately, bicyclists may not feel the effects of the accident until hours later and what seemed like a minor bump on the head could easily become a brain injury.
- Preserve any evidence you have for the accident. That means leaving your bike, clothing, and any other damaged property in the same state after the accident. Take photos of the equipment. You’ll also want to keep a record of any medical treatment you had as the result of the accident.
- Finally, speak to a bicycle accident lawyer in Washington DC as soon as possible. Bicycling accidents are very complex and you’ll need legal advice on what your next steps should be, such as negotiating with the insurance company or representing you in court if there is a personal injury lawsuit.
Types of Bicycle Accident Claims We Handle
When a bicycle accident involves a serious injury, long-term suffering, life-altering conditions, or death, a bicycle accident lawyer in DC can help a victim or a decedent’s family pursue a legal claim. The purpose of the claim is to collect compensation for damages that have occurred as a result of the at-fault driver’s negligence or wrongful act.
- Medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages and future wages
- Mental and physical pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Noneconomic or general damages
No matter the claim you’re considering, we’re here to help, and we can answer any questions you have about your case.
Bike Crash Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to pursue a legal claim to recover significant damages from a bicycle accident, refer to the Washington DC statute of limitations to see how quickly you need to file it. In Washington DC, personal injury and personal property claims generally need to be brought to the local court within three years. Wrongful death claims must be filed by the victim’s family within two years.
If you’ve been involved in a serious bicycle accident, discuss filing a legal claim in a free, no-obligation consultation with a top DC bicycle accident attorney. We will discover relevant evidence and information, research, investigate, and plan your best path forward. No matter what, you don’t pay until we win justice on your behalf. With over 100 years of collective experience in similar personal injury cases, look no further than Regan Zambri Long as your trusted counsel.
Get Your Free Consultation With a Top DC Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Our Washington DC personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Backed by more than 100 years of combined experience, our firm has an established reputation for pursuing legal excellence. As our client, you will enjoy peace of mind in knowing that your rights will be protected from start to finish. We will do everything in our power to secure the maximum compensation you need to pay for injury-related expenses, such as medical care and lost income, as well as full compensation for all of the physical and emotional consequences of your injuries.
A leading DC bicycle accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long is ready to help you win your case and settlement, getting the maximum amount of compensation possible for your losses and suffering. Schedule a time to discuss your bicycle accident case in a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our top bicycle accident lawyers in Washington, DC now.