Your Rights as a Bicyclist

Some drivers may make you feel like a second-class citizen. Cars, trucks, and buses might cut you off, disregard your right of way, or follow too closely.

Here is a regulation set by Title 39 of the Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation laws: “Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway is granted all the rights…of the motor vehicle driver.”

Yes, bicyclists like you have as much claim to the road as any other vehicle.

Hazardous Practices That Endanger Bike Riders

Despite traffic laws, an examination of bicycle accidents in 2020 revealed that motor vehicle collisions caused the large majority of 1,260 fatalities that year. The reasons are varied and complex, but some are driver errors, including:

  • Neglecting to look for cyclists before making a turn
  • Opening a car door without checking if a bicyclist is approaching
  • Following a bicycle too closely or coming too close to its side
  • Backing up without looking in the rearview mirror
  • Misjudging how close a bicycle is
  • Disobeying traffic signals and signs
  • Speeding or changing lanes recklessly
  • Operating a vehicle while distracted, tired, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving on a bike path (except for brief crossings to make a turn)
  • Fleeing the scene of the accident without reporting injuries

Motorists who do not know or care about safe driving practices pose a danger to bicycle riders, pedestrians, and other drivers.

Unfortunate Consequences of Bicycle Accidents

Most experts agree that proper bicycle equipment makes a difference. For instance, research demonstrates that bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of serious head injury by 60 percent.

New Jersey bikes, by law, should have these safety features:

  • Lights: Bikes ridden at nighttime should have front and rear headlamps visible from at least 600 feet away.
  • Audible signal: Bicycles should have a bell or another device with an audible range of 100 feet.
  • Brakes: Brakes must be able to make wheels skid on dry, level, and clean pavement

The number of preventable deaths from bicycle accidents increased by 44 percent from 2011 to 2020. Nonfatal injuries also saw a 5 percent increase between 2019 and 2020. Common bike accident injuries are:

    • Broken teeth: Dental fractures can occur from an impact with the ground or another hard object, often resulting in physical pain and emotional distress
    • Bruises: Skin discoloration is typically temporary, but occasionally requires medical attention (i.e. hematomas)
    • Corneal foreign bodies: Irritating particles, such as glass, sand, metal, or wood, can become embedded in the eye, causing vision issues, redness, pain, and sometimes nausea
    • Dislocations: The separation of two bones at a joint (e.g. shoulder, hip, fingers)
    • Fractures: Broken bones could happen when a rider is thrown from a bike or crushed by a car
    • Hepatic laceration: Blunt force or penetrating trauma can harm the liver, sometimes creating an increased risk of artery damage, bile duct complications, or the need for operative intervention
    • Hernia: Bike accident injuries could weaken the tissue holding an internal organ in place, allowing it to push through muscle or tissue
    • Parenchymal lung injury: Lung damage is a frequent consequence of significant chest trauma
    • Road rash: A skin abrasion caused by the friction of skin against a hard surface, such as concrete, asphalt, or gravel, that can lead to infection and scarring
    • Splenic rupture: A blow to the spleen can make it rupture and bleed, sometimes days or weeks after the initial injury
    • Strains: Torn or stretched ligaments from sudden twisting or jerking of the body
  • Whiplash: A sudden impact causes your head and neck to jerk forward and back or from side to side beyond their normal range of motion

The CDC reports that bicycle accident injuries, including deaths, cost Americans more than $23 billion annually.

Getting Compensated for Losses in New Jersey

New Jersey bicycle collisions cost more than money. Accidents are devastating, robbing some of their lives and many survivors of the quality of life they enjoyed before the incident.

Involving competent lawyers is one way to pursue justice after a preventable accident. Our law firm understands the life-changing effects bike accident injuries can have on victims and their families. We thus seek to maximize the following compensation for our clients.

Medical bills

Suppose you break a bone in a bike accident. RWJBarnabas Health reveals that fractures are not always a simple injury to recognize since broken bones can resemble other medical conditions.

To diagnose a fracture, doctors often take measures, such as performing or ordering:

  • Complete medical histories
  • Physical examinations
  • X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other procedures

Once a fracture is confirmed, treatment begins, perhaps involving:

  • Splints
  • Casts
  • Medication
  • Traction
  • Surgery

The recovery process can be long and painful. Some patients experience complications or permanent side effects that impact mobility and self-image.

In the United States, medical bills for fractures and other bike accident injuries often exceed what patients can pay out of pocket. A personal injury lawsuit is often the only way of getting appropriate medical care and wiping out medical debt.

Lost wages

After an accident, you will need to recuperate. You might spend some nights in the hospital or travel for doctor’s appointments. Some injuries require rehabilitation for weeks or months.

All these activities require time, so you might need to miss work. Yet, days of work can spell financial disaster. Availing yourself of paid time off like personal or vacation days can bring some relief, but it’s not fair for you to forfeit your work benefits when the injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence.

The attorneys of Judd Shaw Injury Law can calculate how much you are owed based on your net income. We can also help you fight for future lost earnings if your accident injuries diminished your ability to make a living.

Other losses

Bikes rarely escape from collisions unscathed. If your bike was damaged or destroyed, you could receive money for repairing or replacing your bicycle.

Besides property damage, your lawyer can help you discover the types of compensation you can receive for your losses. Why miss out on the money you deserve?

At our law firm, there is no cost or obligation to assess your losses during your initial consultation. Schedule an appointment today by clicking the chat icon at the bottom of your screen.

We Are on Your Side

Why come to us? At Judd Shaw Injury Law, our passionate team dedicates its resources and expertise to defending our clients’ rights. You need someone in your corner who knows what to do when insurers are unwilling to play fair.

What’s more, we can handle the legal hassle of resolving your bicycle accident while you focus on recovery. This will lighten your load and give you peace of mind.

So take time for yourself while we meet your legal needs and help you get your life back on track. Send us a message, or call (866) 909-6894 now to get started.