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Rhode Island Bicycle Accident Lawyer | RI Bike Accident Attorney

bicycle accident lawyer RI

Rhode Island bicycle accident Lawyer

No cyclist in Rhode Island ever anticipates that he would be injured as a result of another person’s negligence in a Bicycle accident. If injured in a bicycle accident with a car, truck, bus or other motor vehicle in RI, it is imperative that you retain a good Providence area bicycle crash attorney. The best lawyers in RI are also savvy experienced RI Personal injury Lawyers.

Rhode Island bicycle accident lawyer

A RI Bicycle Accident Attorney will be knowledgeable about the complex interplay between operating a motor vehicle such as a car or truck and how that pertains to the various rules of the road pertaining to bicycle operation.

If you are involved in an accident in Rhode Island, your first move should be to call 911. Next you need to call your nearest relative and get their assistance at the scene. Obtain the vehicle information of the perpetrator, including the color, model, make, and license plate number of the vehicle at fault of the motor vehicle collision. Take down or mentally note any other identifying types of information for the offending vehicle as well as taking note of all road debris, skid marks, etc. Get names and contact information from all witnesses to the mishap. If you have a cell phone that will snap pictures, take as many as possible. Even better, take a video of the scene of the car- bicycle collision! Include everything involved in the accident. Always keep your GPS data as well.

Medical treatment as soon as possible after the crash

Make sure that you receive medical treatment as soon as possible after the crash. If necessary, request an ambulance to transport you to the hospital. Many of us grew up, blissfully, riding bicycles and enjoying our childhood. We grew up in a time when the world was less crowded and less complicated, and things were much simpler. Today, needless to say, is a different story. What was once considered horseplay, “boys being boys” or innocent child’s play, now, may be governed by state cycling regulations and laws.

There is also another factor which did not exist in years past: Distracted driving. There are many instances where a cyclist is injured or killed as a result of an automobile motorist texting and driving, looking at a gps, using his cell phone or even web surfing and driving. When riding a bicycle in RI, always be certain that you have your cell phone with you and always stay alert when close to traffic. You need to remember that you are ‘no match’ for a motor vehicle or auto while you are on your bicycle. Also always wear a helmet and have protective gear and always wear visible clothing with proper reflectors.

What you ‘do not’ want to do after an accident is give any information to the authorities /medical providers / police that is inconsistent, vague or confusing, especially the police or a medical provider.  Comments mistakenly made to doctors, nurses or emergency personnel will be documented in medical records and can be used as evidence.

Never discuss anything about the accident with the perpetrator. NEVER EVER admit fault, especially while at the scene. Don’t spend time negotiating with the perpetrator or receive any type of payment at the scene. Never let the negligent motorist leave until you have their drivers’ license info as well as proof of insurance and home address. Never flee the scene of an accident, or leave it before the police say it is OK.

Riding a bicycle has been associated with numerous benefits, both from a human and environmental perspective. Such an activity certainly supports physical fitness efforts, which is perhaps why the number of bike riders across the country has been increasing in recent years. Add to that renewed efforts to get drivers off the road in deference to environmental concerns, and one can clearly see the battle for supremacy taking hold between vehicles and bicycles. Sadly, this surge in ridership has lead to an increase in the number of bicycle accidents, the statistics of which are gathered by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Rhode island, then contact RI bicycle accident lawyer, David Slepkow.

Fatal bicycle accident Stats

Annually, more than 700 bicyclists in the United States are killed in an accident. In the most recent 10-year period, the average of cyclists that are involved in a fatal accident has increased to its current 44 years of age. This indicates that adults are becoming more active on the road, and caution must be exercised. It is also estimated that roughly sixty-eight percent of all cyclists killed in an accident where in an urban area. As the cities across America become more congested, the number of fatal accidents appears to be on the rise as well.

According to the State of Rhode Island  Highway Safety Safety Plan  for the Federal Fiscal year of 2016 “The total number of crashes and number of serious injuries sustained involving bicyclists decreased between 2006 and 2009, as shown in Figure 4.21. However, between 2009 and 2011, the serious injuries increased from 11 to 33. They have since declined and were at 18 in 2013. In 2009, 2011, and 2014 Rhode Island had zero bicycle fatalities, in 2012, two bicycle fatalities were reported, and in 2013, there were three. As shown in Figure 4.22, Rhode Island was above the national average for bicyclist fatalities in 2010, 2012, and 2013. The majority of bicycle fatalities are white males between the ages of 6” DOT  developed and presented by Rhode Island Department of Transportation Office On Highway Safety Two Capitol Hill Providence, RI 02903. Prepared for U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Safety Administration( Dated July 1, 2015

Bicycle fatality rate for males 7X greater

The 743 deaths that affected bicyclists in a recent year across American accounted for roughly 2 percent of all traffic related fatalities. This equates to a per capita bicycle fatality rate that is 7 times greater for males than females, indicating a possible risk factor moving forward. Sadly, alcohol impairment was reported to be a mitigating factor in roughly 34 percent of fatal bicycle crashes in a recent year. This statistic also reflects on bicyclists themselves, as nearly 24 percent of those killed in an accident while riding a pedal bike had a blood alcohol concentration of greater than .01.

Vast majority of Bicycle crashes occur in urban area

There are other statistics that are relevant to this discussion as well. It is noted that 68 percent of bicycle accidents occur in urban areas, leaving only 32 percent to occur in rural areas. Roughly 57% of all bicycle accidents occur at a non-intersection, and more than 56% occur between the hours of 3pm and midnight. In fact, the fewest number of bicycling accidents (5%) occur between midnight and 6am.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a bicycle accident, regardless of fault, there will be a number of issues that likely need to be dealt with. In order to protect your legal rights right moving forward, you might want to consider contacting a professional and experienced lawyer for assistance.

Rules of the road for cyclists in RI

Back in the old days there were few rules and laws concerning riding a bike. Now we have laws governing bicycling, and they need to be enforced. Just like traffic laws for cars, these laws will vary from one state to the next. In Rhode Island, for example, you would have to deal with these particular laws.

Everyone can remember a couple of kids jumping on a bike together while other children cheered. This is now illegal in RI because it could lead to a serious child bicycle ACCIDENT AND IS DANGEROUS. See, RI Law 31-19-4 “No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped,”

It is always good to carefully ride a bicycle and be fully aware of all the local RI laws and town / city ordinances. Proper cycling helps you to avoid getting into accidents with motor vehicles and cars. When you are obeying the bicycle laws of your state, you minimize your risk of an accident, and increase your chances of receiving damages as well as court compensation should you be involved in an accident.

And what child at one time or another didn’t ‘hitch a ride’ so to speak from a vehicle travelling down the street for a quick joy ride.  Now, that conduct is strictly prohibited in Rhode Island see§ 31-19-5 Clinging to vehicles. (“No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach it or himself or herself to any vehicle upon a roadway.”)

Also, Bikes must remain on right side of the road! See, § 31-19-6 Bicycles to right of road. (“Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable”)

Even a police officer can stop an adult cyclist or a kid on a bike with reasonable suspicion of a violation of RI bicycle Laws! See, § 31-19-17 Inspecting bicycles. (“A uniformed police officer may at any time upon reasonable cause to believe that a bicycle is unsafe or not equipped as required by law, or that its equipment is not in proper adjustment or repair, require the person riding the bicycle to stop and submit the bicycle to an inspection and a test with reference to it as may be appropriate.”)

Also beware of the very significant laws regarding cyclists riding abreast of each other. This is very dangerous and could cause a car motorist to clip a cyclist causing serious injury or even a fatal accident see § 31-19-7 Number of bicycles abreast. (“– Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on bicycle trails or paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two (2) abreast shall not unduly impede traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.”)

Roller skating, toy vehicle operation and coaster operation laws in Rhode Island

There used to be a day when the neighborhood kids would roller skate across neighborhood streets and ride hot wheels up and down their hometown roads. This is now unlawful in Providence and the communities in RI!  See, § 31-19-19 (“Use of coasters, roller skates, and similar devices restricted. (“No person upon roller skates, or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle, or similar device, shall go upon any roadway except while crossing a street on a crosswalk, and when so crossing, the person shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to pedestrians. This section shall not apply upon any street while set aside as a play street by a duly authorized police authority.”)

RI Helmet Laws for Bicyclists, bicycle passengers, inline skaters and others

bicycle riders helmet§ 31-19-2.1  Helmets required on bicycle operators, bicycle passengers, skateboarders, roller-skaters, inline skaters, and scooter riders ages fifteen (15) and younger. – Any person fifteen (15) years of age or younger who is operating or who is a passenger on a bicycle or who is using or operating a skateboard, roller skates, scooter or inline skates on a public highway, bicycle trail or path, shared use path, park and/or recreational area, school property or on any other public right of way shall wear a helmet. The helmet shall fit the person’s head and shall be secured to the person’s head by straps while the person is operating the bicycle, skateboard, scooter, roller skates or inline skates. The helmet shall meet the standards for helmets established by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or subsequent standards. In no event shall failure to wear a helmet be considered as contributory or comparative negligence, nor shall the failure to wear a helmet be admissible as evidence in the trial of any civil action.

Sadly, many bicycle accidents are deadly and can lead to wrongful death litigation by the beneficiary of the estate of the deceased person on behalf of the beneficiaries and loved ones of the state. If you loved on was killed in a bike crash make sure you retain an experienced RI Wrongful Death Lawyer who is also a Rhode Island Personal injury Attorney. Only personal injury lawyers experienced in handling bicycle accident injury claims can give you the best legal representation.

Rhode Island Bicycle and Car Accident Even a minor collision between a bicycle and a motor vehicle can cause significant injuries or a fatality. The vast majority of all motor vehicle / bicycle accidents happen at intersections, even those with a clearly marked crosswalk. However, bicycle accidents with cars, trucks and SUVs are all too often occurring:

• In travel lanes
• In bike lanes
• At driveways
• At crossings
• When the bicyclist is riding in the direction of traffic
• When the bicyclist is facing traffic

If you were injured in a bicycle crash in Rhode Island then you should contact a Rhode Island bicycle accident attorney or a RI bike accident lawyer.

The most common types of bicycle accidents in Rhode Island with motor vehicles, motorcycles and cars involve:

• Crossing Left – In many situations, the driver fails to see oncoming bicycles before making a left-hand turn and crosses into its pathway.

• Crossing Right – Bicyclists are often involved in accidents and collisions when vehicles pull out on the driveway, parking lot or side street on the same side. This means that the bicyclist can crash into the side of the vehicle, or the vehicle can collide into the side of the bicycle, based on who arrives at the location first.

• A “Dooring” Accident – When bicyclists ride along vehicles parked against the sidewalk, they can easily be involved in a “dooring” accident if the occupant in the car opens their door unexpectedly.

• Slammed at a Crosswalk – Many bicycle accidents in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations with motor vehicles and automobiles occur at crosswalks when the auto driver making a right-hand turn is unaware that a bicyclist has the right of way to travel through the intersection. These types of accidents are even more likely to occur when the bicyclist is traveling on the sidewalk and approaching the intersection from either direction.

• Riding against Traffic – Collisions can occur whenever a bicyclist is traveling in the wrong direction, or on the left side of the road against oncoming traffic. The potential of a Barrinton, Bristol or Warren bicycle accident with injuries is heightened because motorists usually do not expect a bicycle to approach from their right side.

When the Light Changes – Crashes in Newport, Tiverton, Narragansett can occur when the bicyclist has stopped for a red light (or stop sign) and moves forward when the light changes. This is because motorists often cannot see the East providence cyclist moving into the intersection and will cross their path when turning right.

• A Right Hook – One of the most common types of Rhode Island bicycle accidents involving cars occurs when a driver making a right-hand turn attempts to out-maneuver a bicyclist by getting to the intersection first. If the bicyclist is unaware that the vehicle is going to turn, slamming on the brakes in an effort to avoid hitting the car is fruitless.

• Rear-Ended – Many motorists in Rhode Island, Providence and Woonsocket are unaware that they must share the road with bicycles, and are often not anticipating seeing a bicyclist in their lane. Other times, the Cranston, Warwick or North Providence cyclist is struck because of weather or lighting conditions at night.

With a little common sense by both the cyclist and the driver, many bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles, vans, trucks and motorcycles can be prevented. To minimize the potential of a RI bicycle accident, it is essential that bicyclist use turning signals and approach every situation as though they are invisible. Believing that no one on the road can see them under any circumstance, avoiding busy streets and wearing reflective gear are the best ways to ride bikes defensively. By wearing a helmet, a bicyclist can minimize the potential of serious injuries or death in an accident with a motor vehicle.

Hiring a Lawyer for representation in a vehicular-bike crash

Unfortunately, bicyclists suffer a high rate of serious injuries and fatalities in any accident that involves a car, truck or motorcycle. Because of that, it is essential that the cyclist or surviving family members hire a Rhode Island personal injury attorney to seek justice and obtain financial compensation for their losses. A reputable law firm can aggressively pursue recompense from negligent motorists to help the victim pay for medical expenses, time away from work, pain and suffering.

If your loved one, spouse, child or family member was killed in deadly / fatal bicycle accident then you need to consider retaining a RI wrongful death lawyer. Providence fatal bike crash lawyers/ attorneys will help your family get the compensation the family deserves for the bicycle death.

Compared to driving or riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle, bicyclists have a statistically higher risk of suffering crash-related injuries and death in a accident. In the United States in 2010, nearly 800 bicyclists lost their lives and an additional 500,000 visited emergency rooms suffering from a bicycle-related injury. These  bicycle accident numbers include more than 380 children who died from a bicycle crash. Sadly, with just a little foresight and safety measures, nearly all cycle-related deaths and injuries can be prevented.

Preventing Bicycle-Related Injuries and Death 

A high majority of fatal bicycle accidents in Rhode island are the result of serious head trauma. As a result, many cities, municipalities and states are taking the initiative to create interventions effective at reducing the number of injuries and fatalities by enacting bicycle laws and regulations in their communities. This is because statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2009 show that 90 percent of all cyclists involved in a bicycle/motor vehicle accident lost their lives because they were not wearing a helmet.

Newly regulations in various communities include:

• Mandated Child Helmet Laws – Many communities in the United states have enacted effective measures to increase helmet use among children as a way to reduce injuries and death.

• Mandated Bicycle Helmet Use – Some local and statewide governments are mandating the use of wearing a bicycle helmet as an effective solution for reducing the risk of brain and head trauma in the event of a bicycle crash. These laws require every bicyclist, regardless of his or her age, to wear a helmet as an effective solution for protecting themselves.

If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations then you should retain a RI bicycle accident lawyer or a East Providence personal injury attorney to help you get the top compensation that you deserve.

For these laws to be effective, bicyclists must wear properly fitted helmets made of approved, durable materials.

Other Preventative Measures

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), many bicycle-related deaths and injuries can be avoided through additional preventative measures that include:

• Increase Rider Visibility – Bicycle riders can increase their visibility to motorists, motorcycle riders, truckers and others sharing the roadway through active lighting and fluorescent clothing. Installing active lighting on the front, rear and sides of the bicycle can improve the cyclist’s visibility to others. Reflective and fluorescent clothing can increase the visibility of the bicyclists from much farther away than when wearing regular clothing at night and during the day.

• Better Roadway Engineering Measures – The installation of bicycle paths and signage denoting sharing the roadway with bicyclists are effective roadway engineering measures that can reduce the number of bicycle accidents every year. Maintaining road conditions can also improve the safety for cyclists by minimizing potential hazards like potholes, uneven surfaces, broken concrete and debris.

Traumatic Brain Injury in Rhode Island bicycle accidents

Statistics maintained by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), life-threatening traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed health issues. Being involved in a bicycle-related (bike) accident causing traumatic brain injury can produce serious permanent consequences that cause motor, sensory, emotional and cognitive impairments and disabilities.

In addition to the physical, mental and emotional impairments, injured victims often suffer social consequences that might involve substantial economic distress, substance abuse, economic strain, chronic unemployment, divorce and increased potential of suicide and suicidal ideation (thoughts of suicide).

Men between the ages of 15 and 24 have twice the potential risk of suffering the traumatic brain injury in a RI bicycle accident when compared to females. Other increased risk groups include bicycle riders 75 years and older and children five years and younger.

Seeking Financial Compensation in Providence Superior Court

Nearly every type of motor vehicle / bicycle accident involving traumatic brain injury leaves the injured victim with serious financial problems. As a result, victims typically hire Rhode Island personal injury attorneys to seek financial compensation from every party at fault for the accident. A skilled RI bicycle accident lawyer will investigate the claim to determine liability and hold every responsible individual financially accountable to ensure the victim receives adequate compensation for their damages, injuries and losses.

If a family member, loved one or spouse was killed in a fatal bicycle accident then you need a RI wrongful death attorney who is also a skilled RI bicycle crash lawyer. A Providence wrongful death attorney will help survivors get compensation for the deadly crash.

Contact David Slepkow at 401-279-0004