Bicyclists in the state of Massachusetts have many of the same rights and responsibilities as the motorists in traffic around them. In an effort to protect bicyclists from devastating accidents and serious injuries, though, there are a few additional laws that apply to them. For example, Massachusetts law requires all riders younger than 17 to wear a properly fitted helmet.
Those who are 17 and older should always opt to wear a helmet, too, because doing so can reduce the risk of sustaining a serious head injury by almost 70 percent; however, like any piece of safety equipment, helmets are not foolproof.
In forceful impacts, cyclists can sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) regardless of whether they are wearing adequate gear. And when they do, navigating the subsequent personal injury claims process can be challenging.
Fortunately, if you want to sue a negligent motorist after sustaining a TBI in a bicycle accident, you do not have to go up against the insurance company alone. Attorney Scott Charnas of Charnas Law Firm can handle all the logistics of your case so you can focus on recovering.
Scott has assisted hundreds of clients throughout both New York and Massachusetts in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call 212-980-6800 to schedule a free case evaluation with a bicycle accident lawyer in Massachusetts.
Read on to learn the answers to three FAQs about brain injury claims following bicycle accidents:
- Who Might Be Liable for My Damages?
If you want to pursue damages after sustaining a TBI in a bicycle accident, there are several parties whom you might be able to name in your claim, depending on the cause of your crash. Possible defendants include:
- Negligent motorists;
- The local municipality responsible for maintaining the roads;
- The bicycle, equipment, or vehicle manufacturer; or
- The bicycle repair shop or vehicle mechanic.
- Can I File a Claim Even If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet at the Time of the Accident?
There are dozens of reasons why an injured cyclist might be held partially liable for their own damages. Failing to wear a helmet is one example.
If you suffered a TBI in a bicycle accident and you were not wearing a helmet at the time, you may still be entitled to compensation; however, the total amount you can ultimately recover may be reduced by your own percentage of fault. Massachusetts has a modified comparative negligence rule, which means plaintiffs may recover compensation as long as they were less than 51 percent liable for their damages. A brain injury lawyer can review your case to determine if comparative negligence might play a role in the proceedings.
- What Damages Might I Be Able to Recover for a Bicycle Accident-Related TBI?
The costs of treating and then living with a TBI can add up quickly. Fortunately, you can pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic damages from the party who caused your injuries. Potentially recoverable damages for a brain injury sustained in a bicycle accident include:
- Loss of income and benefits;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Medical expenses;
- Property repairs;
- Other objectively calculable losses like transportation, at-home care, and child care;
- Loss of companionship or consortium;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Emotional distress.
If the defendant acted with malice, willful or reckless conduct, or gross negligence, punitive damages may also be awarded.
Call 212-980-6800 to Speak with a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Massachusetts
If you or someone you love sustained a TBI in a cycling accident, turn to Charnas Law Firm. Attorney Scott Charnas has recovered nearly $50 million on behalf of his clients. Call 212-980-6800 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate brain injury attorney in Massachusetts.