Providence Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Fortunately, fatal bicycle accidents are historically very low in Rhode Island, with typically only one to three deaths in a given year, and in many years no one is killed in a bicycle accident at all. However, the national trend has seen an alarming increase in bicycle fatalities, and Rhode Island may be part of this trend as well. More states are passing laws to protect cyclists, but more people than ever are riding bicycles every day, including commuting to work in urban environments.
Tragically, the disturbing increase in distracted driving car accidents is especially taking a toll on motorcycle riders, pedestrians and cyclists. Being smaller and harder to spot in the best of circumstances, they are frequently the victims of the epidemic of driver inattention that is sweeping the nation. Providence bicycle accident lawyer Michael Kiselica holds negligent and distracted drivers accountable for their inexcusable misconduct and fights to help injured bicycle riders and their families recover compensation for personal injury caused in a Rhode Island bicycle accident. Call our office if you have been injured or suffered the loss of a loved one due to another’s negligent or reckless driving.
What are the causes of bicycle accidents in Rhode Island?
Bicycle accidents can have many different causes, including operator inexperience or poor road conditions. Driver error, however, is the leading cause of the most serious and catastrophic bicycle accident injuries such as TBI & concussion, spinal cord injury, amputation injuries, fractures or wrongful death. Driver negligence takes many forms in causing Rhode Island bicycle accidents. The leading driver mistakes are:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Turning right into the path of a bicyclist in a bike lane
- Passing too close to a bicyclist or returning to the lane too soon
What does Rhode Island Law have to say about bicycles on the road?
Although they are not motor vehicles, bicycles are subject to many of the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. For instance, bicycles must travel in the same direction as other traffic, and bicyclists must obey all traffic laws and signals. Besides having many of the same duties as motor vehicle drivers, bicycles have the same right to share the road as motor vehicles, and drivers are required by law to give bicyclists the attention and respect they deserve. Some legal requirements that apply specifically to drivers in regard to bicycles include:
- Cars may not stop, stand or park in a bike lane
- Drivers must pass bicycles at a safe distance and return to the lane safely
- Drivers must take care to open doors safely with regard to bicycles that may be in the path, and drivers should not leave doors open longer than is necessary
Can an injured rider recover compensation from a negligent driver for a head injury if the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet?
Helmets unquestionably save lives and reduce injuries like concussions and traumatic brain injuries, and we at Kiselica Law Firm encourage all bicycle and motorcycle riders to wear protective helmets whenever they ride. However, the decision to wear a helmet remains the rider’s personal choice; Rhode Island law only requires helmet use for bicyclists younger than 15 years old and motorcyclists 21 and under. Additionally, this law makes it clear that the fact a bicyclist was not wearing a helmet is not considered as fault on the part of the bicyclist and is not admissible as evidence in any civil lawsuit. In other words, failure to wear a helmet will not prevent a recovery against a negligent driver or reduce the amount of that recovery in any way.
Our Dedicated Providence Personal Injury Lawyer is Here to Help after a Serious Rhode Island Bicycle Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in Rhode Island, call the Kiselica Law Firm at 401-421-0300 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We’ll let you know you if you have a claim and how we can help you get the care and compensation you need after a serious bicycle accident. There is no fee until after we recover for you.