Bicycling is one of the most popular forms of recreation and transportation in the U.S., with more than 100 million people riding bikes at some point each year.
But studies show more than half of those riders worry about getting hit by a car, and most say they would ride a bicycle more if they didn’t have to worry about a collision. Those concerns are legitimate. Each year, several hundred bicyclists are killed, and around 50,000 are injured in crashes in the U.S. according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
While bicyclists are often blamed for the bike injuries they suffer, the fact is that in most crashes they are not the ones at fault. More often, they are struck by car and truck drivers who fail to control their vehicles and respect cyclists’ rights.
As bicyclists, you have the legal right to share our roadways and you are entitled to the consideration and respect you deserve. The bicycle accident lawyers at Berman & Simmons know and support your rights. We are experts in the laws that protect bicyclists and we understand the unique hazards you face. And we will do what is necessary to win your case.
For the best results, you need the best Maine bicycle accident lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident in Maine because of someone else’s negligence, contact us and speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We handle all types of injury claims resulting from bicycle accidents, with a particular focus on serious injury and wrongful death cases.
Bicycle Accident Tips and Tools: What should I do if I’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in Maine?
Taking some basic steps after a bicycle accident can make the difference between a legal claim that fails and one that provides fair compensation for you and your family. Here are some suggestions for first steps.
- First, be sure all parties involved are safe and out of danger. Then move your bike if it is causing a hazard; otherwise leave it where it is.
- Call 911 to immediately report the accident to police, even if you think the damage is minor. Stay close to your bike until police arrive.
- Remain calm and polite, but do not apologize or admit fault.
- Gather pertinent information from other driver and any witnesses.
- Photograph bike damage and any visible injuries. Write down your recollections about the event.
- Get the name and badge number of all responding officers, and ask for police report.
- Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, even if you think they are minor.
- Contact an experienced personal injury trial lawyer who specializes in bicycle accident cases and one who is prepared to win either by settlement or, if necessary, court judgment.
- Report the accident to your insurer. Do not give a signed or recorded statement to your insurer before talking with your lawyer.
- Do not discuss the accident with any representative of the other driver’s insurance company before talking with your lawyer.
A Law Firm That Listens
Berman & Simmons is widely recognized as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine and among the best in the U.S., having won many of the largest jury verdicts and settlements ever obtained for injured people in Maine.
Our trial lawyers have won thousands of claims on behalf of those injured in a car accident, and each year we build on that successful track record.
Our attorneys and staff members will take the time to listen to you, work to understand your concerns, and come up with solutions that can make your life better, including obtaining payment for or deferral of your debts until your case is resolved. We help you recover and make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries and loss.
We'll Take Care of the Heavy Lifting
Get Peace of Mind
It never hurts to consult an attorney regardless of whether you decide to move forward.
Many states have strict deadlines for filing personal injury claims.
The other insurance company is likely already building their client’s case against you.
Witnesses may become unavailable and evidence may be lost or degraded with time.
You’ll need help navigating your medical care and dealing with financial pressures.
You need peace of mind to focus on your recovery.
Paralysis due to mismanagement of
Catastrophic injuries in a head-on car accident
Wrongful death case involving negligent
Plaintiff Rear Ended by
Delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer
Significant Head Injury Car Accident
Are bicyclists required to obey traffic laws and signs?
Yes. In Maine, as in most states, cyclists generally have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle operators. That means they can use public roads but must obey all applicable traffic laws, signs, and signals, including stopping at red lights and stop signs, yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, and traveling in the designated direction on one-way roads. Additionally, just as cars need headlights at night, Maine law requires bicyclists to use a headlight visible for 200 feet, a rear reflector, and reflectors on pedals or feet when riding at night.
Who is at fault in a bicycle accident?
As in any kind of accident, fault in a bicycle accident depends on the specific facts and circumstances involved in the particular incident. In some bike accidents, the blame lies squarely on the vehicle driver, such as when they drive or drift into a bike lane, fail to yield the right of way to a cyclist when making a right or left turn, or open their car door without looking in their rearview mirror. Sometimes, however, an accident can be the fault of a cyclist who fails to obey applicable traffic laws and signals, rides recklessly, or fails to yield to pedestrians.
When do most bicycle accidents occur?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most bicycle accidents occur between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. regardless of the season. Dark conditions make bike riding inherently more dangerous, and 45 percent of all bicyclist deaths occur in such conditions. Unsurprisingly, the warm summer months see more people bike riding, which means more bike accidents. According to the National Safety Council, bicycle-related fatalities peak in the summer months, starting in June, and remain high through September.
What are the primary causes of bicycle accidents?
Most bicycle accidents involve a motor vehicle in some way. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 846 cyclists were killed and approximately 46,000 more suffered injuries in vehicle-related accidents in 2019 alone. In addition to speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and other common driving behaviors that lead to vehicle accidents, there are numerous distinct ways vehicles and negligent drivers can cause bicycle accidents, including:
- Not yielding the right of way to a cyclist when making a right or left turn.
- Driving or drifting into the bike lane.
- Failing to accommodate a bicyclist who must ride in traffic due to a lack of shoulder or bike lane.
- Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light.
- “Dooring,” a situation in which a driver or passenger opens a door without looking over a shoulder or in the rearview mirror, resulting in the bicyclist not having time to take evasive action and colliding with the door.
- Road rage.