Date:September 21, 2016
More and more people are using bicycles as an alternative means of transportation. Communities are investing in creating “Rail Trails” to promote bicycle riding. With more bicyclists on the roads, there has also been an increase in bike accidents and serious injuries to bicyclists, often caused by distracted drivers. The number of hospital admissions from bicycle trauma injuries more than doubled from 1998 to 2013. This increase has been primarily due to increased ridership and hospital admissions of people older than 45.
Under New Hampshire state law, the “Rules of the Road” mandate that every person riding a bicycle “shall have all of the rights and be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle.”
Injuries to bicyclists involved in accidents with vehicles are often serious and sometimes fatal. In June 2016, a bicyclist in Hudson, New Hampshire was making a left turn when a car failed to yield and struck the bicyclist. The bicyclist slammed into the windshield and front passenger side of the car. The bicyclist suffered injuries to his lower body and was transported by ambulance to the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. In July 2016 the driver of a motor vehicle fled the scene after striking and killing a bicyclist in Conway, New Hampshire, and in August 2016 another hit and run driver struck and injured a bicyclist in Wentworth, New Hampshire.
Human error is a factor in most bike accidents. Vehicles pulling out of driveways are a common cause of injuries to bicyclists. Under the New Hampshire Vehicle Code, the “driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a way from a private road or driveway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching on said way.” NH Rev Stat §265:32.
New Hampshire law governs those situations in which both parties involved in a crash may have some degree of fault. In this instance, an injured person may still file a lawsuit so long as his/her negligence is not greater than the party causing the injury. Damages are reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributed to the injured party. Bicyclists involved in an accident should review their case with the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman who represent injured bike riders. Insurers will look for ways to place the fault for an accident on the person riding a bicycle. Thorough investigation and skilled representation are essential to obtaining a recovery for injuries suffered by a bicyclist.
The following safety tips for bicyclists will help keep you out of accidents, reduce your injuries if you are in one, and help if you decide to file a bike accident claim.
If you have been injured on a bicycle through no fault of your own, contact the NH bike accident claim attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman at (603) 239-2451 for a free consultation.