Bicycle Accidents in Connecticut
Riding a bicycle is a cost-efficient and environmentally conscious mode of transportation. It’s an increasingly popular option for both commuters and recreationists. As more bicycles share our roadways, injuries sustained during bike accidents are also on the rise. Due to their small size and lack of protection, bike accidents often lead to severe injuries.
Connecticut Bicycle Laws
Bicyclists must abide by the same rules of the road as other motorists. They also need to keep in mind a few special regulations:
- Under Connecticut law, riders under sixteen years old are required to wear a helmet. However, protective gear is recommended for riders of all ages.
- When riding at night, a cyclist must keep their bicycle equipped with lights. Visibility is very low at night, so not only is it difficult to see the road, but other drivers may easily hit an unseen bicycle.
- Before taking a bicycle for a ride, the air, brakes, chain, and cranks should be checked for functionality.
Even if bicyclists are cautious drivers, aggressive or negligent drivers may cause an accident. Motorist are required to follow certain rules regarding bicyclists, including:
- Don’t honk at bicycles unless there’s an imminent danger
- When turning left, yield to bicyclists
- Keep a safe distance of at least 3 feet between bicycle and vehicle
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycles offer little protection, especially against a massive vehicle. Due to this, the road is more dangerous for a bicyclist than a regular motorist. Some of the common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Poor visibility: Nighttime bicycling is often more dangerous than riding in the daytime due to the lack of visibility. Other conditions, like poor weather, can also result in poor visibility and contribute to cycling accidents.
- Road conditions: Potholes are a common cause of bicycle accidents, making the cyclist swerve dangerously or even unseating them. Unrepaired roads that pose a dangerous hazard may be the responsibility of the local government, making them potentially liable for any injuries sustained.
- Motorist mistakes: Motorist mistakes are the most common cause of bicycle accidents. Common examples of motorist mistakes include speeding, failing to yield to bicycles, not putting enough distance between the cyclist and vehicle, texting and driving, impaired driving, and making illegal maneuvers.
- Blind spots: It’s not uncommon for a bicyclist to be unseen by the driver of a truck or bus. This can cause accidents when turning or even when opening the car door, which can knock cyclists off their bike.
- Product defects: If a helmet is defective or a bicycle component doesn’t work as intended, it can cause an accident and injury. It’s important to check your bicycle for functionality each time before you ride.
Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
It’s recommended to wear a helmet and other protective gear. While it doesn’t prevent accidents, it can lessen the severity of injury sustained during an accident. Common injuries sustained during bicycle accidents include:
- Road rash
- Head and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Torn muscles or tendons
- Internal bleeding
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident while riding a bicycle, you should notify police as soon as possible. This should usually be done at the scene of the accident. Documentation is often an important element of bicycle accident claims. Some information you should obtain during the accident includes:
- Driver’s name and contact information
- Driver’s license plate information
- Make and model of driver’s car
- Driver’s insurance information, including policy number and name of the company
- Photos of the collision and any visible injuries
- Contact information of witnesses
If you’ve been injured, obtain medical attention immediately. Bicycle accidents can cause severe injuries, and some injuries don’t bring pain until hours or days after the collision.
Lastly, it’s recommended that you talk to an attorney about your options. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to damages, including:
- Medical expenses (medication, hospital stays, physical therapy, and more)
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered through a bicycle accident and sustained injuries, consulting an attorney can help you receive maximum compensation. Your attorney will collect evidence, interview people of interest, and evaluate the conditions leading to the crash. Contact our bicycle accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Thomas E. Porzio, LLC. to explore your legal options. Call (203) 573-0019 for a free legal consultation.