Earlier this year, the Governors Highway Safety Association released its findings with regard to bicyclist safety – and the results reveal an alarming trend of increased bicycle and pedestrian fatalities across the United States.
According to the study, six states accounted for 54 percent of the total bicycle fatalities occurring between 2010 and 2012: California, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Illinois and New York. However, bicycle injury and fatality is a problem affecting all states – and Hardy, Wolf & Downing is here to help if you have been injured in a bicycle accident.
Details of bicycle safety study
According to experts, factors such as environmental consciousness and tightening budgets have led many to turn to the efficiency of a bicycle as opposed to a motor vehicle. However, as the number of cyclists increases, so do the reports of accidents and fatalities.
The following statistics may shed light on the increasing rate of bicycle accidents:
- Every year since 1975, bicycle fatalities have steadily comprised two percent of all vehicular accidents;
- The percentage of bicycle accidents affecting adults aged 20 and older has skyrocketed from 21 percent in 1975 to 84 percent in 2012;
- Absence of a helmet and/or alcohol consumption steadily remain factors in national bicycle accident reports, with two-thirds of bicycle fatalities involving lack of helmet use;
- There were 722 fatal bicycle accidents in 2012;
- Maine remains one of the safest states for cyclists, with just to fatalities between 2010 and 2012;
- California and Florida stand atop the list with 123 and 120 fatalities, respectively.
As is evident by the above-described facts and trends, bicycle safety is receiving increasing nationwide awareness. Cyclists who have been injured as a result of another’s negligence, however, may be able to recover compensation through bringing a personal injury lawsuit.
Grounds for filing a bicycle accident lawsuit
A successful bicycle accident lawsuit begins with a finding of negligence – which requires a showing that the defendant breached his duty of care to the plaintiff, resulting in the plaintiff’s injuries. In the context of bicycle accidents, negligence can occur due to failure to adequately scan adjacent lanes prior to shifting, failing to yield to cyclists in an intersection, or unlawfully using a bicycle lane with a motor vehicle.
Comparative negligence is often another issue raised in lawsuits, and a Maine bicycle accident attorney can help you overcome this common defense tactic. In Maine, monetary damages could be reduced if the defendant can prove that the cyclist actually contributed to his or her injuries. This could include failure to wear a helmet or inattentiveness to traffic laws. However, the attorneys of Hardy, Wolf & Downing are not intimidated by these assertions, and will work diligently to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact Maine bike accident lawyers today
At Hardy, Wolf & Downing, we routinely advocate on behalf of injured clients, and will work diligently to help achieve the best possible result for your bicycle accident injuries. For help with your case, give us a call today and schedule a free consultation. We look forward to working with you!