The town of Glastonbury has a Bicycle Master Plan in place describing efforts to make Glastonbury a “Bicycle Friendly Community.” Despite this, Glastonbury can still be a very dangerous place for bicyclists at times. Even when the rider of a bicycle is wearing a helmet and obeying traffic rules, a collision with a motor vehicle can have catastrophic results.
If you suffer injuries from a bicycle accident, you should consider your legal rights as well as your physical health. A Glastonbury bicycle accident lawyer could evaluate your situation to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney who understands bicycle accident cases could work to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf throughout your entire case. En Español.
What are the Laws Applicable to Bicycles in Glastonbury?
State and local laws provide specific provisions for the operation of bicycles on public roads in Glastonbury. Since bicycles share the roads with bigger, faster vehicles, and bicyclists lack the protections afforded to motorists, lawmakers have established some regulations and restrictions related to roadway behavior. A local bicycle accident attorney could help a plaintiff understand these regulations within the context of their specific case.
For instance, Connecticut General Statutes §14.232 specifies that motorists must provide at least three feet of clearance when passing bicycles on the road. Likewise, Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-286b imposes certain obligations on bicyclists, including the duty to “ride as close to the right side of the roadway as is safe” and a prohibition against riding more than two abreast when operating on roads used by motorized vehicles.
Bicycle laws also impose duties to protect the safety of pedestrians. For example, Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-286 requires bicyclists operating on sidewalks or crosswalks to yield to pedestrians. Finally, bicycle laws also require bicyclists to take certain precautions for their own safety regardless of proximity to other vehicles or pedestrians. Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-286d, for instance, requires riders under the age of 16 to wear a helmet.
Establishing Liability for a Bicycle Accident
When the negligence of another person causes a bicycle accident, that person may be held liable for the consequences. In order to do so successfully, however, the injured bicyclist seeking compensation must demonstrate that the defendant’s lack of care directly caused the accident. For instance, if a motorist was texting while driving or passed a bicyclist with less than three feet of clearance, the motorist may be required to pay compensation if the plaintiff proves one of these behaviors contributed to causing the accident.
If the bicyclist was also negligent in some way—for instance, by not staying as far to the right of the lane as possible—their own negligence may reduce the amount of compensation they ultimately receive. However, unless the court finds the bicyclist to be 51 percent or more to blame for the accident, their comparative negligence would not bar them entirely from recovering.
Demanding Proper Compensation
While proving defendant liability is a major part of any bicycle accident claim, it is just as important to demonstrate how the incident affected the plaintiff’s life. The clearest example is physical damages. Bike wrecks may result in severe cuts, scrapes, separated joints, broken bones, and injuries to the spinal cord. A liable defendant must provide payment for all these losses.
A claimant should assess their emotional losses as well. Many injuries may result in mental or emotional trauma, and plaintiffs should demand compensation for these experiences. An accident also could cause a significant decline in a person’s quality of life and could keep them out of work. Here, the defendant must provide reimbursement for all lost wages and any intangible damages. A Glastonbury attorney could help an injured cyclist evaluate the value of a bicycle accident claim.
How Might a Traffic Court Case Impact a Bicycle Accident Claim?
A bicycle collision could result in simultaneous legal actions. The first is a claim for damages that arises out of a person’s physical injuries. The other is a traffic court case that may happen as a result of a defendant’s reckless driving. While these cases are separate in the eyes of the law, the outcomes of a traffic court case could impact on a claim for damages.
Courts in Glastonbury follow the concept of res judicata. In simple terms, this means that a court will not answer the same question twice. As it applies to bike wrecks, this means that if a traffic court finds that a defendant was speeding, tailgating, or violating any other rule of the road at the time of the collision, that defendant cannot then argue that they were not at fault in a civil claim.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Cycling Accident Claim?
Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-584 states that the statute of limitations for claims based on negligence is two years from the date of injury. This means that a bicyclist must file their case within two years of the date of their accident.
A person who waits too long may miss their opportunity to seek compensation. Making matters worse, insurance companies are also aware of this law and may refuse to participate in settlement talks when this deadline expires. A Glastonbury attorney could help someone meet the statute of limitations for their cycling accident claim.
Let a Glastonbury Bicycle Accident Attorney Help
If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, you may be dealing with substantial medical bills and lost income from missed time from work. Between these financial concerns and the physical consequences of the injuries, the effects of the accident may linger far into the future.
A Glastonbury bicycle accident lawyer could help you seek compensation to cover these and other losses stemming from the accident. In addition to objective damages such as lost wages and anticipated future medical expenses, you may be entitled to receive compensation for intangible effects such as pain and suffering and emotional anguish.
To preserve your right to recover damages, it is wise to take prompt action to collect and preserve evidence. A dedicated personal injury attorney could assist throughout the process. Call now to learn more.