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Bicycling is a fabulous alternative to motor vehicles. It provides exercise, does not contribute to pollution, and bikes are more affordable than cars or trucks. Unfortunately, many drivers on the state’s roadways fail to share the roads with bikers properly. Some do so because of aggravation, resulting in aggressive behavior towards cyclists. Others are simply negligent, failing to understand the precautions they should take to keep bikers safe.

When you are injured in a bicycle wreck, you can seek compensation from the wrongdoers. In addition to recovering for your medical bills, you may be entitled to lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, and costs related to emotional trauma. A Clark bicycle accident lawyer at Fredson Statmore Bitterman, LLC can provide a free consultation. At that consultation, our personal injury team will review the facts of the incident and discuss potential claims or other remedies.

New Jersey’s Bicycle Rules

The state has compiled the laws and rules governing cyclists in the New Jersey Bicycling Manual. The goal of the manual is to provide cyclists with the information they need to ride on the state’s roadways safely.

Adult cyclists do not have to wear a helmet, though it is, of course, safer to do so. Children under the age of 17 must wear a bicycle helmet that meets safety standards established by either the Snell Memorial Foundation or the Consumer Product Safety Committee.

While helmets are not mandatory, some safety equipment is. Bikes must have brakes that meet state legal requirements, front headlamps and reflectors — if used at night, and bells or horns. Other safety equipment is recommended but not required, including bicycling gloves, toe clips, side view or rearview mirrors, and bike racks.

Contributory Negligence

Using protective equipment is always best practice and may even be required by law. The failure to take proper protective measures may result in a biker being held partially responsible for their injuries in a concept known as contributory negligence. Under New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A:15-5.1, contributory negligence is not a bar to recovery, as long as the victim is not more responsible than the wrongdoers against whom they seek recovery. A bike accident attorney in Clark can explain the impact of comparative negligence on a specific claim.

Causes of Bicycle Wrecks

Distracted drivers, including those who text while driving, are the leading cause of bicycle wrecks. In most cases, they do not see the cyclist and may hit them due to a lack of attentiveness. These accidents often occur at intersections.

Drivers who are breaking certain traffic laws also cause bike accidents. Speeding, failure to yield, drowsy driving, drunk driving, running stop signs or lights, and reckless driving all contribute to these wrecks.

Not every bicycle wreck is because of a motor vehicle operator. Defects in the road, like potholes and loose maintenance hole covers, can also lead to accidents. A Clark lawyer will examine the cause of the bicycle accident to determine potential sources of financial responsibility.

Common Injuries in Bike Accidents

While many of these accidents happen at low speeds, even low-speed wrecks usually result in serious injuries to cyclists. Fortunate bike riders may walk away with scrapes, bruises, sprains, and strains.

Many cannot walk away at all. Instead, they may experience traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken legs, other broken bones, neck injuries, and crush injuries. These catastrophic injuries can be life-altering, life-threatening, or even fatal. A Clark bike wreck attorney will consider the impact an injured cyclist’s harm will have on their lives to ensure any settlement amounts adequately reflect their needs.

Consult a Clark Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

Bicycle wrecks can lead to lengthy recovery periods full of physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial struggle. It is only fair for those responsible for the injuries to pay for them. A Clark bicycle accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your economic and non-economic harm. To find out more, schedule a free consultation with an attorney from Fredson Statmore Bitterman, LLC.