Matters of fault in bicycle accidents not always clear-cut
A cyclist in Rosslyn, Virginia was recently injured while crossing a major intersection that includes an off-ramp for an expressway. The rider, Lindsey Kelley, was sent to the hospital with a sprained wrist and fingers, according to ARLnow.com, common injuries following a vehicle collision. Less common, but no less dramatic, was the traffic violation Kelley received while recuperating in her hospital room following the accident.
According to Kelley, the accident occurred around 8:00p.m. on Monday, May 5 at the intersection of Lee Highway and N. Lynn street, an area notorious for traffic safety problems. She had the right of way according to the traffic signage, but as she crossed the road, a black SUV came off the highway and struck her as she was turning. By her account, the driver was at fault.
At the hospital, however, a U.S. Park Police Officer came to visit Kelley and issued her a ticket for “disregarding traffic signs or road markings.” Kelley claims the officer never took her statement, but only took the word of the driver of the S.U.V. The officer remarked that because the lane she was crossing was a turning lane, she “should have seen it coming.”
In the event of any vehicle collision, it is best to remain on the scene and make sure to give your account of the accident to the responding officer. Unfortunately, in many bicycle accidents, the cyclist is injured and taken to the hospital, leaving on the driver of the other vehicle to explain what happened. In these cases, it is critical to work with an attorney who can gather the facts and help set the record straight on your behalf.
“Despite my boyfriends protests, I will probably still bike in the future,” says Kelley. “I really like it, it’s fun, it’s way faster than the Metro.”
While all this happened a state away in Virginia, it is important to recognize the biases people can bring to a bicycle accident, especially when the motor vehicle driver is the only person present to give a statement.
The attorneys at Mallon & McCool, LLC, encourage anyone who has been in a cycling accident to contact them at their Baltimore office at (410)-727-7887, or toll free at (800) 918-8872. They provide legal representation on behalf of riders, make sure the true story is heard in court, and help cyclists secure compensation for their injuries.