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Can I get compensation after being struck by a vehicle while riding my bike?

Worcester, MA |

I was riding my bike down the sidewalk about a month ago when I was struck by vehicle pulling out of a parking lot. There were bushes obstructing my view of the woman pulling out of the drive-thru trying to make the break in traffic.

I realize that you aren't supposed to ride on the side walk but my previous experiences of riding with traffic on this road had been hairy so I thought it was the safer option.

Am I going to be able to be compensated for medical bills and compensated for missing work? I broke my collar bone and have been out of work for over a month now and I am very nervous that I won't get compensated.

Thanks so much!

Attorney Answers 9


  1. To recover from some one else (or their insurance company) you have to show that they were at fault for what happened. That usually is a fact intensive analysis, and in what you describe it is not entirely clear whether your situation is a winner or not, as the question will be whether the driver did anything wrong. Your best approach is to hire an attorney to advise you.


  2. Turn this over to the other ladys car insurance company. Notify them of the event. Do NOT give them (the other drivers insurance company) a recorded statement. Notify your own insurance company if you have one. If your living with anyone that has a car, maybe you qualify on their policy as an insured.
    Perhaps you are partially at fault, perhaps not. A broken collar bone is not a small injury though and the damages may offset any comparative fault claim.
    An attorney will understand these things...sit down with one in your area or find a local one on AVVVO. There are many good attorneys here. Good luck.

    I am an Arizona attorney. AVVO does not pay us for our responses. Simply because I responded to your question does not mean I am your attorney. In Arizona a non-lawyer is held to the same standards as an attorney so there are dangers to representing yourself. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. If you require legal assistance an in depth discussion of your case is needed as there are many other issues to consider such as defenses, statute of limitations, etc.


  3. Was the person who struck you cited by police for this accident? Did police respond?
    You would not necessarily lose on liability simply for riding on the sidewalk. If the driver was negligent, and if he/she had adequate insurance, then you would have a strong case for damages including medical bills, lost wages / loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. I would need to know more facts concerning the accident to make a proper evaluation of your case. This is right up my alley if you'd like to call to discuss your claim and ask any questions.
    Best of luck.

    Nothing in this email is to be construed as legal advice, or as a solicitation to create an attorney/client relationship.


  4. Hi

    All negligence cases such as yours are fact-based. Whether or not you were or were not
    supposed to be on the sidewalk may or may not be relevant. The issue revolves around the operator's vigulance and ability to see. There may even be fault on the paqrt of the property owner for having bushes in a place that obstructed the view. The most important thing you can do is consult with an attorney and go over all the facts in great detail. The attorney would then be in a position to advise whether you have a case worth pursuing. Since you sufferered a fracture, yiuy are legally entitled to bring a case against the operator.

    Steve Coren

    This answer does not consitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is based only on the facts presented. This answer is basd only on Massachusetts law.


  5. You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.


  6. Speak with a local lawyer in your area; one who you are comfortable speaking with and who takes your phone calls.


  7. Negligence claims are definitely fact based. I am unaware whether MA is a comparative negligence state, and if it is whether it is a pure comparative negligence state. The answers to these questions may be important given the potential contributory negligence issue you might face by riding on the sidewalk. Only an experienced attorney licensed in your state can give a clear answer to these and other questions.

    When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on Arizona law as I am licensed only in Arizona. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.


  8. The law will not compensate you merely for the fact that you were involved in an accident. Instead, you must be able to prove that the operator of the vehicle was negligent in causing the accident and your injuries. Without more information (such as a police report), it is difficult to tell from your description whether a claim can be made. You should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to further discuss a potential claim.


  9. While I agree with most of what my colleagues gues have said, I don't think any of them have answered the question you asked, which was whether you would be compensated for your medical bills and lost time from work. The short answer is YES!

    As a MA resident, you are covered by PIP, or personal injury protection. If the vehicle which struck you is registered and insuured in MA, it's insurance would cover you. If not, and you owned a car, your PIP would cover you. If it wasn't and you didn't, you could apply to the little known (by design) uninsured PIP pool . Any whichway, you're covered.

    PIP is no-fault insurance. Your fault, if any, is a non-factor. PIP provides $8,000.00 in coverage, which can be used to reimburse medical expenses (100%) or lost earnings (75%, but tax-free) You are well advised to seek the lost wages first. W With respect to medicals, PIP is primary for the first 2K, after which your health insurance (but not Mass Health or Medicaid) is primary, with PIP picking up where the health insurance does not pay.

    Most personal injury lawyers will not charge a fee to help you obtain PIP benefits. In my opinion a contingent fee on PIP benefits is unethical. A fixed fee or service charge is probably ethical, but not, again, in my opinion, not best practices, nor a common practice.

    The foregoing answer does not establish an attorney client relationship, is not confidential, and should not be relied upon in place of an actual consultation with an attorney. Mr. Boone is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, before the U.S. Tax Court, and the Federal District Court of Massachusetts. Most initial consultations are free. Further information is available on my profile and at www.boonehenkofflaw.com.

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