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I got hit while riding my bicycle. Who is at fault and do I have a case?

Hagerstown, MD |

I was on Route 40 in Hagerstown, Maryland riding my bike on the sidewalk and approached a crossing in front of a service station. I vehicle leaving the service station and I approached the crossing and we both came to a stop. I waved and yelled at her before crossing but as I proceeded to cross the crossing the motorist came foward and hit me. The investigating officer says that we were both at fault because I was on the wrong side of the road but the motorist did not make sure the path was clear before proceeding out of the service station. I did go to the hospital to get X-rays of my leg and my bike was damaged. Does the motorist's insurance obligated to pay for bike and hospital bill or will my case not stand?

Attorney Answers 3


The driver's insurance company is only on the hook for medical expenses, lost wages, etc.. if their driver was negligent and you were not negligent in any way.

Without investigating your case, its hard to say if you could prevail. I would guess that since the officer found you both at fault, the insurance company is going to deny liability. What that means is that they will not pay you because they didn't think their driver did anything wroing.

If you or your attorney disagree with that assessment, you have the absolute right to file a lawsuit and sue the driver for damages.

I think its worth it for you to go and get a free consultation from an injury lawyer since liability is probably in dispute and their are some injuries.

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Bicycle accidents can be very serious and painful. I hope that you are recovering well. Maryland law (Transportation article, § 21-705) requires that anyone exiting a private driveway, alley, or building, and who has to cross a sidewalk, must stop and yield the right of way. The driver should have stopped, looked both ways, seen you, and yielded. However, Maryland also has a rule that state that if you contribute to your accident by just 1%, you cannot recover at all. Whether you are considered a pedestrian and have a right to use the sidewalk on a bike is generally governed by County Code and you should have an attorney investigation that. In fact, in my opinion, you absolutely need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to assist you, there are too many issues here to try to handle this case yourself.

Also, you may be entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits from the vehicle that struck you. If you do not have a car or if you have a car and have not waived the benefits, and the driver that struck you has PIP, then you can get some or all of your medical bills paid that way, regardless of fault. Also, if the other driver does not have PIP on their vehicle and you have PIP on a car (not your bike), then you may still collect. Please note that you only have one year to file your PIP application or you lose that right forever.

This is complex stuff and requires an attorney. I wish you the very best.
Craig Meyers.

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It is difficult to tell from afar, I usually take a thorough fact intake and review documents and photographs prior to making my own liability call. However, based on the summary posting my summary opinion is 50-50. The car inswurance should pay your medicals, but no pain and suffering.

I truly wish you the best.

This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.

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