With more and more bicyclists enjoying the streets of Massachusetts, it is necessary for motorists to be aware of the unique traffic laws that come into play when a bicyclist is around. For instance, if you are driving an automobile and pass a bicyclist that is riding in the same direction as you, it is illegal for you to turn right at an intersection unless you are at a far enough distance from the bicyclist to do so without him or her running into you. In this instance, if the bicyclist crashes into the vehicle making the turn, it is known as a right-hook crash and the motorist may be held responsible.

This seems to be the type of car accident that occurred recently in Charlestown and resulted in the death of a 30-year-old bicyclist. The 41-year-old man who ran into the bicyclist was driving a garbage truck and said that he did not see the cyclist. He left the scene of the crash because he thought he had just hit a pothole.

The man was charged with a felony for leaving the scene of a crash causing death. He faces up to 10 years behind bars and a $5,000 fine if he is convicted.

Although it appears the man is being held responsible for the accident in a criminal court, the family of the bicyclist killed in this accident may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney about filing a civil lawsuit. This may enable them to receive proper compensation for the death of their loved one.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Bike activists push for harsher penalties after cyclist’s death,” Martine Powers, Apr. 4, 2014

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