A retired New Jersey police officer died earlier this month, two days after sustaining critical injuries in a bicycle accident. Former Lieutenant Joseph Franklin, called an “avid cyclist” by many who knew him, was injured on the first day of the Police Unity Tour, a 320 mile bike ride from Morristown to Washington, D.C. According to witnesses, the accident involved a number of bicycles, but no motor vehicles. Police are still unclear exactly what caused the crash. The annual ride, started in 1997, brings attention to the numbers of officers nationwide who are killed in the line of duty.
According to statistics, it’s extremely rare that a bicyclist will be injured, no less killed, in an accident where no motor vehicle was involved. Most estimates indicate that less than 5% of all bicycle accidents occur without the involvement of a car or truck, and typically fall into two categories: accidents caused by defects in the bicycle or its parts, and accidents caused by roadway hazards, such as gravel, potholes or water on the road.
The most common causes of bicycle accidents, in order of prevalence, are:
- Motor vehicle operators turn right into the path of a cyclist (many cyclists, knowing the propensity of drivers to do this, will cross an intersection in the middle, or to the left, of cars going the same direction)
- Drivers turn left into the path of an oncoming cyclist
- A driver rear-ends a cyclist
- One of the parties (the cyclist or the motor vehicle operator) fails to stop at a traffic light or sign
- Someone opens a car door into the path of a cyclist
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when you have been hurt in a bicycle accident, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.