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Crash Between Bicycle and Police Cruiser Leaves Two People Hospitalized

Authorities report that a Boston squad car recently collided with a bicycle near the intersection of Merrimac and New Chardon. The accident occurred just a few days after Boston mayoral candidates discussed ways to make the streets safer for bicyclists.

Reports state that both the police officer and the 63-year-old rider were taken to a local hospital for the injuries they sustained. Police speculate that the squad car sideswiped the bicyclist, but the cause is still under investigation.

Bicycle Crashes

According to government statistics, 677 bicyclists died in motor vehicle collisions in 2011. Drivers are faulted in less than half of these collisions. Bicyclists are sometimes defined as pedestrians in Massachusetts insurance policies, making liability even more unclear.

While liability may be an issue in such cases, the injuries sustained by the exposed cyclist are often quite serious and may require months of rehabilitative care following release from the hospital.

Official Immunity

Whenever a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, firefighter or other similar first responder causes an accident, there are always special rules regarding liability.

  • If the first responders’ vehicle was in emergency mode – sirens wailing and lights flashing – a plaintiff generally must prove that the driver demonstrated a reckless disregard for the safety of other motorists, because to do otherwise may limit the ability of first responders to do their jobs quickly.
  • If the first responders’ vehicle was in non-emergency mode, an injured party need only prove that the driver was negligent, because all ordinary drivers need to follow the same rules.

To examine all the legal issues involved in your accident case, call my law firm for a free case evaluation from a personal injury lawyer.

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