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Can The Cyclist Hit on Bourne Bridge Recover Damages?

On Monday morning, a bicyclist crossing the Bourne Bridge northbound was run over by a tractor-trailer, according to the Boston Herald. State Police reported that the 56-year-old man lost control of his bike and fell into the path of the oncoming truck, according to the Boston Globe.

The accident closed the bridge for an hour as rescuers carefully removed the man from underneath the wheels of the truck cab, reports the Globe.

A Bourne police officer was on the scene and witnessed the accident, describing the bicyclist as appearing "out of control," writes the Globe. Before the cyclist was caught under the truck, the officer saw it slam on its brakes and cut its wheels to the left after seeing the cyclist lose control, the Globe continued.

The police are placing apparent fault with the cyclist as he was violating the bridge rules, which require a bicyclist to walk their bike over the bridge.

In accident cases like this, a person can recover money for their injuries under the theory of negligence. A negligence claim requires that a person owe a legal duty of care to the victim. All people owe a duty to everyone else to act as a reasonable person in all situations.

Here, the cyclist would have a difficult time recovering anything from the truck driver or the driver's company because of the facts reported by the police.

Massachusetts is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that if a person suing for negligence is also at fault for an accident, that any money award will be lowered by the percentage of their fault. If the person suing was more than 50% at fault, then they will recover nothing.

It actually seems more likely that if there was damage to the truck that the driver would have a case against the cyclist. Since the initial findings indicate that the cyclist may have been at least partially at fault, it is possible that if there was damage to the truck that it was caused by the breach of a public safety law.

All in all, the cyclist hit on Bourne Bridge is lucky to be alive. Hopefully, his luck will keep the truck company from suing him.

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