I enjoy music as much as anyone, and there are countless Bluetooth-enabled devices out there that allow us to enjoy our favorite tunes wherever we go. Unfortunately, I see a lot of cyclists riding on the roads and trails with earbuds. I say “unfortunately” because it is incredibly dangerous to the cyclist, as well as other road and sidewalk users, including pedestrians. It is also illegal.
Effective November 16, 2016, the Council of the District of Columbia repealed the long outdated “contributory negligence” doctrine as it applies to pedestrians and cyclists in the District. Incredibly, more than a year later, many auto insurance companies, including their claims adjusters and investigators, are not aware of this momentous change, unless and until they are informed of it on a case-by-case basis.
As participation in cycling has increased in DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland over the past several years, so, unfortunately, have traffic accidents involving cyclists. Enter Bruce Deming, The Bike Lawyer. While Deming did not begin his law career as a personal injury attorney, he is now known in the DC cycling community as the attorney to call if you've been injured while riding a bicycle.
If you ride in the District of Columbia, listen up. For years, insurance companies have been using the harsh and outdated "contributory negligence doctrine" to deny claims to injured cyclists in DC. Forty-six states have abandoned this harsh, outdated doctrine, but it is still the law in DC. With your support, that can change.