Bicycle accidents often result in serious head injuries, spinal cord injuries, blunt force trauma, or even death. In many cases, these accidents are caused by distracted, reckless, negligent, or intoxicated motor vehicle drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident in Philadelphia, it is vital that you understand how the accident took place and whether you may deserve compensation for your losses.
How are bike accidents claims different from other traffic accident claims?
Bike accidents often result in more catastrophic injuries than other types of traffic accidents simply because cyclists aren’t protected from the road by the steel frame of a car or truck. In addition, many people are not as familiar with bicycle traffic laws. For these reasons, it is important to speak with a PA injury attorney who has experience with bike accident cases and bicycle traffic laws.
Do cyclists always have the right of way? Are cyclists ever at fault for a bike accident?
Although pedestrians have the right of way over vehicles when they are legally using the roadway and crosswalks, bicycles are considered vehicles just like cars, trucks, and motorcycles. As vehicles using the roadway, they are expected to follow the same rules of the road. Bicyclists are not given special rights over motorized vehicles and they can certainly be found at fault for a traffic accident.
How do bike accidents happen in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania?
Unfortunately, motor vehicles often have difficulty sharing the road with cyclists. All too often, this results in accidents and serious injuries. While the cyclist is sometimes at fault for bike-car collisions, the most common types of bike accidents include:
- A car veers into a cyclist who is traveling on the side of the road or in a bike lane.
- A car turns left in front of a cyclist with the right of way.
- A car backs into a cyclist while leaving a driveway or parking space.
- A motorist opens a car door as a cyclist is passing.
- A motorist rear-ends a cyclist.
- A motorist does not see a cyclist in his or her blind spot.
- A motorist does not see a cyclist at night or in poor weather.
Who is at fault for my Pennsylvania bike accident?
The actual cause of your bike accident may not be clear at the time of the crash and injury. While either the cyclist or the driver of the motorized vehicle may be at fault, a number of other factors must be taken into account, such as the road conditions, the design of the road, and possibly even defective vehicle parts. An experienced PA bike accident lawyer can help you analyze the evidence in your case and determine who was ultimately responsible for your injuries.
How much is my Pennsylvania bicycle accident claim worth?
The amount of compensation that you may collect after a bike accident depends on a large number of factors related to your crash. For example, your settlement may depend upon:
- The extent of your injuries.
- The amount of your medical bills.
- The amount of trauma you experienced.
- The amount of time you missed from work.
- Whether your future career was affected.
- Whether you shared fault for the accident.
- Whether the driver who caused the accident was acting recklessly.
- The amount of evidence supporting your case.
Will having no-fault insurance benefits affect my Pennsylvania bike accident claim?
Many people in Pennsylvania have automobile no-fault insurance coverage, which allows personal injury victims to collect money for medical expenses from their own insurance policy, regardless of who caused the traffic accident, and even if their vehicle is not in the accident. So when a bicyclist is struck by a car, it is considered a motor vehicle accident that will be covered by your automobile policy. If you suffered a very serious injury, you may also pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party or parties involved in the accident.
More Bike Accident Questions? Speak to Personal Injury Attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq.
Every bike accident case is different. To get questions answered about your individual accident and injury, I invite you to call my law offices today. I offer free, private case evaluations to Pennsylvania bicycle accident victims and their families. Schedule our meeting today by calling 1-800InjuryLaw (800-465-8795). I am available to speak 24 hours a day, seven days a week.