Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Attorney
Because of little to no protection, bicyclists face a high risk of injury or death if involved in an accident. Although bicycles in Philadelphia are granted the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, preventable bicycle accidents still occur.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages suffered. Discuss your case with a skilled and highly experienced attorney at Rosenbaum & Associates. We offer free consultations; call (215) 569-0200 or contact us online today.
Why Choose Our Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Attorney?
- We have more than 25 years of experience fighting for injury victims in Pennsylvania.
- We can provide the personal care and attention needed to obtain a favorable outcome for your bicycle accident claim.
- We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Why You Need a Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicyclists typically face unique challenges and an uphill battle when filing a third-party insurance claim in Philadelphia. In general, motorists are more often at fault for causing bicycle accidents, but that won’t stop an at-fault party’s insurer from putting the blame on a bicyclist.
Claiming that you are at fault can ultimately devalue your claim if you accept responsibility. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will protect you in this situation by having investigated and collected evidence that proves the motorist’s liability. They will ensure you recover the compensation you deserve. If the insurance company is unwilling to settle for a fair amount, your Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyer will represent you in court.
Who Is Liable for a Bike Accident in Philadelphia?
Any party considered negligent or careless in causing a bicycle accident can be liable for resulting damages. Motorists are typically held to a higher duty of care, but there are times when both the driver and the bicyclist share responsibility.
If that is the case, Pennsylvania’s rule of modified comparative negligence will come into play. Under this law, each party can recover compensation, but it will be reduced by their percentage of liability, as long as it is less than 50 percent.
If you are found 51 percent at fault, you won’t receive any compensation. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 40 percent at fault, you will recover 60 percent or $60,000. However, if you are assigned 51 percent of the blame, you will not receive an award. Because of this law, it is imperative to hire an attorney who can ensure liability falls on the appropriate party.
Common Injuries that Result From Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists are highly vulnerable to severe and life-changing injuries in an accident. Injury claims are commonly filed for:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Abrasions (“road rash”)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Wrongful death
Every one of these injuries and others can cause extensive medical bills, considerable lost income, and possibly require long-term care.
Types of Damages Available in a Bicycle Accident Claim
If the negligence of others caused your bicycle accident, you might have a claim for damages against the parties responsible. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to seek compensation for:
Any bills related to your medical care, including emergency visits, surgeries, hospitalizations, physical therapy, rehabilitation, in-home care, prescription medications, etc. Costs for future medical care can also be included. Your attorney may hire a forensic accountant or medical expert to calculate the costs of future care, as well as explain the nature and extent of your injuries and any permanent repercussions.
Any current and future lost income from being unable to work while you recover. To come up with this figure may also require a forensic accountant, as well as gathering your pay stubs or tax records to explain how much compensation you were expected to make.
Diminished Earning Capacity
The difference in the income you can make now compared to what you could have earned before the bicycle accident.
Pain and Suffering
Compensation for the physical pain and discomfort caused by your accident injuries.
Compensation for any psychological conditions caused by the accident, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, etc. Proof of the impact on your life as well as intensive counseling are often required to recover this type of damages.
Only awarded in cases where a defendant’s actions were extremely reckless.
Bicycle Laws in Philadelphia
The same traffic laws that motorists must follow in Philadelphia apply to bicyclists, which means they must stop for traffic lights, stop signs, yield signs, and crosswalks. Pennsylvania also has several laws specific to bicycles.
- Children under the age of 12 must wear helmets.
- Bikes must be equipped with bells, as well as a front lamp, rear reflectors, and side reflectors visible from at least 500 feet during the time between sunset and sunrise.
- Bikes must have working brakes that stop a bike within 15 feet from a speed of 15 mph.
- Bicyclists should remain in the right lane of a multi-lane road or on the shoulder, going in the same direction as the flow of traffic. Unless they are overtaking another vehicle, turning left, or there is a hazard in the right lane.
- Children and adults over the age of 14 cannot ride bicycles on sidewalks in business districts or when there is a bicycle-only lane available.
- Bicycles are not permitted on freeways.
- Bicyclists (and motorists) are prohibited from wearing headphones
- Bicyclists may ride two abreast in a bicycle lane.
Motorists owe others on the road, including bicyclists, a duty to use reasonable care and avoid accidents. Drivers are also required by law to give at least four feet of distance when passing a bicycle and must check for oncoming bicyclists before opening a door.