Philadelphia, PA Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The Philadelphia region is popular with bicyclists but experiences a growing number of accidents
Bicycling is becoming more popular in the Philadelphia region. Learn more about bicycling in the area from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia site.
Despite safety improvements, bicycle accidents are common in Philadelphia
According to Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, in 2012, 726 lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes nationally, just under two people every day of the year in the U.S. The death rate from bicycle crashes is high due to the relative lack of protection bicyclists have in an impact with a motor vehicle.
Bicycling laws in Pennsylvania
Bicycle traffic-safety laws are designed to allow bicyclists to share the road safely with motor vehicles in an increasingly crowded space.
According to the State of Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles:
A new bicycle law which took effect April 2, 2012, requires motorists to leave a 4-foot "cushion of safety" when passing a bicyclist. To achieve this cushion, drivers may cross a roadway's center line when passing a bicycle on the left, but only when opposing traffic allows. Drivers attempting to turn left must also yield the right of way to bicycle riders traveling in the opposite direction. The new law also calls for bicycle riders to use all reasonable efforts to avoid impeding the normal flow of traffic. When there is only one travel lane, bicyclists may use any portion of the lane to avoid hazards on the roadway, including maintaining a safe distance from stopped and parked cars. As always, bicyclists and motorists should obey all traffic signs and signals. PennDOT also recommends bicyclists always ride predictably and signal their intentions before proceeding so that motorists have a chance to react.
Get information on car crashes from the Philadelphia Police Department
This department is a good resource to get information after a bicycle crash.
Pennsylvania's Department of Motor Vehicles provides information on traffic laws and licensing and insurance requirements.
Philadelphia bicycle crashes have common causes and deadly outcomes
While helmets and proper reflective gear make bicycling safer, riding a bicycle is riskier than driving a car. Maintaining control is more difficult on two wheels, and when collisions happen, bicyclists are at greater risk of serious injury or death because they don't have an enclosed vehicle for protection.
Common causes of bicycle crashes include:
- Motorist turning across path of cyclist;
- Cyclist riding into the path of a motor vehicle;
- Cyclist turning right from a major road and from a minor road;
- Child cyclist playing or riding too fast.
When someone is injured in a Philadelphia bicycle accident, what needs to happen next?
In an injury bike crash, it is crucial to get appropriate medical treatment, regardless of the financial cost. The major hospitals in the area include:
As soon as possible, an injured person should contact their insurance company to find out how medical treatment is covered under their insurance policy. Since insurance policies often have unique provisions to deal with bicycle-accident injuries, it is important to review the policy and speak with the insurance adjuster to get clarification on coverage.
When a bicycle collision is serious or fatal, it is important to find a Philadelphia bike accident attorney
When a bicycle accident, caused by the negligence of a motorist, results in serious injury or death, the next step is to find an experienced Philadelphia injury attorney to start the financial recovery process by launching an insurance claim. Major injury or wrongful death claims are complicated and can be hard to manage without legal help. Since most personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency basis, meaning that there are no up-front costs and all fees are paid when the claim is settled, there is no downside to speaking with an injury attorney right away, to get help for an injured bicyclist.
Bicycle Accident Reports and News from the Philadelphia, PA Area
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