Bicycles are a common mode of transportation in Philadelphia and all over the state. For people in urban areas who do not want to get stuck in traffic but are looking for a faster means of traveling than walking, bicycling is an appealing option. Unfortunately, as with all modes of transportation, accidents can and do happen. Many bicycle accidents result in serious, if not permanent, injuries and consequences.
If you’ve been in a wreck, our Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyers are here for you. Understanding your rights and attempting to seek compensation while recovering from serious injuries can be difficult. We’ll work to handle the complex paperwork and difficult conversations for you. We’ll hold the negligent party that caused your accident accountable for their actions. With the help of our lawyers, you’ll be able to present a strong case that proves the other party wronged you.
Common Types of Bicycle Crashes
The majority of bicycle accidents happen when a rider loses control of their bike and ends up on the sidewalk or pavement. When an accident involves a motor vehicle, however, the consequences are likely to be much more serious. The following are the most common types of bicycle crashes:
- Dooring Accidents. Dooring incidents are incredibly common in the city because of the amount of traffic and the number of cars that park on the side of the street. If a driver or passenger opens their door without looking behind them, an unsuspecting bicyclist could run into the car door. In many cases, the rider ends up going over the door and winds up on the pavement.
- Crashes at Stop Signs and Traffic Lights. Bicyclists, like motorists, are required to obey traffic signs. They have the same right-of-way rights, as well. Negligent drivers do not always abide by stop signs and traffic lights. If a driver runs through a light or ignores a stop sign, they risk striking a bicycle and seriously injuring the rider.
- Vehicle Overtaking Cyclist. When a bicyclist is legally riding in a roadway and is hit from behind, this is considered an overtaking accident. Fatalities are not uncommon. Many of these accidents occur at night and happen because the driver was unable to see the cyclist or did not see them until it was too late. Drunk or impaired drivers are often involved in these situations.
- Bicyclist Turning. Left and right turns pose equal dangers for bicyclists. When a vehicle is turning left, they’re less likely to see a person on a bicycle. When a driver turns right, it’s possible a bicycle could be in their blind spot.
- Exiting from a Private Driveway. These crashes are most likely to occur in residential areas in the early morning and at night, when a bicyclist is entering the roadway from a private driveway, alley, side street, or sidewalk.
Whether you find yourself in one of the situations above or were in a different type of accident, our Philadelphia bike accident lawyers will investigate your case and determine what happened.
How Are Bicycle Wrecks Investigated?
When driver in a motor vehicle injures a cyclist, a thorough investigation needs to take place to determine what happened, why it happened, and whether the incident could have been prevented. If the accident happens in the city, it’s possible that a trained bike patrol officer could provide an informed perspective on the factors related to the event.
The first thing to look at is the position of the vehicles prior to the wreck. Depending on where the car was when it hit the bicycle can be a big indicator as to whether they were breaking any laws. Determining how fast they were traveling is also important.
Both the bicycle and motor vehicle need to be examined for damages. The bicycle will undoubtedly be more damaged than the car, so noting where the damage is on the vehicle can help show how the accident happened. Investigators will also make note of the road surface and the weather conditions, as both can contribute to crashes, especially if there are potholes in the road or it was raining when the collision occurred.
After the scene is properly documented, the bicyclist’s injuries can be taken into consideration. Depending on where the injuries are can also be telling as to why and how the incident happened.
It’s likely the police and insurance company will conduct separate investigations. Your lawyer can start one of their own and ensure nothing is missed and all crucial evidence is made known.
Seeking Compensation for Your Losses
As with any accident, the victim will have to deal with medical bills, lost wages, property damage costs, pain and suffering, and more. With a bicycle accident in Philadelphia, however, the victim’s injuries may be catastrophic. This implies the person will no longer be able to be gainfully employed. When injuries completely upend a person’s way of life, the financial losses are only the beginning. Our lawyers are here for you.
If it’s determined the driver is responsible for your accident, auto insurance typically covers the bills in Pennsylvania. Insurance companies, however, often try to offer accident victims the lowest possible settlement in order to maintain or improve their bottom line. Our lawyers will work for you to ensure you receive a full and fair settlement that helps you recover as completely as possible.
Bicycle riders aren’t always given the respect they deserve on the road, by insurance companies, or in the courtroom. In many situations, the driver will claim that you were the one at fault for the accident; however, our lawyers recognize that accidents aren’t cut and dried. Drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and share the road with all modes of transportation.
Our lawyers have years of experience representing personal injury victims. If you’re looking for a way to hold the driver accountable, recover from your accident, and gain peace of mind, contact our Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyers today. We’ll evaluate your claim for free and help you determine how best to proceed.