Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you’re like most cyclists, you take a great deal of pride in adopting a sustainable, healthy way of getting from point A to point B. Bicycle accident occurrences are much too common in PA, and if you are involved in one it’s important to know your rights. Cyclists are afforded special protections under Pennsylvania law. If you’ve been injured or suffered financial losses because of a driver’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation, either by filing an insurance claim or suing for damages.
Too often, cyclists live with the consequences of an accident simply because they are unaware of their options. To discuss your case with a local attorney, contact the law firm of McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C. today.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO FOLLOWING AN ACCIDENT
The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a bike accident are important for recovering your losses in the future. First of all, make sure you receive proper medical attention — your health should be your number one priority. If you can, get as much information as possible at the scene.
Ask for the insurance information for any drivers involved as well as the names and contact info of anyone who saw the accident and can support your version of events.
Sharing a busy street with cars, trucks and buses can be a daunting experience for any cyclist. While many drivers don’t fully understand their responsibilities, Pennsylvania law includes several stipulations intended to make the road safer for cyclists.
For example, a statute mandates that drivers provide at least four feet of space when passing a cyclist. While clipping accidents are still common, because of the law it is now easier for bike riders to hold a driver liable for damages.
Other typical bike accidents our lawyers handle include failure to yield at an intersection and “dooring” — when a driver fails to check for cyclists before exiting the vehicle. To discuss the specifics of your case with a bike accident lawyer and determine your options for moving forward, contact McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C. directly.
BIKE ACCIDENTS AND INSURANCE
Understanding an insurance company’s role following an accident can be tricky. If you own a car, you are covered by your own insurer, even when you’re on your bike. You may also be able to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
All auto insurance policies include a minimum of $5,000 coverage — a figure that barely covers the replacement cost for some of today’s high-end bikes, let alone the medical expenses involved in a lengthy recovery. If the amount of damages you’re seeking exceeds the coverage level, you have options.
If you have suffered injuries, you may be contacted by an insurance adjuster shortly afterward. This adjuster will likely try to get you to accept a settlement offer, and that offer will very likely not come close to covering all the expenses you have incurred. These include medical bills, lost wages and much more.
Never speak to any insurance company representative on your own. If you accept an unfair offer, you could be dealing with the consequences for the rest of your life.
COMMON CAUSES OF BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
There are several common causes of bicycle accidents, and they happen far too often. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 700 cyclists were killed in accidents in 2012 alone, and nearly 50,000 others were injured.
One of the most common reasons for these accidents is lack of attention on the part of a driver. There are a lot of distractions, such as talking or texting on a phone, changing a radio station or looking at passengers. If you were hurt in an accident due to a distracted driver, you need to speak with an attorney to have the best possible chance of obtaining bicycle accident compensation.
Excessive speed is another common cause of bicycle accidents, as is driving too close to a bicyclist. If you’re on a bike you should never assume surrounding drivers will obey the law.
COMMON BICYCLE INJURIES
Bicycle accidents involving a car can lead to devastating injuries — or worse. There are several factors that go into determining the kinds of injuries that occur, such as the type of impact, whether or not the bicyclist was wearing a helmet, the speed at which the collision occurred and more.
Head injuries are common in bicycle accidents, ranging from relatively minor concussions to debilitating injuries that can last a lifetime. A traumatic brain injury is particularly tragic because it can lead to impairment of different bodily functions, memory loss and much more. Spinal cord injuries also commonly result from bicycle accidents when a cyclist lands on their head, neck, or back. These kinds of injuries can result not only in fractured vertebrae, but they can also result in permanent paralysis.
Broken bones and facial injuries also typically result. Common facial injuries include chipped or broken teeth, eye damage, extreme scarring and more.
Not only do cyclists often suffer broken jaws and noses, but they also suffer broken arms, legs, ankles, wrists and more. When this type of injury happens, it can result in the need for lengthy rehabilitation. In some instances, bones don’t heal properly and people have to deal with long-term disabilities as a result.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, or the loved one of someone hospitalized because of an accident, our attorneys are here to help fight for you. We will work with you to negotiate a settlement with all involved parties that provides the financial compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, property damages, or anything else that is a result of the accident.
Consultations are always free. Give us a call or contact us online to speak with an attorney.