Philadelphia ranks high on several lists for bike-friendly cities across America. Here, many residents ride their bicycles to work or for recreation along many of the well-maintained bike paths. According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia the five most popular bike lanes see an average of 167 cyclists per hour. With so many bicyclists on the roadways every day, accidents do happen.
In 2015, the state department of transportation received reports of 1,282 accidents involving bicycles. Sixteen people lost their lives in bicycle accidents during the same year (most recent data available). At Anapol Weiss, we represent those injured in all bicycle-related accidents. Our attorneys specialize in all types of traffic accidents. We understand the state and local laws that govern responsible transportation and fight relentlessly for our clients’ rights to compensation.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents most commonly happen during turns and areas of high traffic. Over the years, our attorneys have noticed some patterns in the types of bicycle accidents that take place in Philadelphia, PA and surrounding areas. Some of the most common types of bicycle accidents include:
- Accidents at intersections – Navigating an intersection with cars, people, and bicycles can get confusing. These incidents commonly occur when passenger vehicle drivers misjudge distance or do not see bicyclists traveling through the intersection. Left-hand turns in particular can easily contribute to injurious accidents.
- “Dooring” accidents – When riding along roadways with parallel parked cars, bicyclists may fall victim to dooring accidents. These incidents occur when drivers open their car doors without looking behind them for oncoming cyclists. Some bicyclists traveling at relatively high speeds cannot stop to avoid a collision with an opening car door. The vehicle occupant typically faces liability in these incidents.
- Cutoff accidents – These incidents happen because of passenger vehicle driver carelessness or malicious intent. While sharing the road with bicyclists frustrates some drivers, it should never lead to acts of road rage. Forcing a bicycle off the road accidentally or intentionally can cause the cyclist serious and unavoidable injuries.
- Rider error – While many accidents involve negligent motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists may bear liability in accident cases. Distracted riding, drunk riding, and failure to follow the rules of the road can all contribute to bicycle liability in an accident case.
In every bicycle accident case, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was acting negligently or maliciously and that those actions proximally caused the incident. Any evidence of a plaintiff’s own negligence could limit damages awarded during a claim. Video recordings, witness accounts, and the road conditions may all help an injured individual prove liability after an incident involving a motorized vehicle.
Injuries and Bicycle Accidents
Bicycles offer their riders little protection on the roadways. Pennsylvania does not require bicyclists over 12 years of age to wear a helmet. However, failing to wear one will increase the risk of injury during any accident and may limit the amount of compensation awarded to bicyclists during personal injury claims.
In incidents involving other bicycles, pedestrians, or motorized vehicles, a bicyclist may suffer from road rash, fractures, or a traumatic brain injury. Serious accidents may prevent a rider from ever bicycling again. After a devastating bicycle accident, filing a personal injury claim may provide a valuable source of financial support to help with medical expenses, lost income, and more.
Speak With Our Philadelphia Bicycle Injury Lawyer
After a bicycle accident, you may wonder about your rights and responsibilities. At Anapol Weiss, we have represented clients injured in bicycle accidents since 1977. Our attorneys are committed to excellence in client services and support. Count on us to offer guidance for insurance claims and throughout any lawsuits. We want to help you find closure and restitution while making our community a safer place to bike every year.
For more information about our approach to bicycle accident cases, contact our Philadelphia, PA office today.