When a bicycle and a car crash, the cyclist is always going to come out worse. Each year, over forty thousand people are injured when bicycles and cars collide with each other. In terms of accident rate per mile traveled, serious bike crashes are also more common than serious car accidents. It is the obligation of automobile drivers to keep their eyes open for bike riders so they can avoid hitting them. If you were riding a bike and hit by a negligent car driver, contact the Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyers at Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys for help obtaining the right compensation for your injuries.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents that involve vehicles can often cause catastrophic injuries both physically and mentally. When a bicyclist makes forceful contact with a car and then the ground, it may cause blunt force trauma to many areas of the body. These crashes may also result in bone fractures or breaks, spinal cord injuries, or brain damage. Some of the common injuries associated with severe bicycle accidents include:
- Critical brain and head trauma
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Facial injuries or breaks
- Permanent neurological damage
- Spine injuries or paralysis
- Ruptured discs
- Wrongful death
Catastrophic injuries of all types can lead to large medical bills. Insurance companies frequently attempt to underpay victims of bicycle accidents. If an injured party tries to speak with insurance adjusters by themselves, insurance professionals may try to get a claimant to accept an amount far less than the true value of the claim. The victim of negligence should not have to cover the expenses alone. A Philadelphia attorney could help calculate the damages and file the legal action with the court following a serious bike accident.
Avoiding Deadly Bike Crashes
There are a number of steps bicyclists can take to decrease the likelihood of a crash, or to increase their chances of surviving if they are involved in a bike accident. Some of the steps a cyclist may take include:
- Making sure the bike fits properly. Do not choose a bike that is difficult to control.
- Teaching children to ride their bikes properly and closely supervising them.
- Wearing bright clothing at all times to be easily seen by motorists or adding reflective tape to clothing. Never wear dark clothing while riding at night.
- Wearing a helmet and other protective gear.
- At night, using a front headlight and a rear red light.
- Sharing the road properly. A negligent bike rider is responsible for any injuries he causes. Do not ride on sidewalks. Do not cut off cars, do not run red lights or stop signs. Obey road laws.
- Motorist should watch out for cyclists. Give them plenty of space when passing and watch out when turning to make sure there is not a bike in the lane. The motorist should not use bike lanes except when it is proper to do so for turning purposes and watch out when opening car doors.
- Bikes should also beware of pedestrians. A bike rider who hits a pedestrian can cause serious injuries to both himself and this person.
- Watch out for problems with the road. Potholes and other issues can result in being thrown from the bike. Failure to keep a road safe can result in municipal liability.
State Bicycle Safety Laws
Under 75 Pa.C.S. §3303 or the Four-Feet Rule, a driver must leave no less than four feet between themselves and the bicyclist when they are behind or passing a bike in the same lane. The vehicle driver must also drive past the bike with careful consideration and reduced speed.
Under 75 Pa.C.S. §3705 or the Door Law, individuals are restricted from opening vehicle doors when bicyclists pass them. Drivers must only open their door when, after observing, they know that it is safe to open the door without interfering with the movement and safety of other traffic. It further states that drivers must not leave the door open longer than the time necessary to leave the vehicle and quickly unload items if necessary.
When a bicyclist suffers injury because a negligent driver fails to follow these safety laws, it is essential they contact an experienced attorney in Philadelphia to discuss their options following a bicycle accident.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Philadelphia Today
Every bicycle accident puts a cyclist through pain, suffering and can cause some level of financial loss. Severe bike crashes could lead to permanent catastrophic injuries and disabilities, sometimes even the wrongful death of a loved one.
If someone’s negligence caused your bike wreck, call a Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyer right away to discuss your case. Seasoned representation understands the position you are in and could work with insurance companies on your behalf. Our team could also handle any court proceedings and work for the best possible payout for the damages you suffered. Call right away to get started.