Injured in a Bicycle Accident in PA? Munley Law Can Help
Even with proper safety equipment, a bicyclist is no match for a motor vehicle. If you have been hit by a car, bus, or truck while riding a bike, chances are you received serious injuries that can take years to heal from. You may not be able to work ever again and are facing substantial medical bills. You will need the help of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer to recover your losses.
$32 Million Wrongful Death
$26 Million Truck Accident
$17.5 Million Car Accident
$12 Million Product liability
$8 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident/Wrongful Death
$7.5 Million Auto Accident
$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Crash
$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
$5 Million Medical Malpractice
$5 Million Bus Accident
$4.7 Million Truck Accident
The bicycle accident lawyers at Munley Law have spent more than 60 years representing victims of serious bicycle crashes. Our board-certified civil trial advocates have been named among the Best Lawyers in America, and have earned the top peer and client ratings from Martindale-Hubbell, Super Lawyers, and other prestigious legal publications. Ultimately, our results speak for themselves. At Munley Law, we fight for vulnerable victims and their families. In order to give everyone equal access to the justice they deserve, we never charge a fee unless we win your case. Our initial consultation is free, so fill out our email form or call today.
Who Pays for My Medical Expenses After a Bicycle Accident?
Let’s say you were riding your bike when you are hit by a car. You were severely injured and needed medical treatment. You are now facing a pretty large medical debt. Who is responsible for paying the medical bills?
Since Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, your first option is to file a claim with your car insurance. It will cover any medical expenses you have following an auto accident through your personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage. You also have the option to sue the at-fault party for the bicycle accident.
It’s important to note that Pennsylvania law states if you have limited tort on your car insurance, you are eligible to sue for pain and suffering since bicycle accidents are not covered by the limited tort ruling.
If you don’t have car insurance and were injured in a bicycle accident, give our bicycle accident attorney a call to learn more about your legal options.
What Compensation is Available for Bicycle Accident Cases?
Injured bike riders may be concerned about paying their bills after an accident with a negligent driver. If you get into a bike accident with a motor vehicle, you may receive the following compensation:
- Past or future medical expenses, such as doctor visits, lab results, surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and medical equipment
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment in daily activities
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
If your loved one had died in the accident, you may also be eligible for funeral expenses and lost earnings and benefits of the deceased.
To find out what compensation is available for your bike crash, it’s important to speak with bike attorneys who have the experience and knowledge needed to get you the compensation needed to pay your bills and ease your suffering. You will need Munley Law.
Determining Liability in a Bicycle Accident
In many bicycle accidents, the responsibility of the accident will lie with a negligent driver. But there are some cases other parties could be held accountable. For example, if a defective part caused you to crash the bicycle into a parked car, the designer and/or manufacturer of the bicycle could be held responsible for the injured bicyclist.
In order to have a successful bicycle accident lawsuit, you will need to show how the responsible party is at fault for the bike crash. First, your bicycle accident lawyer will have to show that the at-fault party had a responsibility to keep the injured cyclist from harm. All drivers are required to follow the rules of the road and keep everyone safe. This is considered duty of care, a legal obligation to adhere to a standard of care when performing an act that could harm others.
Next, your attorney will need to prove that the at-fault party was negligent in their duty of care. For example, let’s say the driver had been answering a text while driving. Since they were paying attention to their phone screen instead of the road, the driver missed the bicyclist on the side of the road. The car began to sway to the right, sideswiping the bike rider. This is considered a breach of duty of care — the driver was negligent in keeping others on the road from harm.
Because the driver was negligent in the duty of care, the bike rider suffered a catastrophic injury. The injury now requires many medical treatments and has seriously changed the bike rider’s life. Since the cyclist had experienced unexpected expenses due to the bicycle crash, they can file a suit against the responsible party.
How Can a Bicycle Accident Attorney Help With My Claim?
Getting into an auto accident can be a confusing process, especially if you’ve never been involved in one before. If you are an injured bicyclist, you may be questioning what your next steps should be. Do you need a bicycle accident attorney for your claim?
The answer is whenever you get into an accident with a negligent driver, you should always speak with an experienced bike accident attorney to find out what your legal options are and to protect your rights following a bicycle accident.
Our bicycle accident attorneys can help you with your bicycle accident lawsuit in the following ways:
- Gather the evidence you need to protect your claim. This includes interviewing witnesses, gathering photos and video footage of the accident scene, reviewing the police report, and hiring experts to examine the medical records and recreate the accident scene.
- Estimate how much your bicycle accident claim is worth. Our experienced bicycle accident attorneys will be able to give a rough estimate of how much your bike crash claim is worth.
- Negotiate with the insurance companies. The insurance company is not your friend. It will try all it can not to pay the true value of your claim. What you will need is someone to negotiate with the insurance companies so you can receive fair compensation for your injuries.
- Represent you in court. Negotiations break down all the time time. And when this happens, your bicycle accident case will head to the courtroom. You need an aggressive team of bike crash attorneys to stand for your interests and fight the insurance companies.
What Are the Common Types of Bicycle Accidents?
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, bicycle accidents represented 0.8% of the total reported traffic accidents and 1.9% of traffic fatalities in 2020, an increase from 2019’s numbers. But don’t be fooled by these percentages — this still accounts for 799 bicyclist injuries and 22 fatalities in 2020. The majority of bike accidents occurred during daylight hours and at intersections.
The most common types of bicycle accidents include:
Left-cross bicycle crashes occur at intersections. The bicyclist will approach the intersection at the same time a driver enters on the other side. When the driver attempts to make a left-hand turn, they will either cross right in front of the bicyclist, causing them to run into the car, or the driver will hit the cyclist head-on and cause serious injury to the bicycle rider.
Much like a left-cross accident, a right-hook accident occurs when the driver turns right. They may not see the bicyclist riding in the same direction as them and will hit the bicyclist. This often happens when the driver tries to pass the cyclist and then turns right in front of the bike rider.
Opened Car Door in Bicyclist’s Path
If a bicyclist is riding on the side of the road parallel to a line of parked cars or is riding in the bicycle lane, they may be in danger of getting hit by a car door suddenly opening. The car occupant may not see the cyclist or take the time to check if a bicycle is coming. As a result, the cyclist may not be able to stop in time when the door opens and can be thrown over the open door.
A driver may misjudge the amount of space between their vehicle and that of the cyclist who is riding to their right. The driver may try to get closer to the line or have to avoid something on the left, resulting in sideswiping the bicyclist.
All these causes have the same root problem – the driver’s negligence. Whether the driver was distracted at the time of the accident or unaware of the rules of the road, injured cyclists will need a bicycle lawyer to help them with their claim.
What Should You Do After a Bike Accident?
The steps you take after a bike accident can be essential to your case. If you get into a bike accident, keep these tips in mind:
- Contact emergency services right away. Not only is it important to call for the police but you may be facing catastrophic injuries and will need to be seen by medical professionals right away.
- Don’t leave the accident scene until you speak with the police. Leaving the scene of an accident without speaking with the police is not only illegal, but it will hurt when you file an insurance claim after the accident.
- While waiting for emergency services to arrive, if you are able to, try to get as much evidence as you can. Obtain contact information from the driver and any witnesses nearby. You will also want to take photos and videos of the scene, your bike, the other vehicle (if possible), and any injuries you sustained.
- When emergency services arrive, give a brief statement to the police. Stick with the facts, don’t give an opinion of what happened at the accident. And don’t admit fault.
- Seek medical treatment, even if you don’t think you’re injured. In many cases, bicycle injuries may not appear until hours or days after the crash.
- Contact your car insurance company to start the claim process. Don’t try to negotiate with the driver or their insurance company on your own. Some drivers may accept the blame only to recant later to the insurance company so it’s best not to speak with the other party.
- Keep a journal of all medical visits, lost time at work, and any expenses that may arise following the bicycle accident. You should also track any expenses you have.
- Contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer from Munley Law to learn what your legal options may be.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bicycle Accidents
Q: What Are the Bike Laws in Pennsylvania?
A: According to Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, every cyclist that rides on the roadway is subjected to the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of a motor vehicle. Some important bike laws to keep in mind are as follows:
- Helmet Use: Children under the age of 12 are required to wear helmets when riding a bike. Bicyclists over the age of 12 are encouraged to wear helmets but are not required.
- Highways and Roads: Bicyclists are permitted to ride on the shoulder of a highway or in the right lane of a multi-lane roadway. They are not allowed on the freeways or divided highways without permission.
- Right of Way: Cyclists must follow the same right of way rules as motorists. This means they must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, sidewalks, and bike paths.
- Hand and Arm Signals: Bike riders should use hand and arm signals when making a turn or decreasing their speed.
- Passengers: Pennsylvania law states a bike rider cannot have a passenger on their handlebars. You can only have the number of people the bike is equipped for unless you are riding with a child in a carrier or trailer that is being towed by the bike.
Q: What are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
A: There are many reasons bike accidents occur in Pennsylvania. But the top five causes of bicycle accidents are:
- Distracted driving – one of the leading causes of car accidents, distracted drivers are more likely paying attention to something other than the bicyclist riding beside their car.
- Speeding – Speeding can significantly decrease a driver’s stopping time. So if a cyclist is going through an intersection and cuts in front of a driver, depending on the speed, it can be difficult to avoid a collision.
- Alcohol Use – One of the top causes of a bicycle accident in Pennsylvania is driving while under the influence. Alcohol and drug impairment can significantly reduce the driver’s ability to make decisions.
- Unsafe Lane Changes – When a driver tries to merge into a cyclist’s lane without first looking can result in an accident with serious injuries.
- Failure to Yield – One of the most common causes of bicycle accidents, drivers are unaware that bicyclists usually have the right of way on the roads. Instead of yielding, the driver will try to maneuver around the bicyclist, which can result in an accident
Q: I Lost a Loved One in a Bike Accident. Can I Sue?
A: Losing a loved one in a needless accident can put a strain on the family. Not only are they morning the loss of a loved one but they may be confused about what happens next.
If you lost a loved one in a bike accident, the family has the opportunity to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver. Not only will the compensation your family receives help with the unexpected costs but it will help secure your family’s future.
If you lost a loved one in a bicycling accident, contact our wrongful death attorneys immediately.
Q: What Are the Most Common Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries?
A: A bicycle accident case usually involves serious injuries to the bicyclist. Much like a motorcycle accident, a bicyclist does not have as much protection as someone riding in a car. So of the most common injuries from a bike accident include the following:
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Nerve and muscle damage
- Torn ligaments
- Wrongful death
Q: How Much is My Bike Accident Case Worth?
A: Every personal injury case is different, so it’s hard to determine how much a typical bike accident case may be worth. There are several factors that go into how much a bike accident settlement could be worth, such as:
- The extent and impact of your injuries;
- How much time you missed from work;
- The liability of the parties involved; and
- If there are multiple parties responsible for the accident
To determine the value of your claim, you will need a skilled bike accident lawyer to look over your case.
Q: How Much Does Your Bicycle Accident Lawyer Cost?
A: At Munley Law, our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. What this means is you do not owe us a fee until we win your case. If for some reason we are unable to get you the compensation you deserve, then you will not owe us a fee. However, if we are successful, then we will take a small percentage out of the settlement offer. But aware that Munley Law will never take more than your claim is worth.
Q: Can a Bicyclist Be At Fault for An Accident?
A: Although it may be easy to assign fault immediately to the driver, there are times when a bicyclist can be held at fault for the accident. According to Pennsylvania law, cyclists must follow the same rules and regulations as those driving a vehicle. This means they need to stop at stop signs or traffic lights, make hand signals when turning, and yield to pedestrians. If you are a driver who gets into an accident with an at-fault bicyclist, you will need to show that the cyclist was negligent. This can be complicated to try to do on your own so it’s best to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to learn your options.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim for My Bike Accident?
A: In Pennsylvania, you have only two years to file a claim for your bike crash. This may seem like a good length of time to get your affairs in order before contacting a bicycle accident lawyer, but in reality, you will want to contact our personal injury law firm as soon as possible to get the claim started.
Personal injury cases can take a long time since the process is complicated and requires evidence to prove your claim. And evidence quickly disappears the longer you wait. Memories fade and pictures can easily be misplaced or deleted. That’s why you should contact a bicycle crash attorney at Munley Law as soon as you can after a bike accident to speak with an experienced attorney and learn what your options may be.
Q: Can I Apply for Workers’ Compensation if I Get into a Bike Accident While Working?
A: If you use your bicycle as part of your job, such as a bike messager or a delivery person, and you get into an accident while on the job, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation as well as a third-party claim against the driver. If you need help with a workers’ compensation claim after a bicycle accident, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Munley Law Now
If you’ve been injured in a bike accident involving a motor vehicle, get the help that you need. With offices throughout Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Philadelphia, Allentown, and Wilkes-Barre, our bike accident attorneys are prepared to fight for rights and get compensation for your bicycle accident injuries. We’ll investigate the accident, discover who truly is at fault, and negotiate a settlement that will help pay for your present and future expenses. If necessary, Munley Law will represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached.
Don’t wait much longer. If you were involved in a bicycle accident and received major injuries, now is the time to act. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law today for a free consultation.