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What Happens When You Have a Philadelphia Bike Accident?

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Experiencing a bike accident in Philadelphia can be jarring and stressful. In the aftermath of such an event, knowing what steps to take is important for protecting your health, ensuring your rights are upheld by filing a personal injury claim with a Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyer, and seeking fair compensation for any injuries or damages.

Understanding the process, from assessing injuries to seeking legal assistance to determining who is ultimately responsible for your bicycle crash, can help you navigate the situation effectively and make important decisions about your next steps.

What Are the Bicycle Accident Laws in Philadelphia, PA?

What Happens When You Have a Philadelphia Bike Accident?Bicyclists must follow the same traffic laws as motorists, including stopping at red lights and stop signs, yielding to pedestrians, and riding in the same direction as traffic.

Helmet Laws: While no statewide law requires adults to wear helmets while riding bicycles, Philadelphia does require anyone under 12 years old to wear one.

Duty of Care: Drivers must exercise reasonable care to avoid colliding with bicyclists. This means they must watch out for cyclists and give them enough space when passing.

Negligence: Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence system rather than a pure contributory negligence rule. In plainer English, even if a bicyclist is found partially at fault for an accident, they may still be able to recover damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, their compensation may be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.

For example, suppose a bicyclist was not following traffic laws, such as running a red light or stop sign, riding against traffic, or failing to signal properly. In that case, the bicyclist’s actions may be considered negligent and could affect their ability to recover total compensation for their injuries.

What are Your Rights as a Cyclist in Philadelphia?

As a cyclist in Philadelphia, you have several rights that are protected under the law to ensure your safety and fair treatment on the road:

Use of the Road: Cyclists have the right to use the road like any other vehicle. This means you are not required to use the bike lane just because it’s there. You can ride in traffic lanes and take the full lane when necessary for safety.

Bike Lanes: Philadelphia has improved cycling infrastructure by implementing designated bike lanes throughout the city. Cyclists have the choice, but are not required, to use these bike lanes for safer travel.

Proper Passing Distance: Drivers must give cyclists a minimum of four feet of clearance when passing them on the road.

Follow Traffic Laws: Cyclists must obey the same traffic laws as motorists. This includes stopping at red lights and stop signs, yielding to pedestrians, and using proper hand signals for turning.

What Are Common Bike Accident Injuries in Philadelphia?

Common bike accident injuries in Philadelphia, as in many other urban areas, can vary in severity but often include:

  • Head Injuries: Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), are among the most serious and potentially life-threatening injuries sustained in bike accidents. Wearing a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of head injuries.
  • Fractures and Orthopedic Injuries: Broken bones, such as fractures of the arms, legs, wrists, and collarbones, are common in bike accidents. These injuries can result from impact with the ground, vehicles, or other objects.
  • Road Rash and Abrasions: Cyclists may suffer from road rash, which occurs when the skin contacts the road surface during a fall or collision. Road rash can range from minor scrapes to more severe abrasions requiring medical attention.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, and contusions, are common in bike accidents. These injuries can affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues, leading to pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
  • Facial Injuries: Facial injuries, including lacerations, contusions, and dental injuries, can occur when cyclists make contact with the ground, vehicles, or other objects during an accident.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: In severe bike accidents, spinal cord injuries can occur, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. These injuries can have long-term consequences and may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Internal Injuries: Internal injuries, such as internal bleeding, organ damage, and chest injuries, can occur due to the force of impact in a bike accident. These injuries may not always be immediately apparent and require prompt medical evaluation.
  • Emotional Trauma: In addition to physical injuries, bike accidents can also cause emotional trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, especially if the accident is severe or involves a fatality.

What Happens if You’ve Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident in Philadelphia?

What Happens When You Have a Philadelphia Bike Accident?Dealing with a bicycle accident in Philadelphia can be overwhelming, but it’s essential to act swiftly.

First, ensure you’re okay by getting medical attention immediately—even if you don’t need it.

If you can, snap some pictures of the scene and jot down any witness details. Be sure to report the accident to the police and let your insurance company know what’s happened. Just be careful not to accept any blame when talking to them.

Speaking with an experienced attorney familiar with bicycle accidents can help you determine what to do next and how to seek compensation for your injuries.

Gathering evidence and following your doctor’s advice is vital for recovery and potential legal proceedings.

How Can a Cyclist Be Found At Fault in a Bike Crash?

Several factors can contribute to a cyclist being found at fault in a bike crash in Philadelphia. Violating traffic laws, such as running red lights, stop signs, or failing to yield the right of way, are common reasons. Unsafe maneuvers, like sudden swerving or failing to signal turns, can also play a role. Additionally, distractions such as using a phone or impaired riding due to alcohol or drugs can lead to fault. Negligent behavior, like riding recklessly in crowded areas or ignoring weather conditions, may also be considered.

Adhering to traffic laws, staying vigilant, and prioritizing safety can help cyclists minimize the risk of being found at fault in a bike crash.

Contact Our Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyer Now

What Happens When You Have a Philadelphia Bike Accident??Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys specializes in representing victims of serious bicycle accidents. With decades of experience and top accolades, including being named among the Best Lawyers in America, our team fights tirelessly for fair compensation for our clients. We prioritize the rights of vulnerable victims and won’t settle for less than they deserve.

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, our team offers free initial consultations and is ready to assist you. Contact us today for expert guidance on your claim.

    Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

    1617 John F Kennedy Blvd
    Suite 1690,
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
    (215) 515-7747

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