Our state is absolutely gorgeous, and many cyclists love to take in the scenery and get in their exercise via cycling. Plus, a lot of riders use cycling as a regular means of commuting. Unfortunately, we have many bicycle accidents in the state, posing a real concern to riders.
In 2011, 1,312 bicyclists were injured, and 11 cyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Given the nature of bike accidents, cyclists often sustain serious, if not fatal, injuries upon impact.
Victims (or their families) can pursue compensation against any drivers whose negligence contributed to the accident. To determine if you are eligible to file a claim, you can contact our firm to speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney today.
Factors of Bicycle Accidents
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation divulges interesting bicycle accident facts for the state in 2011:
- the majority of accidents occurred at intersections;
- bicycle accidents occur in roughly equal quantities, whether there is a traffic light or stop sign present or not; and
- the two most vulnerable age groups for bicycle accident injuries are ages five to 14 (24 percent of injuries), and ages 15 to 19 (16 percent of injuries).
Drivers Must Obey Traffic Safety Laws
There are numerous traffic laws regarding bicycles that both drivers and cyclists need to adhere to. Failing to follow the basic rules of the road and driving while distracted largely contributes to bicycle accidents.
For instance, some of the basic bicycle laws that drivers in Pennsylvania need to be aware of include:
- Drivers have to stay at least four feet away from cyclists on the road.
- Bicyclists have the right to use any portion of the lane to avoid roadway hazards if only one lane is available.
- Drivers turning left must yield to oncoming cyclists.
- Drivers who force cyclists off the road can face criminal charges.
Pursuing Compensation for Injuries
If a driver causes a bicycle accident and is in violation of a traffic law, it can be considered negligence under Pennsylvania state law. The cyclist or his or her family can file a claim against the responsible party to recover losses for damages such as:
- medical and/or funeral expenses;
- lost wages or loss of income;
- pain and suffering; and
- mental anguish.
For help starting the claims process, contact a bicycle accident attorney and begin compiling paperwork and evidence. Your attorney will need to be able to demonstrate the other party’s negligence, as well as the extent of your damages to the insurance company or the courts.
Contact Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers for Help
For victims in Stroudsburg, Palmerton, Bethlehem or the surrounding areas, we invite you to call the attorneys at ARM Lawyers for a free consultation. We can help you pursue the full amount of compensation to which you’re entitled. Contact us today at one of our offices: 570-257-4509 (Stroudsburg), 484-765-8140 (Palmerton), or 610-849-2788 (Bethlehem).