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Many avid cyclists enjoy getting on the road as much as possible. Riders have the same rights and duties on the roadways as other drivers. Yet, driving distractions and other hazards are increasing the number of incidents, leaving riders with life-threatening or fatal injuries.
A bicycle accident with a vehicle can have severe and lasting consequences with devastating effects on your life. Knowing your legal rights can help you collect the fair settlement amount you deserve when you are in a collision with a careless motorist. Schedule a meeting with a Pennsylvania bicycle accident lawyer to review your case and options. A personal injury attorney is ready to fight for you.
Common Bike Accident Injuries
When a car strikes a bicycle, the rider is vulnerable to severe and permanent injuries. Some bicycle accident injuries include the following:
- Serious head, skull, and brain injuries
- Fractured and broken bones
- Face and teeth injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Soft tissue injuries, including whiplash
- Internal organ damage
A lawyer in Pennsylvania could thoroughly investigate a bicycle crash, including speaking with eyewitnesses and crash reconstruction, to recover damages successfully.
The Rights and Duties of Bicycles Riders on Roadways
Cyclists must know and follow traffic rules and regulations to keep themselves safe on roadways. While the law only requires riders 12 and under to wear helmets, head protection can save lives and keep cyclists from brain injuries during accidents. According to Pennsylvania Code Title 75 § 3501, bicycle riders have the same rights and duties on the roads as other motorists traveling in automobiles. An attorney in Pennsylvania could evaluate how bike regulations affect an accident claim. Some traffic laws bicyclists must adhere to include:
Bike Operating Regulations
Bicyclists must use reasonable care and, on multilane roadways, travel in the right-most lane, moving in the same direction as traffic. On a two-lane road, the cyclist may travel in the right lane, and when there is no center line, the rider may ride on the right side of the road. They may switch to the left for road debris, to pass another vehicle, or make left turns.
Recoverable Damages in Bicycle Accident Cases
After proving the defendant is liable for damages, the court will usually award economic and non-economic damages. The first category covers out-of-pocket expenses, while the second covers emotional distress and other subjective injuries. The recoverable damages in bicycle collisions suits include the following:
- All reasonable medical care expenses related to the accident
- The cost of ongoing care
- Rehabilitation services, medical devices, and prescriptions
- Lost pay, benefits, and future earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life because of a physical disability or permanent disfigurement
- Emotional anguish and physical pain, and suffering
Expiration Date to File a Lawsuit After a Bike Crash
The time limit for suing for damages in injury claims is called the statute of limitations. Per 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 5524, the plaintiff generally has two years to sue the defendant in bicycle crash cases. Many factors could shorten or extend the time frame, and a bicycle wreck lawyer in Pennsylvania could go over them during the consultation.
Schedule a Consultation With a Skilled Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bike riding is environmentally friendly and an excellent form of transportation for many reasons, including physical health and saving money on gas. Sadly, cyclists are vulnerable to injuries with catastrophic consequences, and bike and car-related collisions are rising.
Understanding and following bicycle traffic safety rules and regulations is one way to keep yourself safe on the roadways. However, a severe crash could still happen because of a negligent motorist. Contact a dedicated Pennsylvania bicycle accident lawyer soon when you need help with a case.