Our Bicycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
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How long do I have to file a bicycle accident lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
Bicycle accidents account for just 1 percent of total traffic crashes reported in Pennsylvania. Yet according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, they still caused nearly 1,130 injuries and more than 20 deaths in 2017 alone.
These accidents can be horrific for victims, resulting in extensive injuries, unexpected medical debt, and other losses. Pennsylvania tort law allows people injured in bicycle accidents caused by another person or entity's negligence to seek compensation by filing a personal
Sadly, severe injuries and the resulting range of necessary lifestyle modifications can make it difficult for victims to focus on exploring their legal rights and options.
Waiting too long to take legal action after a Pennsylvania bike crash can have serious consequences. The state's statute of limitations laws dictate how long potential plaintiffs have to file a lawsuit which, for personal injury victims, is just two years from the date of the accident. Once those two years are up and the statute of limitations expires, victims cannot bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Even when injured cyclists file their lawsuit within the designated two-year period, waiting to file can be detrimental to a case. For example, evidence may be misplaced, contaminated, or destroyed, or witnesses may change their contact information, forget what they've seen, move, or die. Any of these scenarios could deal a blow to a bicycle accident personal injury case, which is why it's best to consult an attorney about situation as soon as possible.
Consult a Knowledgeable Bicycle Accident Attorney
A bicycle accident can be a life-changing event—usually not in a good way. If you were hurt in a crash that wasn't your fault, you shouldn't be stuck shouldering the financial burden for your injuries and losses.
The experienced bicycle accident attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve after suffering an injury in Pennsylvania. Contact us today to request an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
How much does it cost to hire a bicycle accident lawyer?
It depends on a variety of factors. Being involved in a serious bike accident can be a confusing, frustrating and painful experience.
In addition to being physically injured, many people are unable to work temporarily—but sometimes permanently. They may also be burdened by an astronomical amount of unexpected medical debt.
These and other factors often create emotional distress as well.
Victims injured in bicycle accidents caused by someone else's negligence may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, property damages, lost wages, loss of earning capacity (if applicable), pain and suffering, and other damages. Bicycle accident victims can pursue compensation through insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits.
Regardless of which route they take, there are benefits to seeking legal representation of a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney. This is especially true when he or she has a track record of successfully resolving bicycle accident cases.
With everything else going on, people often worry they can't afford the cost of hiring legal counsel. Most personal injury lawyers understand that financial concerns can be overwhelming, especially after an accident. However, this should never prevent someone from pursuing well-deserved justice and compensation.
Many personal injury law firms—including ours—often free initial case consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. This means that bike crash victims can discuss their cases with an attorney for free before retaining them. They'll only pay for legal services if the case is resolved in their favor and they receive a settlement. The attorney would then receive a portion of that settlement, rather than requiring payment upfront. Sometimes, additional fees may apply, which is why it's a good idea for victims to discuss payment terms with an attorney during their initial consultation.
Consult a Skilled Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a bike crash, it's important to understand and protect your right to financial recovery. A personal injury attorney who understands the complexities of bicycle accidents can review the details of your case and help you weigh options for compensation.
Don't let financial woes prevent you from receiving a fair settlement. Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation with a member of our experienced legal team.
If I violated a traffic regulation and was partially at fault for my bicycle accident, can I still recover damages?
Pennsylvania law requires bicycles and motor vehicles to share the road safely. Unfortunately, that isn't always the reality. In 2017 alone, bicycle accidents resulted in 1,127 injuries and 21 bicyclist fatalities, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
It's no secret that, in accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles, it's the bicyclist who often bears the brunt of the injuries. Individuals fortunate enough to survive the collision may be seriously injured and require significant medical care.
Although that care may be covered by the bicyclist's own auto or health insurance policies, these policies usually don't address other losses incurred in an accident. These additional losses may include:
- Wages the bicyclist lost while out of work healing
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of earning potential if injuries permanently prevent future employment
Bicycle accident victims often pursue personal injury lawsuits in an effort to recover damages from the driver who caused the crash. However, this process becomes more complicated in cases where the victim was partially responsible for the accident and their injuries. Still, it's important to note that violating a traffic regulation doesn't necessarily prevent victims from collecting damages.
Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state, which means that personal injury victims can usually recover damages—even if they were partially responsible for the accident—as long as they aren't more at fault than the other party.
Were You Involved in a Serious Bicycle Accident?
If you were severely injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation even if you were partially responsible for the accident.
Don't let concerns about partial fault stop you from fighting for the damages you need and deserve. Contact the knowledgeable bicycle accident attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
If I wasn't wearing a helmet when injured in a bicycle accident, can I still recover damages?
Bicycle helmets may have a reputation for being hot, cumbersome, and uncomfortable, but wearing one dramatically reduces a cyclist's odds of head injuries or death in the event of an accident.
Statisticians from the University of New South Wales in Australia conducted a major study of worldwide bicycle helmet use. The results concluded that wearing a helmet reduces a cyclist's risk of serious head injuries by nearly 70 percent, and fatal head injuries by 65 percent.
Some states have universal helmet laws which require all bicyclists and passengers to wear a helmet, regardless of age. However, despite their proven ability to prevent head injuries and save lives, not all states mandate helmet use. For example, in Pennsylvania, the law only requires cyclists and passengers under the age of 12 to wear a helmet.
If you're over age 12 and hurt in a bicycle accident in the Keystone State, you probably weren't wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and may be wondering how your lack of helmet use might affect a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit.
Fortunately, it shouldn't affect your claim at all. Not only is bicycle helmet use not mandated for cyclists and passengers 12 and older, but Pennsylvania Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3510(b) specifically prohibits helmet use from being used as evidence of contributory negligence in a personal injury case. This means bicyclists can still recover damages, even if they weren't wearing helmets.
Consult a Knowledgeable Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a bicycle accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to collect compensation for damages such as accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning potential, pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring or disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. Failing to wear a helmet has no impact on your ability to recover the compensation you deserve.
Do you have questions about an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for a bicycle accident? Contact the bicycle accident attorneys at Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary, no-obligation initial consultation.
Do I need an attorney if a driver hit me while I was riding my bike?
While it's tempting to try to save money and settle the claim on your own, hiring an attorney has more to do with the severity of your injuries and the resulting need for compensation. If you were injured in a bike accident caused by a negligent driver, you could have suffered serious injuries even if the vehicle was traveling at a slow speed. Some of these injuries may not present in full form until days or even weeks later.
If this happens, your health and financial stability could be compromised.
How to Decide When You Need an Attorney in Your Bicycle Accident Case
In limited circumstances, you may be able to handle settlement of the claim on your own. If the accident caused only damage to your bike or you suffered a cut or stitches, and the insurance company agrees to pay for your costs, you can probably complete your settlement without an attorney.
However, in other cases, you would be at a serious disadvantage if you don't retain an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Here's why you may need professional help:
- Your injuries were serious enough that EMT arrived on the scene and transported you by ambulance to the hospital.
- You were off work because of your injuries for one week or more.
- You have injuries that are limiting your activities or ability to work.
- Your injuries are serious enough to require follow-up medical treatment or surgery.
- You were knocked unconscious and are exhibiting symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
- Someone died in the accident.
- The insurance company denied your claim, or is offering less than what you believe is rightful compensation.
Benefits of Hiring a Bike Accident Attorney
Even if you were clearly the victim in a bicycle accident, you must prove the driver’s negligence and your right to compensation. It takes someone with legal experience to handle this process effectively. Benefits of retaining an attorney include:
- Free consultation. Many bicycle accident attorneys offer a free, no-obligation consultation that allows you to get an understanding of your legal options and how the firm can help you.
- Claim evaluation. An attorney can investigate your bike accident to prove the driver’s negligence and obtain documentation regarding your injuries. Once he has this information, he can evaluate the value of your claim based on his experience successfully handling other cases like yours and the strengths and weaknesses of your claim.
- Settlement negotiation. The insurance adjuster for the negligent driver won't be looking out for your interests and may try to deny or reduce your claim, even if its insured’s fault is obvious. An experienced attorney will be able to negotiate a settlement for what you deserve, or file a lawsuit if the insurance company will not be reasonable.
- Few require up-front payment. Most attorneys take these cases on a contingency basis, which means you pay for the majority of services through a percentage of your settlement only if he or she is able to settle the claim or win the case at trial.
If you or a family member was injured in a bike accident, let us help fight to obtain the compensation you're entitled to from the negligent driver’s insurance company. Call our office today to schedule a free case consultation.