Pittsburgh is a bike-friendly city. With plenty of paved paths and lots of fun destinations, many residents of the area choose to get around on two wheels instead of four. In fact, it is estimated that about 2,500 Pittsburghers commute by bike to work every day. With the popularity of biking in and around Pittsburgh, it is important that drivers follow traffic rules and allow bicyclists the respect and space they deserve. When they fail to do that, cyclists can be injured and killed. We are proud to represent bicyclists who are injured by negligent drivers.
What to Do When You Are Hit by a Car
When you are hit by a car while biking in Pittsburgh, your first concern should be your well-being. Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible after a crash. If you are able, you should also do the following:
- Call the police immediately. You will need an official police report if you decide later to pursue the driver for damages. If there is an injury—even a minor one—the police must file an accident report.
- Get the driver’s contact information, license plate number, and insurance details.
- Talk to anyone in the area who witnessed the crash. Ask them for their names and phone numbers so that you can contact them later.
- Document as many details as you can. Write down what happened as you remember it, the names of witnesses, your doctor visits and medical tests, and all expenses incurred because of the accident.
- Call an attorney. Your focus should be on your recovery, not whether you have a claim against the driver or not. An attorney will take over the investigation, contact the driver’s insurance company, and negotiate a fair settlement.
It is important that you take action after a bike accident. If the driver was at fault, you deserve compensation for your injuries and damage to your bike.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
If you are like most cyclists who are injured by vehicles, you are probably not even sure what happened. One minute you were on your way to work, and the next you were on the ground. Most bicycle crashes caused by drivers fall into one of the following categories:
- Dooring. A dooring accident occurs when a driver parked along a road opens his door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist. These accidents happen even in designated bike lanes. It is the responsibility of the driver to check his mirror for cyclists before opening his door. These crashes can cause serious injuries as the biker collides with the door, is thrown over the door, or is thrown into moving traffic.
- Turning in front. Failing to see a cyclist, motorists often turn directly into the path of a bike. Whether making a right-hand turn across a bike lane or a left-hand turn through an intersection, drivers must be alert to the bicycles they share the road with.
- Rear-ending. When a driver is distracted or is simply not alert to bikes sharing his lane, he can run into the back of a bicycle. Whether the cyclist is in a bike lane or sharing a vehicle lane, he cannot travel at the same speed as a car and motorists need to be aware of their presence and allow them a safe cushion.
- Running off the road. Similar to a rear-end crash, when cars don’t allow a cyclist sufficient space on the side of the road, the driver can force the bike off the road completely. A cyclist can hit a mailbox, tree, parked car, or other obstacle.
A cyclist should make every effort to be visible and to protect himself from injury, but it is the responsibility of the driver to obey the rules of the road to protect cyclists.
Call Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys When You Are Injured
Do not waste time wondering if you have an accident claim following a bike crash. Get the medical help you need and contact the bicycle accident attorneys at Accident & Injury Law Group. We will take it from there.