Philadelphia Area Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Silver & Silver Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here For You.
Each year in the U.S., approximately 50,000 cyclists are injured, and over 800 cyclists die in accidents. More than 70% of fatal accidents occur in urban areas.
Injures from bike accidents are often more severe than injures from auto accidents because the cyclist does not have the protection of a thousand pounds steel structure surrounding them while on the road. While helmets offer protection against some head injuries, cyclists often sustain serious leg and ankle fractures when they are struck by cars or knocked off of their bikes.
In addition to accidents where cyclists are hit by cars, many cyclists are also injured by potholes and road defects or by dogs that are not properly restrained. The city or state may be responsible if they allow a roadway to become unsafe. Private companies, such as water and power companies, may be responsible if their manholes create unsafe conditions on the road. Homeowners may also be responsible if they allow their dogs to interfere with cyclists.
Steps to take after a bicycle accident has occurred.
If you’ve been involved in a bike accident, here’s what you should do:
- Identify the driver who caused the accident (names and addresses).
- Write down the license plate number and description of the car;
- If there are any witnesses, try to get their names and phone numbers as soon as possible.
- Report the accident to the police.
- If the driver involved says something, try to write it down as soon as possible, especially if they admit they did something wrong, like saying they did not see you, that they were talking on the phone, or that the accident was their fault.
- Do not say anything to anyone that would make them believe that you caused the accident.
- If you are able to do so, take photos of the accident scene, especially if you were in a bike lane and the car cut into the bike lane and struck you.
- If you have any visible injuries, like scars or bruises, photograph these when you get home.
- If you think you might be injured, go to the emergency room and/or see your family doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries do not seem serious at first, but can result in long term problems. It is safer to get checked out as soon as possible.
- When you see a doctor, be sure to explain how you were injured and describe everything that hurts, even if certain injuries seem more serious than others.
- Do not speak to anyone from the driver’s insurance company about how the accident happened. They are not on your side and may try to get you to admit to causing the accident.
- Do not provide a recorded statement to anyone, even your own insurance company!
- Save evidence of any expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills, over the counter medications, repair bills for your bike, or evidence that you missed work. Even if you were paid for sick or vacation days, you may be able to receive additional compensation for time missed from work.
Bicycle Laws to Remember
Cyclists have to follow the same rules as cars when operating on public roadways. These include that they must:
- Stop and yield right-of-way at stop signs.
- Slow and yield right-of-way at yield signs.
- Stop at red lights.
- Yield right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Yield right-of-way to traffic traveling straight when turning left.
- Signal before turning, stopping or slowing.
If operating between sunset and sunrise, cyclist are required to equip their bikes with rear red reflectors, amber reflectors on the side and white lights in the front Bicycle brakes must be able to stop the bike within 15 feet if traveling at 15 miles per hour.
Cyclists should ride on the right side of the road, going the same way automobile traffic is going, unless specific street markings indicate otherwise, such as the contra flow lane on Civic Center Boulevard in University City. Bicycles are not permitted on freeways. In Philadelphia, bicycles are generally not permitted on sidewalks.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, please call Silver & Silver for a free consultation with our experienced team of attorneys.