Pittsburgh Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle Accident Attorney Advocates for Clients Injured in Bicycle Accidents in Pittsburgh and Throughout Pennsylvania
No matter how many years of experience you have riding a bicycle, no matter how careful and responsible you are, there is no more deadly mismatch on the roads of the United States today than any accident involving a bicycle struck by a car, van, bus, or transport truck.
These are no longer daily tragedies throughout our nation, they are hourly. If you or a loved one has been injured, permanently disabled, or killed in a bicycle accident, you need the help of an experienced bicycle accident attorney such as Mark A. Smith. Bicycle accidents can be very complex and filing a lawsuit to get you the financial compensation you deserve requires skill, experience, and empathy for what you have been through in the process.
Each year, the roads of every state become a more brutal battleground between cyclists and everyone else. Pennsylvania is no exception, as Pittsburgh and other urban centers see a greater tension between cyclists and motorists, each trying to negotiate increasingly complex streets, traffic patterns, and collective tensions.
In Pennsylvania, bicycles are considered legal vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles and pedal cycles. Drivers of motorized vehicles are required to allow a minimum of four feet between their vehicle and the bicycle. It is the law of Pennsylvania that motorized vehicles must share the road with bicycles, yet they all too often do not.
Who Are the Bicycle Accident Victims in Pennsylvania
The following groups are most at risk of being involved in a bicycle accident
Among the most recent findings of the NHTSA:
- The average age of victims in fatal bicycle accidents rose from 24 in 1988 to 32 in 1998 to 44 in 2013.
- 83% of people killed in a bicycle accident were male.
- 68% of bicycle accidents happen in urban areas such as Pittsburgh.
- 23% of bicycle accidents resulting in death occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- In 30% of bicycle accidents, either the motorist or cyclist had a blood-alcohol level above the state legal limit.
Dangerous Laws for Cyclists Cause Many Bicycle Accidents
The Dangers of Pennsylvania’s side-of-the-road rules
Like many states, Pennsylvania has “side-of-the-road” rules, These rules require cyclists who are moving at a lesser speed than motorized traffic to ride on the far right side of the road or in a bike lane.
Cyclists who obey Pennsylvania law will follow these rules. The danger comes from the fact that following side-of-the-road rules often result in three of the most common types of traffic accidents involving bicyclists:
- A bicycle hitting the opening door of a parked car;
- A bicycle being brushed by a passing car or truck;
- A bicycle being struck by a motor vehicle turning right, which is often fatal.
Attorney Mark A. Smith has seen many bicycle accident cases in Pittsburgh and elsewhere in Pennsylvania that have resulted in injury and even death for law-abiding Pennsylvanians.
Important Legal Considerations Regarding Bicycle Accidents
Helmets are mandatory in Pennsylvania but not wearing one does not block a claim
Pennsylvania law makes it very clear that while cyclists are under a legal obligation to wear a helmet at all times, “in no event shall the failure to wear a required helmet be used as evidence in a trial of any civil action; nor shall any jury in a civil action be instructed regarding violations of the law requiring helmets; nor shall failure to use a helmet be considered as contributory negligence.” [Source: 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. §3510 (2016)]
Who is Responsible for a Bicycle Accident in Pennsylvania
Criminal liability should not be the focus on a cyclist injured in a bicycle accident
While motorists who injure cyclists in a bicycle accident should face criminal charges where appropriate, your focus as a person injured in a bicycle accident needs to be on the compensation you are entitled to receive.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a bicycle accident in Pennsylvania, Attorney Mark A. Smith can help you protect your right and get the monetary compensation you may be entitled to receive. The civil, as opposed to criminal, courts of Pennsylvania are where we will fight for your rights by suing the driver of the vehicle that injured you. In Pennsylvania, you may file a civil suit to recover money for your injuries.
Bicycle injury lawsuits are part of a larger area of law called personal injury law. Most personal injury lawsuits include a legal claim for negligence and that is no different in bicycle injury cases. Where a person fails to act with the same level of care that another reasonable person would have acted in a similar circumstance, this is considered to be negligent. In representing bicycle injury clients, Attorney Mark A. Smith builds a case that seeks to establish that the other driver’s negligence caused your physical injuries and financial losses.
Contact The Law Office of Mark A. Smith in Pittsburgh or Homestead for a free consult on your Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Injury Case today: (412) 567-9598.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bicycle Accidents in Pittsburgh
Not at all. The initial blame for a bicycle accident is often placed on the cyclist, as that is the politically and practically easiest place to put it. On many occasions, in the process of building a claim for a client, Attorney Mark A. Smith has discovered compelling evidence that changes the initial findings.
No. Never speak with an insurance company or anyone about your case without consulting Attorney Mark A. Smith first. No one is on your side when you are injured in a bicycle accident. Remember this and act wisely.
Yes. Family members may be able to bring a legal claim for the loss of financial support resulting from your loved one’s loss of life in the accident.