Pennsylvania Law defines a bicycle as a vehicle, granting bicycle riders the same rights and benefits applied to those operating motor vehicles. When riding a bicycle in Pennsylvania one is expected to obey all the rules of the road that apply to motor vehicles set forth in the Pennsylvania vehicle code, and additional rules found in chapter 35, sections §3504 – §3513 of the code pertaining to the safe and lawful operation of two-wheeled non-motorized vehicles powered solely by pedals.
With more than one-hundred million Americans operating bicycles it is important that bicycle riders understand the risks and liability of sharing the road with motor vehicles. Because 45% of the collisions involving a car striking a bicyclist take place at intersections, and 90% of bike rider fatalities occur within 25 feet of an intersection it is important to always keep in mind, drivers navigating intersections are typically not aware of or looking out for bike riders.
Liability in a collision involving a motor vehicle colliding with a bicyclist is assigned based on which of the two, the car, or the bike, had the right of way at the time of the collision. Listed below are some of the more common scenarios that result in cyclist being struck by cars, and the assignment of liability based on the party who had the right away.
Intersections Not Controlled by Traffic Signals
When a cyclist and motor vehicle approach an intersection not controlled by a traffic signal, the car or bike reaching the intersection first and coming to a complete stop has the right of way. In the event a car and bike simultaneously arrive at an intersection, both coming to a complete stop, the vehicle to the right, or the vehicle on the right side of the other has the right of way.
When determining liability at an intersection controlled by two stop signs, the first vehicle coming to a complete stop at the stop sign has the right of way. In the event that only one vehicle has a stop sign, the vehicle with no stop sign has the right of way.
A number of collisions involving cars crashing into bikes occur when a car and a bike approach an intersection from opposite directions and when attempting to make a left turn, the driver of the car fails to recognize the bicyclist. In these collisions it is almost always the driver of the car who is at fault, for failure to recognize and yield the right of way to the bicyclist prior to making a left turn.
Because bicycles offer their riders little protection compared to an SUV or full size motor vehicle the injuries sustained by a bicyclist struck by a car are often catastrophic, resulting in broken bones, paralysis, and in the worst cases wrongful death. Additional injuries can include but are not limited too;
- Brain and Head Injuries resulting in Neurological damage
- Skull Fractures requiring surgical repair
- Spinal Injuries resulting in paralysis
- Herniated Discs
- Spinal Injuries resulting in radiating lumbosacral pain
- Broken Back
- Shoulder Injuries including; Broken or dislocated shoulders
- Broken Collarbone or Fractured Collar bones
- Elbow Injuries including broken or dislocated elbows
- Broken or shattered Leg
- Femur Fractures
- Broken Hip or Broken Pelvis
- Jaw Injuries requiring surgical repair
- Broken Jaw
- Fractured Skulls
- Broken and Fractured Arms
- Broken or fractured Wrist
- Fractured Foot
- Broken Foot
- Crushed Toes
- Fractured or Broken Hand
- Dislocated and Broken Shoulders
- Collarbone Injuries
- Deep cuts and Lacerations
- Negligent and Improper Emergency Response Care
Our highly skilled team of experienced bike accident lawyers and Philadelphia car accident attorneys are all experienced bicyclist with decades of experience cycling and handling the most complex car accident and bicycle accident cases involving negligent inattentive drivers failing to recognize and yield the right of way to bicyclists on the the road, as well as bicycle manufacturing defects and design.
Our Chester County Attorneys are Experienced in Bicycle Accident Injury Cases
As a top-rated accident law firm, The Reiff Law Firm has the knowledge and experience to help you understand the liability, as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist laws, navigating the different roads to recovery. Our skilled bike accident lawyers understand the financial and emotional hardships that victims and their families suffer as a result of a bicycle or car accident. If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a collision involving a motor vehicle colliding with a bicycle, know you are not alone, and you like so many others may be entitled to financial compensation from the negligent party. Call one of our experienced Pennsylvania bicycle accident lawyers today – (215) 709-6940 – to request your free consultation.