Bicycling can be a fun and environmentally friendly way to get around town, but it can also be a very dangerous hobby, even if you wear a helmet and pay attention to your surroundings. Despite many state laws and local regulations that are meant to protect bike riders from harm, there are far too many drivers in Pennsylvania who do not give bicyclists the space and respect they deserve—sometimes with devastating results.
After a bike wreck, it is important to understand that you have legal options for getting the compensation you are entitled to. A skilled Bethlehem bicycle accident lawyer at Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers is prepared to fight for you, whether that means seeking a private settlement or taking your claim to civil court. Your case will be in capable hands, as we have a track record of success across the Commonwealth. In one bicycle accident case, we were able to recover a $3.5 million settlement on behalf of a child who was hit by a drunk driver while riding her bike. Give us a call today to discuss your case with a committed member of our legal team.
How Negligence Can Cause a Bike Crash
From the second they start their engines, motor vehicle drivers in Pennsylvania take on something called a “duty of care.” This requires them to always act reasonably and responsibly while on public roads. A duty of care is simple to maintain, since all it really requires is following traffic laws, keeping an eye out for other cars and people nearby, and generally reacting in an appropriate, common-sense way to circumstances you find yourself in while driving.
Not every driver fulfills this “duty” behind the wheel and they instead “breach” it by acting in reckless, careless, or illegal ways. When a “breach” like this leads to a collision with a bicyclist, the driver is considered legally negligent.
Almost every bike accident claim centers around proving the four elements of legal negligence—the existence of a duty, a breach of that duty, an accident caused by that breach and injuries resulting from that accident. A knowledgeable Bethlehem bike collision attorney will do what it takes to prove another party’s negligence and their fault for your accident.
Determining Fault for a Bike Accident
While it may sometimes seem obvious that a reckless driver is the at-fault party in a bicycle accident case, it is not always so simple in the eyes of the law. In addition to proving that someone else was responsible for your injuries, you also need to minimize your fault for your accident. Under “comparative fault” principles, you could be assigned a percentage of total blame by a jury and have your compensation award reduced accordingly. If you are found to be fully at fault, 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes §7102 prohibits compensation for your injuries.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for defendants and insurers to try and shift blame onto the victim after a collision, in order to avoid paying you the full amount you deserve. It is crucial that you work with an experienced Bethlehem attorney who can fight back against unfair accusations of fault and seek out the compensation you are owed.
A Bethlehem Bicycle Accident Attorney is Ready to Help
Thousands of bicycle accidents happen across Pennsylvania every year. Many of them happened because a motor vehicle driver acted in an irresponsible way. Holding a negligent driver responsible for your injuries can be a daunting task without the guidance of a seasoned lawyer.
A Bethlehem bicycle accident lawyer at Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers is prepared to fight for you. Discuss your case with a member of our winning legal team today– you don’t pay unless and until we recover money for you.