The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that two bicyclists died nearly every day in the U.S. in 2019 from traffic accidents. On top of these 846 deaths, approximately 49,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents that year.
Injured victims or their families may be entitled to compensation. Your cycling accident and injury lawyer in Pittsburgh can help. Berger and Green has over 40 years of experience representing injury clients, and now we are ready to put that experience towards helping you get the financial recovery you need.
Berger and Green Can Help You Recover Your Losses Following a Cycling Accident
If a bicycle accident in Pittsburgh harmed you, our lawyers could assist you throughout the legal process. Our responsibilities include:
- Requesting a copy of the accident report
- Accessing your medical records and discussing your diagnosis and prognosis with your medical team
- Completing an evidence file
- Naming liable parties in your cycling accident
- Representing you in settlement negotiations
- Leading correspondence between other parties and you
- Protecting you from insurance companies acting in bad faith
If we cannot settle your case, we will continue your pursuit of compensation before a jury.
For a free legal consultation with a cycling accident lawyer serving Pittsburgh, call 412-661-1400
How You Can Pay For a Cycling Accident and Injury Lawyer With Our Pittsburgh Firm
At Berger and Green, we consider your post-bicycle accident financial state, so our injury attorneys will represent you based on a contingency fee. In other words:
- Our firm finances the entirety of your case.
- We don’t require any upfront or out-of-pocket fees.
- We will not charge by the hour or retainers.
You will only pay your attorney if they secure damages for you. You can learn more about this payment structure in a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our team members.
Pittsburgh Cycling Accident Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
An Inside Look Into What It’s Like Partnering with Berger and Green
Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in compensation, while giving our clients the attention and care they deserve after an accident.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
“I was very prepared by the law firm, Bill talked me though all of the things that were going to occur, the events that would be happening during the court hearing. It was just exactly how he had said it was going to be. I would absolutely refer Berger and Green…” – Maxine, personal injury client
I couldn’t have done this alone. I was mentally, physically unable to deal with all this. They here at Berger and Green removed all the stress, all the anxiety off of my shoulders and the burden. Taking the paperwork, taking my copays and addressing everything.” – Ron, personal injury client
Common Types of Cycling Traffic Accidents
Whether bicyclists share the road with cars or stick to the sidewalk, accidents are bound to happen. Injuries to cyclists can be serious and include:
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Head trauma
- Spinal injuries
The following list includes the most common types of cycling traffic accidents.
Collisions at Intersections
Intersections are the most dangerous place for bicycle accidents—one of the most dangerous in Pittsburgh is McPhee Place and Forbes Avenue. Vehicles are likely to crash into bicyclists traveling in bike lanes or on the right shoulder, especially while turning.
One common example of this kind of collision occurs when a vehicle turns left across traffic, and a bicyclist travels straight in the opposite direction. In this situation, the bicyclist has the right of way, but the vehicle driver may not see the bicyclist or may try to cut them off.
Another common example of an intersection crash happens when a cyclist and a vehicle are waiting at a red light in the same lane. When the light turns green, the bicyclist begins moving forward straight, but the car turns right, hitting the bicyclist.
Sometimes drivers misjudge the distance between their car and the bicyclist traveling on the right-hand side of the lane. When this happens, drivers may “clip” a bicyclist, especially with their side-view mirror.
When bicyclists are traveling next to parallel parked cars, there is a real risk of dooring accidents. With these kinds of accidents, bicyclists follow the flow of traffic and travel at relatively high speeds. However, because bicyclists must stay in the furthermost right-hand lane near the shoulder, they are directly in the path of any driver’s side doors opened into traffic.
If the driver of a parked car throws the door open in front of a bicyclist and the bicyclist cannot stop in time, serious injuries often result. In these cases, the driver exiting the vehicle must check for oncoming traffic, including bicyclists, before opening their door.
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Causes of Cycling Accidents in Pittsburgh
Many bicycle-vehicle accidents happen because the driver simply failed to see the bicyclists. In some cases, this could be due to poor visibility caused by darkness or bad weather. Pennsylvania law requires bicyclists riding at night to have a front light and rear and side reflectors. This aims to reduce the likelihood of accidents. Bicyclists should also always wear bright, reflective clothing.
In addition to the cyclist not being visible enough, drivers sometimes fail to see bicyclists simply because they are unaware of their surroundings. Other causes of cycling accidents include:
- Driver negligence, such as driving too fast, taking a turn without checking blind spots, or drunk driving
- Driving distracted, such using a cell phone, reading, eating, or changing the radio station
Who Is At Fault For Cycling Accidents?
Like all traffic accidents, liability for accidents between a vehicle and a bicyclist will depend on the facts. Bicyclists must obey all traffic rules when riding. This means stopping at stop signs and lights.
If the bicyclist instead rides on the sidewalk (not allowed in business districts or where there is a bike lane available), he or she must obey pedestrian laws and always yield to a pedestrian.
If the bicyclist violates a traffic rule (e.g., runs a red light), he or she will likely be liable for the accident.
In some cases, both the driver and the cyclist may be partially liable for the accident. For example, if a bicyclist runs a red light and collides with a speeding motorist, both may be liable.
Am I At Fault For My Injuries If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
Under Pennsylvania law, insurers and courts may not use helmet use to place contributory negligence on a cyclist. So, you are not technically responsible for your injuries, even if you were not wearing a helmet.
Note: While the insurer cannot use your helmet use against you, insurance adjusters could try to make you admit fault. Do not agree to a recorded statement until you have spoken with an attorney.
How Will I Cover My Medical Bills?
How you pay most of your medical bills and lost wages depends on who was at fault in the accident. Regardless of fault, you will start with your own personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. Insurance can also cover funeral expenses if your loved one passed away from their bicycle accident injuries.
If you do not own a car, you could use a family member’s PIP benefits if you live in the same household. If your injuries surpass the policy limits, you could hold the driver liable for your injuries and file a personal injury lawsuit. Other damages may be available to you if you go this legal route.
What Evidence Should You Collect After a Cycling Accident?
You can collect several pieces of evidence after a cycling accident to help build a case against the at-fault party, including:
- The other driver’s contact/insurance information: If you are able, get the driver’s contact information and insurance information (e.g., policy number, insurer’s number, etc.).
- Medical records: Visiting a doctor after the crash is good for your health. The medical records from such a visit will prove your injuries.
- Witness testimony: Be sure to speak with any witnesses at the scene. If you’re unable to at the time, their contact information should be in the police report.
- Police report: The police report will be especially valuable. It will have any citations issued, witnesses’ names and contact information, and the officers’ opinions about the crash.
- Surveillance footage: In some cases, nearby stores may have surveillance footage of the accident. You could gather this footage from traffic cameras at intersections.
- Photographs: If possible, it is a good idea to take photographs of any damage and the general area surrounding the accident.
- Preserve your damaged bicycle.
You Must Abide By Certain Timelines That the State Enforces
Getting started on your claim or lawsuit right away will be crucial for your case. Evidence disappears, and witnesses’ memories fade. So, the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to build your case.
In addition, Pennsylvania restricts how much time you have to file a lawsuit against the liable party. Per Pa. C.S.A. § 5524, the state generally sets a two-year time frame for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. If you miss this deadline, the court might bar you from receiving damages from the liable party.
Informing our team about your case sooner rather than later helps us file your paperwork within the state-mandated deadlines.
Contact the Pittsburgh Accident Attorney Team of Berger and Green For Help
If you or a loved one was injured in a cycling accident with a negligent driver, you could be entitled to compensation. The cycling accident and injury lawyers of Berger and Green in Pittsburgh are here to help you file an insurance claim or bring a lawsuit against an at-fault party after an accident.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation: 412-661-1400.