According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), hundreds of cyclists are killed every year. The vast majority of these fatalities occur due to a negligent driver striking a nearby bicyclist, using at stop signs or intersections.
Fortunately, state law allows injured cyclists to seek legal restitution if they were harmed by a reckless or careless motorist. If you or a loved one were struck by a negligent driver while cycling, you may benefit from contacting a Southampton bicycle accident lawyer for legal assistance. A hardworking injury attorney could collect valuable evidence to build a strong claim to damages and hold the at-fault motorist liable.
Local Laws Regarding Bicyclists
In Pennsylvania, cyclists are afforded the same rights as any other motorist on the road, as per Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. While bicyclists must abide by all general traffic laws and signals, there are also some local laws in place to help bikers and motorists avoid collisions. For instance, in accordance with Title 75, drivers of motor vehicles must maintain a distance of four feet from the cyclist, as long as the bicyclist is traveling at a reasonable speed. If a driver is following to close to a biker, and rear-ends them, a dedicated lawyer could hold them financially liable for the cyclist’s resulting damages.
How Must a Cyclist Prove Negligence?
In Pennsylvania, the burden of proof falls on the injured party to establish that the defendant is responsible for their financial and personal losses. To do this, the injured bicyclist must establish that the defendant breached a duty owed to them and that the violation resulted in the accident that directly caused their damages. While these damages can be tangible or intangible in nature, they must be compensable. A lawyer handling a bike accident case in the area commonly presents hospital bills and diagnoses as evidence that the bicyclist sustained financial and human losses.
Additionally, Pennsylvania applies comparative tort principles under Title 42 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, which means the defendant does not need to be the sole cause of the injuries. A court will look to how each of the involved parties contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries and assign them a corresponding percentage fault. If the plaintiff is found to be comparatively negligent, the will reduce the total damages awarded by their percentage of liability.
Importance of Filing a Bike Crash Claim Quickly in Southampton
The first thing an injured biker should do is dial 911 and report the accident to a police officer. Law enforcement will make a report that details who they believe to be responsible for the crash, as well as make note of any relevant witnesses, evidence, and causes. Injured cyclists should also seek prompt treatment for their injuries, as these collisions often result in catastrophic harm.
Lastly, a bicyclist who is involved in an accident caused by another party should seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney in Southampton from the onset of their case. This is because an injured party only has two years from the date of the accident or the time the injury is discovered to file an action for negligence.
Seek the Help of a Southampton Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
After contacting the police and seeking medical assistance, cyclists injured by another party should consider consulting with a Southampton bicycle accident lawyer. Accomplished attorneys could use their experience to offer guidance on how to prove a driver was not exercising reasonable care in the operation of a motor vehicle, and help the injured biker seek fair financial compensation.
If you were involved in a cycling wreck, let our experienced local lawyers help you with the stressful process of seeking compensation. Call our office today and schedule you initial case consultation for free.