How Do You File a Claim for a Bicycle Accident in Pennsylvania?
Dec 16, 2022 - Bike Accidents
Bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries for both adults and children. Unfortunately, while riding a bike is fun and a great way to get some exercise, serious cyclists and recreational riders alike face a variety of risks on Pennsylvania’s roads.
As a result, bicycle accidents are common. We regularly hear from cyclists and parents who have questions about recovering their medical expenses and other losses. The good news is that cyclists and parents whose children have been injured in bicycle accidents can file claims in many cases—as most serious bicycle accidents are due to factors beyond the rider’s control.
What To Do After a Serious Bicycle Accident in Pennsylvania
In order to file a claim for a bicycle accident in Pennsylvania, there are steps you must take to preserve your (or your family’s) legal rights. In most cases, it is important to take these steps as soon as possible. No matter how much you or your family deserves to be compensated, you won’t be able to collect anything unless you are able to prove what happened and why. With this in mind, following a bicycle accident, it is important to:
- Document the Bicycle Accident – When seeking financial compensation for a bicycle accident, documentation is extremely important. The more photos and videos you have from the accident scene, the better. Along with taking photos and videos, it is a good idea to write down as many details as you can remember—so that you can share them with your lawyer before your memory starts to fade.
- Keep the Damaged Bike and Any Damaged Personal Items – You should keep your (or your child’s) damaged bike along with any personal items that were damaged in the accident. These may include your (or your child’s) helmet, clothing, watch, bike accessories or other items.
- Prioritize Your (or Your Child’s) Medical Care – While treatment for traumatic injuries from a bicycle accident can be expensive, it is important to prioritize taking care of your (or your child’s) medical needs. If you have a claim as a result of the accident, your lawyer will be able to seek full reimbursement for your costs to date as well as coverage for your costs in the future.
- Keep Track of Your Costs – To prove the value of your bicycle accident claim, you will need documentation of all of the costs (both financial and non-financial) that result from the accident. Get in the habit of keeping all records related to your (or your child’s) treatment in a file, and try to document the daily effects of your (or your child’s) injuries.
- Talk to a Bicycle Accident Lawyer – An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will be able to assist with proving your legal rights and demonstrating how much you are entitled to recover. Your lawyer can also deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, help you avoid costly mistakes, and help you decide when (and if) to settle.
Possible Claims After a Serious Bicycle Accident in Pennsylvania
Depending on what happened, you could potentially have several different claims as a result of your (or your child’s) bicycle accident in Pennsylvania. For example, when you schedule a free consultation with a local bicycle accident lawyer, your lawyer will examine the possibility of pursuing claims against:
1. Your Auto Insurance Policy
If you have auto insurance, you can file a claim with your auto insurance company as a result of your (or your child’s) bicycle accident. At a minimum, you should be able to secure personal injury protection (or “medical benefits”) coverage—although the insurance companies will even make securing this “no-fault” coverage challenging in many cases. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage under your auto insurance policy, your lawyer may be able to help you secure additional compensation through a UIM claim as well.
2. The Negligent Driver’s Auto Insurance Policy
Many bicycle accidents are the result of driver negligence. If you (or your child) suffered serious injuries after being hit or run off the road by a negligent driver, your lawyer may be able to help you secure coverage under the driver’s auto insurance policy. Some examples of driver negligence that can justify liability insurance claims following serious bicycle accidents in Pennsylvania include:
- Driving while distracted (including texting behind the wheel)
- Tailgating or riding too close to the side of a bicycle rider
- Speeding or driving recklessly
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failing to yield at a roundabout or merge area
- Driving into a dedicated bicycle lane
- Reversing or turning without looking for bicycle riders
3. Your (or Your Child’s) Bike or Helmet Manufacturer
Bicycle defects play a role in many serious accidents as well. If your (or your child’s) bicycle was defective, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. Likewise, if you (or your child) suffered a head injury despite wearing a helmet, you could have a claim for a helmet defect.
4. Your Homeowners’ Association (HOA)
If the accident happened in your neighborhood and you have a homeowners’ association (HOA), the HOA could be liable if an issue with the roads, sidewalks, or signage in your neighborhood played a role in the crash. For example, if you lost control after hitting a pothole, this could justify a claim against your HOA.
5. A Government Agency or Contractor
For bicycle accidents that happen on public roads, road-related issues will often justify claims against the government agency or contractor that is responsible for the road’s construction and maintenance. Claims against government agencies are subject to special timelines and other procedural requirements, so if you believe you may have one of these claims, it is especially important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Discuss Your Bicycle Accident Claim with a Lawyer in Pennsylvania for Free
If you have questions about your (or your family’s) legal rights after a bicycle accident in Pennsylvania, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information. To speak with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in confidence, call 888-777-7098 or tell us how we can reach you online now.