While bicyclists share the use and enjoyment of public roads with motorists, they could suffer serious injuries if involved in a collision. A seasoned personal injury lawyer could evaluate your potential case and determine the best course of action based on the details of your situation.
If you were injured as a bicyclist in an accident with a motor vehicle, you might be entitled to compensation. Contacting a Johnstown bicycle accident lawyer may be the best first step in determining your options.
Bicycle Laws in Johnstown
Most states require motorists to pass other vehicles with at least three feet of space while overtaking a bicycle. However, Pennsylvania has a more restrictive passing law. Per 75 Pa.CS §3303, the driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicyclist in the same direction must pass to the left with no less than four feet of space at a reduced speed.
This more restrictive law gives Pennsylvania bicyclists better protection from overtaking vehicles. If a car fails to provide enough space when passing a bicycle and an accident occurs, a Johnstown attorney could claim that the driver was operating negligently and is, therefore, liable for the damage caused in the bicycle wreck. Contact a well-versed personal injury lawyer for more information about traffic laws for bicyclists.
Another common cause of severe accidents involving bicyclists is dooring, which occurs when an automobile operator opens his or her door while a bicyclist is passing by. Doing so could cause the bicyclist to fall over, swerve into traffic, or slam into the door.
To protect bicyclists from dooring accidents, 75 Pa. CS §3705 was enacted and requires that “no person shall open any door on a motor vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic.” If a driver fails to make sure it was safe to open his or her door and causes a bicyclist to be injured, he or she could be held liable.
Damages in a Bicycle Accident
Bicycles naturally have fewer safety protections than automobiles. As a result, when an accident occurs between a bicyclist and a car, serious injuries can result. If the injuries were caused by the negligence of a driver, compensation may be available. Economic damages could include:
- Lost income
- Lost future earnings
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage
Non-economic damages could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Embarrassment and humiliation
When quantifying non-economic damages, several factors are considered. These might include the severity of the injury, the age of the victim, the emotional suffering experienced by the plaintiff, the effect on the plaintiff’s daily activities, and the plaintiff’s physical health before the injury.
Calculating the amount of compensation available to an injury victim may be difficult. A qualified bike wreck lawyer in Johnstown could help a plaintiff determine the total monetary value of his or her injuries.
Contact a Johnstown Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
Unfortunately, due to a lack of protection, bicyclists could face serious injuries when involved in a collision with a motorist. Along with severe physical and emotional pain, an injured cyclist could face high financial burdens.
If you were injured by a negligent driver while riding your bike, you could be eligible to make a claim or file a civil lawsuit. Contact a Johnstown bicycle accident lawyer from Marcus & Mack today and schedule your free consultation.