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December 15, 2014

Can I recover for my Bicycle Accident Injuries?

bicycle accident about to occurAs reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 50,000 bicyclists suffered injuries in traffic-related accidents in 2012 alone.[1] Many of these injured bicyclists naturally wonder: how can I hold a driver responsible for my injuries? Your first step after a bicycle accident should always be to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney for free. A lawyer can advise you on whether or not you have the right to recover depending on the facts of your particular case.

Determining negligence

Often, drivers collide into bicyclists because they are not paying attention, not following traffic laws, or acting in an otherwise negligent manner. Not surprisingly, most drivers will not readily come forward and admit that they were distracted or failed to yield or made some other type of mistake. For this reason, identifying negligence in a bicycle accident often requires further investigation and analysis.

One sign that often helps determine who was at fault in a bicycle accident is the type of collision that occurred. The four most common types of bicycle accidents are as follows:

  • The Side Swipe – this collision usually happens when a motorist fails to properly look for a bicyclist prior to changing lanes.
  • Rear-end Collisions – a driver may hit a bicycle from behind if he or she is following the bicycle too closely, misjudges the bicycle’s speed, is speeding, or is driving in an otherwise aggressive manner. Conversely, the bicyclist may collide with the rear-end of a car if the driver stops suddenly and without warning.
  • The “Left Cross” – this occurs when a driver attempts to make a left turn at an intersection and runs into a bicyclist traveling in the opposite direction. It also may happen that a vehicle turns in front of a bicyclist, who then does not have time to stop and subsequently runs into the car.
  • The “Right Hook[2] – the opposite of a Left Cross, this collision results from a driver trying to pass a bicyclist on the left side and then turn right in front of the bicyclist. This often happens when a driver is impatient with the relatively slow speed of a bicycle.

The type of collision that occurred can speak volumes as to the potentially negligent acts of the driver involved, and a Philadelphia bicyclist accident lawyer can help you recover whenever possible.

[1] http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812018.pdf

[2] http://cyclingsavvy.org/2013/09/smart-moves-video-preventing-right-hooks/

 

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